Whiskey Review: Benjamin Prichard's Double Barreled Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon

By Sarah Coppola / September 11, 2017

A bit ahead of the current craft-spirits surge, Prichard’s Distillery first opened about 20 years ago in Kelso, Tennessee, as the first new (and legal) distillery in the state since the repeal of Prohibition. Its second distillery location, located in Nashville, opened in 2014.

The distillery’s approach pays homage to the Prichard’s family lineage and the spirits first produced in the early 1800s by Benjamin Prichard and other master distillers in Davidson County, Tennessee. Five generations ago, Benjamin Prichard passed the torch to his son, who in turn taught the craft to his own children. According to Prichard’s Master Distiller Phil Prichard, the recipes used today have indeed been in the Prichard family for hundreds of years.

Prichard’s produces a range of whiskey, rum and liqueur, created in small batches in a copper pot still and aged in 15- to 53-gallon charred white oak barrels. The distillery has perhaps received the most attention for its Tennessee Whiskey (which, interestingly, may be the only “Tennessee Whiskey” exempt from utilizing the Lincoln County Process as part of its production” due to a 2013 grandfathering exemption). But among Prichard’s other whiskey offerings is its limited release Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey, which has accumulated accolades and recognition, including a Silver Medal from the 2017 American Distilling Institute awards, and a 94-point score in both Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible and the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

Prichard's Double Barreled Bourbon

Tasting Notes: Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon 

Vital Stats: According to the distillery, this bourbon – made of a mash bill of white corn, rye, and wheat – is aged for nine years, cut from 120 proof to 95 proof, and then re-barreled (hence the “double barrel”) in new charred oak barrels. This method is emphasized by the distiller as a unique means to impart desired flavor and other notes in the bourbon. The distillery says that the bottling proof may vary, dipping to as low as 80 proof; my bottle is labeled as 90 proof. The current retail price of a 750 ml bottle of Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey ranges from about $80-$100.

Appearance: A rich amber in the bottle pours out to a deep gold, with tawny highlights not unlike a cognac.

Nose: Citrus and vanilla pop from the start, giving way to butterscotch, salted caramel popcorn, and a hint of bubblegum (Bazooka, to be exact) sweetness. The aromas evolve to a cinnamon candy spice, like Red Hots. Combined, I was almost transported to a throwback candy store.

Palate: That whimsical notion of a candy shop was immediately tempered with the pure and simple goodness of this bourbon. While certainly spicy, it is incredibly smooth, with warming tones of oak and firewood (albeit not smokey). Spiced vanilla tea and freshly baked rye bread balance sweetness and heartiness. Butterscotch hard candy, straw and greenery, and spiced gingerbread flow from front-to-back across the palate, with a medium-length and drier finish.

The Takeaway

I was interested to discover that this bourbon received a range of reviews, from disappointment to love -- I certainly fall in the latter, and my interest to try more of their spirits has been piqued. The Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon is delightful, easy yet complex, restrained yet lively. It has just enough body without being too hefty, and a wonderfully balanced flavor profile. This holds its own sipped neat, or certainly works in a good cocktail of choice -- preferably as long as it’s one where the whiskey gets to be the star of the show.