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Bourbon

Town Branch Bourbon

$35.00

OVERALL
RATING

Whiskey Review: Town Branch Bourbon

Tasting Notes:

About:
40% ABV (80 proof), no age statement, 72% corn, 13% rye, 15% malted barley, around $35
Appearance:
Almost the same as a Killian’s Irish Red, if you’re a beer drinker. If not, a clear coppery gold. Thin but lingering legs.
Nose:
Unappealingly harsh that doesn’t mellow over time. Isopropyl, mineral water, charcoal, wet leaves, burnt sugar — these last three only if I smelled from a narrower-mouthed vessel (like the bottle) rather than a wider-mouthed vessel.
Palate:
Fleeting, with a finish that’s overwhelmingly smoky and oaky, to the point of being ashy. Long low burn and, very late, cacao and coffee. Conclusion: While I wouldn’t drink it neat and, honestly, it probably wouldn’t be my first choice even for a cocktail, it would likely do in a pinch if you were making a mint julep or, as previously mentioned, the similar whiskey smash. Overall, I was left wondering where the sweetness and flavor were and why my mouth felt so desperately dry afterward. You’re better off saving yourself $10 and buying a bottle of Buffalo Trace. FINAL SCORE: 65/100 [SHOP FOR A BOTTLE OF TOWN BRANCH BOURBON]
Finish:
Comments:

Town Branch BourbonThough right in the thick of bourbon country, Town Branch is at the back of the pack in the bourbon deliciousness derby. Perhaps it’s because Town Branch is not a revived historic distillery, with reserves of tradition to draw from, but rather a distillery created by Alltech, an agriculture, meat, and beverage megacorp — though surely that hardly matters when you consider the whole region is steeped in bourbon history and legend from which one could easily draw. Consider that many believe (rightly or wrongly) that it was where bourbon originated. It’s certainly, at least, where most bourbon is produced.

Perhaps it’s because Town Branch is the new kid on the block, launched in just 2012 — though many a newer distillery has succeeded in producing quality whiskey. Consider Wigle, opened in the same year.

Perhaps it’s for no good reason at all. The fact remains that Town Branch Bourbon is unpleasantly dry and lackluster, void of the complexity and full flavor of its neighborhood pals. Remember The Sandlot? Town Branch is the new kid without much personality who just isn’t good at baseball no matter how hard he tries. His neighbors (Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve) all have big personalities — a lot of flavor, some zest, if you will — and a love for the game that makes them at least good, if not great. And, since Town Branch is relatively new, we hope that it, like Scotty Smalls, can grow into a thoughtful, able player.

After all, Town Branch has many of the same resources as its neighbors in the land of horses, bourbon, and Boone, including the calcium rich limestone-filtered water for which the Bluegrass region is so renowned. Indeed, one of the things I liked about Town Branch Bourbon was a mineral-y flavor I could see working well in a more herbaceous drink, like a whiskey smash.

Tasting Notes: Town Branch Bourbon

Vital Stats: 40% ABV (80 proof), no age statement, 72% corn, 13% rye, 15% malted barley, around $35

Appearance: Almost the same as a Killian’s Irish Red, if you’re a beer drinker. If not, a clear coppery gold. Thin but lingering legs.

Nose: Unappealingly harsh that doesn’t mellow over time. Isopropyl, mineral water, charcoal, wet leaves, burnt sugar — these last three only if I smelled from a narrower-mouthed vessel (like the bottle) rather than a wider-mouthed vessel.

Palate: Fleeting, with a finish that’s overwhelmingly smoky and oaky, to the point of being ashy. Long low burn and, very late, cacao and coffee.

Conclusion:

While I wouldn’t drink it neat and, honestly, it probably wouldn’t be my first choice even for a cocktail, it would likely do in a pinch if you were making a mint julep or, as previously mentioned, the similar whiskey smash.

Overall, I was left wondering where the sweetness and flavor were and why my mouth felt so desperately dry afterward. You’re better off saving yourself $10 and buying a bottle of Buffalo Trace.

FINAL SCORE: 65/100 [SHOP FOR A BOTTLE OF TOWN BRANCH BOURBON]

Rachel Grozanick

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