Random trivia: Until the recent opening of the Willet distillery the bottler responsible for Noah’s Mill, KBD (Kentucky Bourbon Distillers), didn’t actually own any distilleries. There are lots of rumors about where the whisky comes from, but all official sources are tight lipped. As with all things whisky, half of everything you hear is a tall tale.
The wine bottle Noah’s Mill is sealed in did make me think twice. It probably has a subliminal effect on me; I’m not a huge fan of wine (unless you’re using the casks to finish or mature whisky). There are just so many to choose from. It’s a saturated market and there are, as far as I can tell in all my glorious wine ignorance, too many duds for me to get over my indifference for the stuff. I’ll admit it; I need a guide, but I’m not exactly rushing out to find one. Sour grapes, I guess…
Nose: Hints of heirloom apples swaddled in caramel, gourmet Raisinets (if there were such a thing), fresh cut switch, sweet basil, mixed nuts, smoky charcoal pencil, the stony mist you smell when you hike by a waterfall, and hay all with a firmness that is just masculine enough without being brutish. The nose barely lets on to how strong the spirit is. This is beautiful in the most classically Bourbon way.
Palate: Hot and spicy start that dulls after a few seconds before revving back up to an extremely fiery finish. Leathery if you can stand to let it swish around for a minute, and then apples and grapes get chased out by the char. The cereal notes are bright and slightly sour. Dank mint vapors. All the oaky influences are juuuust right, but if you’re not a fan of the burn this might not be the one for you. Personally, if toothpaste didn’t taste like crap I would use this for mouthwash and never look back. Having said all of that, the nose is the star of the show for me.
I feel like I should be wearing a silk house coat and sock garters, like this was the bourbon our ancestors drank while living it up in a simpler time, a time of leather club chairs and wood paneled drawing rooms, a time before television turned us into superficial morons. This is delicious, if not a little young and woody.