Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Bluestone Manor Bourbon. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Bluestone Manor Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a new small-line batch bourbon hand crafted by Newburgh, New York’s Spirits Lab Distillery. Spirits Lab exclusively uses grains and botanicals grown in New York and is located in the Hudson Valley region near George Washington’s historic Revolutionary War headquarters.
Spirits Lab has over 40 years of distilling experience, which also includes developing, distributing, marketing, and retailing their small-batch spirits. A few years ago an extensive search was conducted for a place to establish their distillery. Their search came to a successful conclusion in late 2019 when they found not only a prime location among Newburgh’s historic district to set up shop, but also received a warm welcome from the local Hudson Valley community.
Bluestone Manor Straight Bourbon Whiskey came about due to the vision of American entrepreneur and former cast member of Real Housewives of New York, Dorinda Medley. This wheated bourbon is named after Medley’s Berkshires home in Massachusetts, which was built in 1902 and is said to have been a speakeasy during prohibition in the 1920s. Medley was also inspired to create this new whiskey due to her late husband Richard’s affinity for bourbon.
This small-line batch spirit is aged for at least five years in Independent Stave Company’s Cooper’s Select 53-gallon oak barrels before being blended and bottled. After the aging process, each barrel is hand selected by Spirits Lab’s expert blender to produce a well balanced bourbon. The air seasoning of these barrels allows the natural elements of light, humidity, and fungal activity to organically enhance the oak chemistry. It is 45% ABV (90 proof) with a wheated bourbon mash bill of 70% corn, 25% wheat and 5% malted barley.
In addition to being involved in the branding, marketing and selling of this bourbon, Medley took her time in carefully selecting the distinctive 750 ml decanter bottle style. In a prepared statement, Medley said “Bluestone Manor is a special place I call home. I wanted to bring this feeling to life in a Bourbon. Anyone can enjoy a glass of my bourbon and find themselves transported to the Manor.”
Tasting Notes: Bluestone Manor Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Vital Stats: 90 proof (45% ABV), mash bill: 70% corn, 25% wheat, and 5% malted barley, bottled in Newburgh, NY, 750 ml bottle MSRP $45.
Appearance: Dark golden caramel color.
Nose: Vanilla and cinnamon with a hint of dried fruit.
Palate: Hints of toasted dark cherry adds some brightness. The spicy oakiness of this whiskey gives way to a warm and velvety medium-long finish.
This spirit is a solid choice for those who aren’t necessarily bourbon drinkers, but are interested in exploring it. The initial heat on the nose is nicely inviting and the smoothness on the palate makes it very approachable. Its soft, straightforward character makes this an ideal whiskey for taking one’s time to enjoy.
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Jennifer Williams is a former Dallas, Texas bartender of 15 years where she developed an appreciation for patrons with a healthy respect for great whiskey. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2019 where she graduated from Portland State University as an English Literature major with a minor in Writing. While...