Paul and Merry Beth of MB Roland are my friends. Because I might be biased, I have decided to disclose that bias so that you can decide how much to trust the review.
It had been five years since I last visited my friends Paul and Merry Beth at their distillery. We’d met up in Bardstown a few times during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival where we hung out and had a lot of conversations (and on a few occasions a lot of drinks). But it had been too long since I went to visit them at their place. I was excited to see what had changed and learn about how things were going.
I met Paul and Merry Beth just as I was starting to explore distilled spirits. I hadn’t even started my bourbon journey yet as I was still playing with cocktails using inexpensive clear spirits. I was more interested in the flavors you could add to alcohol and how they worked together at that point than I was those flavors that were already there. As an example, I had a small refrigerator filled with tinctures (infused vodkas) of everything from fruit and fruit peels to herbs to spices. I even had a black pepper tincture at one point.
It was in this setting that I tasted my first bottle of whiskey. Not drank my first bottle, tasted. I mean, I did go to college after all. The flavors were amazing. And yes it was from MB Roland. Sure, it was a young whiskey, but I didn’t know better. I was just amazed that you could get all this flavor from a barrel. At that point I determined that I was extremely interested in whiskey. (In fact, it wasn’t until I started making my own house-made bitters for my whiskey cocktails that I remembered my interest in the flavors you could add to a spirit and that helped rekindle my love of cocktails.)
So since I made the trip to visit them, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab a few of their products that had come out since the last time I’d been down there. And there were a lot. The first one I opened was a straight wheat whiskey. Since I am taking the time to review it, you already know that I like it, but I should probably share my notes as well.
MB Roland Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey
Purchase Price: $54.99 for a 750 mL bottle at the distillery gift shop.
Details: Mashbill: 69% red winter wheat, 26% white corn, 5% malt. Barrel: New with a #4 char level. Batch 5, 55.8% ABV.
Nose: Clean hay, cooked cereal
Mouth: Cinnamon, Milky Way candy bar (milk chocolate, caramel, and nougat)
Finish: Medium length and heat. Lingering cinnamon and Milky Ways.
Thoughts: I really like this one. The Milky Way candy bar notes make this just like liquid candy. As to be expected with a two-year-old whiskey this does have a few "young" notes but they are mostly on the nose and tend to be pushed into the background of the mouth and finish by the high proof.