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American

Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey

$50.00

OVERALL
RATING

7

Whiskey Review: Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey

Tasting Notes:

About:
Aged 6.5 years. 86 proof (43% ABV). A blend of 90% six-year-old Bluebird Bourbon and 10% seven-year-old Bluebird Red Winter Wheat Whiskey. ~$50.00
Appearance:
Pale pink mixed with pastel orange.
Nose:
Cinnamon and vanilla frosting hit on top of a thick carrot cake base, with a twinge of blackberry. Heavy notes of bitter orange peel float around nutmeg.
Palate:
A flash of plum wine is almost missed as lush caramel and gingersnap burst in. Deeper flavors of sunflower seeds, honey, and malt develop alongside oak. The finish drops off to faint bitter orange peel, allspice, and coconut, with a touch of mint.
Finish:
Comments:
Tasting most like a wheated bourbon, this whiskey is a very approachable and rewarding experience. It is satisfyingly complex without trying to do too much, and the four-grain notes are present, with discernable rye spice briefly punching through a rich wheat body. While I’m still not giving up my never-ending quest to find a bottle of Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bottled-in-Bond, I’ll be sipping on this in the meantime.

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. 

If you could describe it, what does the South feel like? When you get off a plane in Savannah, Georgia or Nashville, Tennessee, what words do you put to the aura that settles over your shoulders? If you’ve been, I truly hope it feels like the earthy scent of a dusty leather jacket, well-worn cowboy boots, a Johnny Cash album, the glare of Friday night lights, a chair overlooking a field, and a glass of American whiskey on the rocks.

Country singers tap into this feeling with themes of loss, love, simplicity, and quiet strength synonymous with the South. 2022 Country Music Association award winner Jordan Davis specifically calls out to these simple realities in his new album Bluebird Days.

It is perhaps because of their shared love of a blue sky, sunlight, and a good time that Bluebird Distilling master distiller Jared Adkins joined with Davis in releasing Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey. Bluebird Distilling is a little-known name in the whiskey world, having just expanded their four-state distribution capabilities to 41-state availability. The small grain-to-glass distillery was founded in 2015 and has been steadily producing quality products ever since.

This boutique expression I’m reviewing, Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey, is a curated blend of two small batch whiskies: Bluebird Bourbon (90%) and Bluebird red Winter Wheat Whiskey (10%). The blend was aged for 6.5 years, a fairly robust period for a young small-batch distiller. These barrels must have been filled in 2016, just a year after the distillery opened its doors.

Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey is particularly exciting, not only because of its musical inspiration, but because it is a fully aged, four-grain whiskey. Four-grain whiskeys are relatively niche, typically blending corn, malted barley, rye and wheat, unlike standard bourbon mash bills using rye or wheat.

Unlike the few other four-grains on the market, this release adds 10% pure wheat whiskey, meaning roughly 20% of the whiskey is wheat, a concentration popular in whiskeys like Larceny, Makers Mark, and Weller. There is some debate as to the goal of four-grain whiskies, as they try to balance softer vanilla and brown sugar notes of wheat with the spice of a rye, rather than promoting one or the other. Tantalizing if it can be done right, blasé if bungled.

What is known for sure is that this particular blend was specifically selected by Davis. I may be reading too much into it, but as I sat sipping a glass after a long week while listening to his album, I hoped the singer found something from his songs in the whiskey. Maybe the smooth John Mayer-esque blues guitar lines in “Whiskey Weak” are meant to be the crunchy coconut and nutmeg of the wheat palate, while the bittersweet lyrics of “Bluebird Days” find expression in the way the warm flavors on the palate drain away to bitter orange peel and spicy pepper.

I’m probably overthinking it, but either way, like a good country song, both the Bluebird Days album and whiskey remind me of times gone by — of love, loss and summer days.

Bluebird Days review
We review Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey, a blend of 90% six-year-old Bluebird Bourbon and 10% seven-year-old Bluebird Red Winter Wheat Whiskey. (image via Jeffrey Nitschke/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged 6.5 years. 86 proof (43% ABV). A blend of 90% six-year-old Bluebird Bourbon and 10% seven-year-old Bluebird Red Winter Wheat Whiskey. ~$50.00

Appearance:  Pale pink mixed with pastel orange.

Nose:  Cinnamon and vanilla frosting hit on top of a thick carrot cake base, with a twinge of blackberry. Heavy notes of bitter orange peel float around nutmeg.

Palate: A flash of plum wine is almost missed as lush caramel and gingersnap burst in. Deeper flavors of sunflower seeds, honey, and malt develop alongside oak. The finish drops off to faint bitter orange peel, allspice, and coconut, with a touch of mint.

Jeffrey Nitschke

I am a Portland area attorney whose career has dovetailed with a love of fine spirits and cigars. With no formal training in the field, my own interest spurred a thorough education through books, articles, visits to distilleries all over the United States, and a few deep dives into Wikipedia. Outside of my career and ever escalating pursuit of good whiskey, I can be found enjoying CrossFit, gardening, and playing music.

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