Whiskey Review: Boss Molly Straight Bourbon

, | May 31, 2023

Editor’s Note: This whiskey 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. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs. 

A recent New Yorker daily shout about a woman ordering whiskey neat in a bar comes to mind when reading the descriptors the Boss Molly founders give of themselves. Tough, experienced, and Annie Oakley herself was invoked. The very idea of this brand emerged from a poker game.The motto “Boots Down. Bottom’s Up” adorns the label, and very much the ethos these ladies are putting out. 

The name itself is a reference to mules. The boss mollies are the trailblazing (literally) female mules that work on ranches. And I have to think that invoking the animal most associated with stubbornness was an appeal. The name being particularly female is also the extension of the founders discussion about the general theme of names in the bourbon industry – a lot of old dead white men (it’s great to be able to cite the naming and creation of the Uncle Nearest product as an excellent exception to the rule). 

Though this does all risk bordering on the “whiskey woman” stereotype, these women do seem genuine, in both their intent and execution. While women in whiskey has always been a thing (though some opt to believe otherwise) female creation and ownership of spirit brands is still among the vast minority. Boss Molly is helping to change that.

Down to the technicalities – while not a Kentucky bourbon, this is a Southern one. The bourbon is distilled in North Carolina and bottled in Tennessee. After distillation, the whiskey is aged in the standard new American oak for four years. Without providing a specific mash bill, the whiskey is notably heavily wheated. 

Less traditional is the addition of brandy barrel staves – charred and toasted immediately after being emptied. Specifically, Boss Molly is using brandy barrels from Copper & Kings in Louisville. Their brandies are made from grapes in an “American style,” specifically not on any sort of European model. It’s well-fitting for what seems to be a very American attitude around this bourbon. 

And after all, bourbon is as American as it gets. 

Boss Molly Bourbon review

We review Boss Molly Bourbon, a high wheat bourbon finished with brandy staves. (image via Boss Molly)

Tasting Notes: Boss Molly Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: 45%ABV, high wheat bourbon finished with brandy staves

Appearance: Pale, slightly opaque amber. Scattered legs.

Nose:  Very strong and fragrant, right off the bat. A cloying sweetness similar to butterscotch, both musky and rummy, presents the prominent notes. A touch of high acrid gasoline is undeniably present, lingering but blowing off towards the end. A touch of grassiness, unexpected from the composition, takes over. 

Palate: Lighter than the nose for certain, in both flavor and texture. A strong vegetal bitterness forms the mid-palate, which becomes a long finish of burnt popcorn. A touch of marshmallow sweetness pops up alongside the popcorn note.  

Whiskey Review: Boss Molly Straight Bourbon


I wanted to like this, truly. Unfortunately I can’t put it much plainer than saying it’s frankly unpalatable. The shockingly cloying sweetness on the nose overpowers anything else the whiskey might have had to offer, and the flavor of the whiskey was not a strength regardless. If I had to guess, the use of the brandy staves was a negative addition. While I’ll still be interested to taste new expressions from Boss Molly, I won’t be including this one on my back bar. 

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Talia Gragg

Talia is part of the Portland service industry community, and an alumna of the Multnomah Whiskey Library. She’s an avid spirit and cocktail enthusiast, and likes to experience them both academically and recreationally. When not sipping whiskey she’s a ceramic artist and lover of travel.