Whiskey Review: 12 Foot Beard Jowl Bristle Whiskey

There comes a time in every whiskey reviewer’s life when one must take one for the team.

This, my friends, is that time.

Sure, from the get-go I was biased. Come on: A whiskey named 12 Foot Beard Jowl Bristle Whiskey? It sounds like it was tossed into the Hipster Business Name Generator. Was “artisanal” taken?” House-made” too over-used? “Farm-to-table” passé? And the beard thing. Sigh. It’s kind of enough. I can’t flip through Tinder or Bumble without every dude’s face resembling an 1860s war general.

So what’s up with the name, then? Is it the modern-day “This’ll put hair on your chest?” Nope; the moniker stems from a tale of a man in Pike County, Missouri who lost a bet and thus grew a 12-foot beard.

The bottle indicates it was distilled in Tennessee and bottled by Wood Hat Spirits, in New Florence, Missouri. Bourbon Banter bsheds a little more light on the mash bill (80 percent corn; 15 percent rye, and five percent malted barley), and its aging process (five years near Shelbyville, Tennessee, and aged for another year in Missouri).

12 Foot Beard Jowl Bristle Whiskey

image via Carin Moonin/The Whiskey Wash

Tasting Notes: 12 Foot Beard Jowl Bristle Whiskey

Vital stats: Mash bill of 80 percent corn; 15 percent rye, and five percent malted barley; about $35; 90 proof.

Color: Amber; goldenrod; strong cider.

Nose: Very alcohol-forward: Not gonna lie, there’s a strong first whiff of ethanol. Followed by browned butter, moss in the rain, and Corn Flakes. And then there’s that ethanol again.

Palate: Oh, no. Just…no. The mouthfeel is tinny. Not just thin and gasoline-ey, but like actual tin. It has a metallic taste to it. It left me with a terrible taste in my mouth, like eating eggs chased by cinnamon Altoids when I’m not near my toothbrush. I like eggs. I like cinnamon Altoids. But I don’t want them in the same dish.

The Takeaway

Perhaps this whiskey is aptly named because it tastes like it has been filtered through the jowl bristles of every unkempt dude I've ever come across. Or perhaps not, but it at least feels that way. Find something else instead to spend your whiskey money on.

2.5
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About the author

Carin Moonin

A decade ago, I traded a 5th floor walkup in Hoboken, NJ for a house in SE Portland and remain grateful for the swap. Portland’s a great whiskey town: It fits the weather and my general mood (even improves it sometimes). I enjoy exploring the many shades of brown liquor and learning what it can do for me. I’ve written for publications including Salon.com, DailyDot.com, Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, and more. When I’m not drinking whiskey or writing about it, I can be found running, reading, or seeking out free samples in grocery stores.