husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Town Branch Bourbon


This bourbon is not from one of the typical ‘big’ distillers, but it is still a Bourbon distilled in Lexington, KY.  Taking its name from the Town Branch waterway, the Town Brach Distillery was the first new Lexington distillery in more than 100 years. (The Old Pepper Distillery survived Prohibition but ended distilling in the 1960s.)

This is the first bourbon from the Lyons Spirits division of Alltech which is primarily known as an animal health and nutrition company that supplies the world with natural supplements that are placed in animal feed to improve animal health, they do like to dabble in brewing and distilling.



Alltech’s founder, Irishman Pearse Lyons, is quite schooled in whiskey as he holds a Master’s Degree in brewing and distillation, and a Phd in yeast fermentation.

Alltech has had success with their popular Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and Bluegrass Sundown Liquor, so I was interested to try out both the Pearse Lyons Reserve malt whiskey, and their Town Branch Bourbon.  Fortunately, the fine folks at Alltech supplied me with a sample of the Bourbon.  I’ll have to hunt down that Malt on my own.

Despite some confusion about the mashbill that I have read on some sites like Jason’s fantastic read, the Sour Mash Manifesto, I was advised by Alltech that they use a Mashbill of:

72% Corn

15% Malt

13% Rye

Having won Silver Medals at the 2013 Spirits of America competition (American Whiskey Division) and another Silver Medal at the 2013 Denver International Spirits competition, I was eager to give this one a try.
Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  Amber +1

Nose:  Gentle & clean, takes a moment but then bananas and oak peek out
Palate:  Very kind and polite, almost too polite, kettle corn & nutmeg

Finish:  Tiny bit of soft oak, short to medium length

Overall:

While I usually do not comment on packaging much, I kind of like this bottle.  It has a packing tape kind of label that appeals to my handy-man side.  That being said, it is what is on the inside that counts, and that is where it gets tricky.  I found this Bourbon to be lacking a ‘kick’.  I kept waiting for that Rye to rear its spicy head, but it never happened.  I believe that this Bourbon would improve with a higher ABV and maybe even a few more years in the cask.  Although, even at this point, it is still a beautifully clean, smooth and calm whiskey.  It is just a little too one-note for me to put it up with some of the great bourbons of this world.  I think if you prefer a sweet and gentle bourbon that is highly approachable, this one may be up your alley.  I just happen to have a preference for the more assertive flavors of bolder and higher proofed whiskeys.

Score:  83

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