Posts tagged ‘Bully Boy’

Bully Boy White Whiskey Review

Today, I am reviewing Bully Boy’s White Whiskey (Batch 44).  A few weeks ago, I reviewed Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey, and I rather enjoyed it.  Today, I am reviewing Bully Boy’s juice right off the still.  However, unlike many distilleries, Bully Boy does not use the same mash bill for their white whiskey as they do in their aged product.  The American Straight Whiskey is 45% corn, 45% rye, and 10% malted barley, whereas the White Whiskey is 100% wheat.  In addition, the American Straight Whiskey is bottle at 84 proof (42% abv), and the White Whiskey is bottled at the standard 80 proof (40% abv).

According to Will and Dave from Bully Boy, they chose wheat as their grain of choice for their white whiskey because of the softness of wheat on the palate.  As a fresh spirit, wheat has more drinkability than corn and more sweetness than rye or barley.  Down at Bully Boy, they have experimented with aging some of their 100% wheat whiskey, but thus far the results have not been as good as their clear spirit or their American Straight Whiskey.  So, for the time being, Bully Boy will probably be sticking with their wheat recipe for their white whiskey and their corn/rye/barley recipe for their aged product.  It is refreshing to see a micro-distillery trying new things and not bottling those experiments if they don’t come out well.  Too many distilleries nowadays are just bottling all the whiskey they can make, and it is insulting to the product, the process, and the consumer.  Bully Boy is doing it right.  Special thanks to Will and Dave for the bottle!

On the nose, this whiskey reminds me of a tequila nose.  There is a big, sweet agave note, with some hints of wildflowers, grass, brazil nuts, and walnuts.  The palate is very clean.  That agave notes keeps hanging around with some nice honey, sour apple, grapefruit, and banana cream.  There is also some black licorice, cranberry, and bubble gum.  The finish is short (common in white whiskeys), but sweet (agave and bananas).  With water, those sour fruits work their way to the fore a little more.

Overall, this is a very good white whiskey.  Generally, white whiskeys are not my favorite because they tend to be harsh and not very drinkable.  However, this one is a fine example of what a little innovation can do.  The 100% wheat mash bill is a brilliant idea, and it leads to a nice, sweet, soft whiskey.  For a white whiskey, this one is a very enjoyable whiskey straight up, but it is a wonderful mixer.  I had some folks over to my place a few weeks ago, and the cocktail ideas were flowing well.  The drinkability of this whiskey makes it a brilliant base for any mixed drink.  My Grade: C.  Price: $30-35/750ml.  This is the highest grade I have ever given a white whiskey in my whiskey journal at home, so Bully Boy has a good thing going on here.  Don’t be afraid of the white stuff, and let it ride!

(What’s in) Phil’s Cabinet? March Edition

This is my cabinet as of March 1st, normally when I start to move towards more spring and summer whiskeys, but the seasons are so messed up in Boston that it is pretty hard to actually do anything concrete with them.

American:

Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey – A young, exciting whiskey from Bully Boy Distillers in Boston.

Bourbon:

1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select – I cracked this one open the other day.  I know I’ve had a few requests for this one, and I’ll be reviewing it in a few weeks.

Angel’s Envy (unopened) – I’m saving this one for warmer temperatures.

Rebel Yell (unopened) – I’ve had some requests for this one, so I snagged a bottle the other day.  I’ll have a review up as soon as I kick a few of the other open bottles presently in my cabinet.

William Larue Weller (2012 bottling) – I opened this one up during Nemo the blizzard, and I haven’t decided whether or not to review this one yet.  At $70, it is right on the upper end of my price range for whiskey.  Any thoughts?

Rye:

Old Overholt Rye (unopened) – This is another one I have had some requests for, and although I have a bottle, it might be a month or two before a review goes up.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac (2012 bottling) (unopened) – This one will probably get opened up before it gets too warm in Boston.  Like the Weller, let me know if you want to see a review on the blog.

Willett 4 yr. Estate Reserve Single Barrel – This one is going to be a tandem review with William from a Dram Good Time.  We should have our notes up for you by the end of next week.

Scotch:

Bowmore Legend – I should have a review of this Islay scotch up as soon as I finish my mini-series on Irish whiskey.

Those are the whiskeys I have in the cabinet as of March 1st, let me know if there are any reviews you would like to see.  In the meantime, let it ride!

Breckenridge Bourbon Review

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bourbonblog.com

Well, I just finished a huge term paper, so I am rewarding myself with a post that I have wanted to get up for some time.  I am continuing to review some good micro-distilleries with today’s review of Breckenridge bourbon.  Breckenridge Distillery is a small distillery in Breckenridge, Colorado that has already garnered some international attention for their spirits.  Their bourbon won a gold medal at the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition, which is pretty impressive considering it is only a 3 year old bourbon.

The story of Breckenridge bourbon is that it was originally a sourced whiskey from an unnamed distillery in Kentucky, but the distillery has been churning out its own bourbon since 2009.  Nowadays, the bourbon is mostly Breckenridge stock, with the occasional batching with older, contracted stock to ensure a consistent product.

I first discovered Breckenridge bourbon at WhiskyLive 2012 here in Boston.  I was surprised when the woman pouring my sample of Breckenridge told me that Breckenridge was a 3 year old bourbon that had won one of three gold medals at the IWSC the previous year.  However, once I spent a few seconds with this bourbon, I was hooked.  It took me a while to find a bottle in Boston, but I eventually got lucky.  So, without further ado, here is my review of Breckenridge bourbon (bottled at 86 proof).

In the glass, this bourbon is a rosy red amber, not as dark as some older bourbons.  One of the interesting facts about Breckenridge bourbon is that the distillery uses snowmelt for their bourbon, as opposed to the mineral rich water used in Kentucky.  I think that lends itself to Breckenridge’s lighter character, but that could also be its youth.  On the nose, this whiskey is sweet and citrusy.  There are big notes of sweet toffee and butterscotch, with some orange peel notes sneaking through.  The palate is medium-bodied and simple, but it tastes so good.  Vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar come flooding across my tongue and don’t let up.  The finish is longer than I would have expected, and it keeps the sweetness of the palate all the way through.  There are notes of oranges, caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar cinnamon.  Water doesn’t do much good; this one stands best on its own.

Overall, this is a delightful bourbon.  It is not too heavy, but the sweetness that makes bourbon so delicious is all over the tasting experience.  It goes to show (along with my review of Bully Boy last week) that you don’t have to have old whiskey to have good whiskey.  My Grade: B+.  Price: $40-45/750ml.  This one is a tasty bourbon, and it has enough complexity to make it an intriguing  pour.  With a little more body or complexity, this one could easily be in the A range.  There are better value buys on the market, but it is always fun to give a shout out to micro-distillery.   I can’t wait to see what happens if Breckenridge releases some older stocks or some barrel-strength batches in the future.  In the meantime, let it ride!

p.s. A special shout out is deserved by Bryan Nolt (El Jefe at Breckenridge).  I sent him an email inquiring about the source of his bourbon, and I got a detailed explanation within 45 minutes.  That is customer service and actually investing time in the consumer.  Breckenridge is well deserving of their craft distillery label.  Keep letting it ride out there in Colorado.

Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey Review

New England is more known for its craft breweries than its craft distilleries, but all that might be changing.  I have already reviewed Berkshire Bourbon, and today I am reviewing Bully Boy’s American Straight Whiskey.  Bully Boy Distillers is a micro-distillery in Boston that was founded in 2010 by Will and Dave Willis.  It is the first craft distillery in Boston, and Bully Boy spirits are just starting to become readily available around Boston.  They have already won awards at International Spirits Competitions for their White Rum, their White Whiskey, and their Vodka.  I’m letting the cat out of the bag a little bit, but I think they are going to win more awards in the future.

Today, I am reviewing Batch 4 of Bully Boy’s American Straight Whiskey.  This whiskey is neither a bourbon, nor is it a rye; it does not contain at least 51% corn or 51% rye in the mash-bill.  The boys at Bully Boy were kind enough to clear that up for me when I sent them a puzzled email.  This whiskey is also a true craft presentation.  It is done in small batches, and non-chill filtered.  There is no age statement on this batch, but I suspect it is fairly young based on its taste and the age of the distillery.  It is bottled at 84 proof (42% abv).

On the nose, this whiskey demonstrates its rye content up front.  There are notes of lemongrass, fresh cut grass, chili powder, white pepper, pine needles, lemon furniture polish (in a good way), a bit of licorice, and fresh ginger.  It is really a unique nose for an American whiskey, and it takes your nose all over the place.  It is definitely more reminiscent of a rye than a bourbon on the nose.  The palate is light-bodied, and it is a bit sweeter, with a lot of spiced nuts and some salt water taffy.  There is even a beautiful lemon-lime current that runs through the palate.  The finish is medium-length and spicy.  There is some good cinnamon, some vanilla, and a resurfacing of the lemon and grassy notes from the nose.

Overall, this whiskey drinks like a good, young rye with a twist.  This whiskey is very intriguing, and very complex, but it does lack a little depth and body.  The flavors are varied, but they don’t evolve as neatly or strike as powerfully as some older whiskeys.  I think that means that I cannot wait to see where this whiskey goes with a few more years in the oak, and I definitely commend Bully Boy on their craft presentation of this whiskey.  My Grade: B/B+.  Price: $30-35/750ml.  This one is almost a B+, but it doesn’t quite have the sweetness yet to fully balance out those wild rye notes.  This is a great (and fun) everyday pour at a good value.  I can’t wait to see where the boys at Bully Boy go with this.