It’s been a few years (or more) since I last bought a bottle of Rowan’s Creek bourbon. I’d been a fan of bourbon for some time but I really didn’t have the most refined palate. I was just starting my expansion from enjoyer of bourbon to someone who thinks critically about what he’s drinking. I’d gone from just having Maker’s or Wild Turkey in the liquor cabinet to exploring enough to have an entire shelf in my office dedicated to bourbon. Can you believe I had an entire 12 bourbons on my shelf…(eye roll).
At the time, I wasn’t impressed. I found it weird, not like the other bourbons that I was enjoying. It wasn’t a caramel bomb that tasted like a hot piece of candy. And so, I never bought another. Recently I was inspired by my decision to make a trip through the Willett line-up to give it another go.
Purchase info: $35.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Viking Liquor Barrel, Prior Lake, MN
Details: 50.05% ABV, Batch QBC No.: 16-30. DSP-KY-78. Part of Willett’s Small Batch Boutique Bourbon Collection.
Nose: Grain forward with cloves, spearmint and a light fruitiness
Mouth: Sweet and not as hot as I’d have expected for over 100° proof. It’s lightly flavored showing cereal, mint and vanilla.
Finish: Decent length with cereal, spice, caramel and mint.
Thoughts: This is a well constructed whiskey that is outside my normally preferred flavor profile. So I can see why I didn’t care for it back when I was starting my bourbon journey. I didn’t have a palate that was experienced enough to realize that different can be good. And though I don’t normally like grain-forward bourbons, this one has grown on me. And I am liking it more as I progress though the bottle. I’d recommend this to people who like bourbons that show more influence from the grain than the barrel and hold it up as an example of how such a bourbon can be a little more refined and show more than just hot and corn.
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