Whiskey Review: Easy Rider Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Easy Rider Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

By Sam Moyle / October 30, 2019

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Hood River Distillers. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Oftentimes brands depend on marketing just as much as, if not more than, the actual quality of their product. Easy Rider Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey rides the line of quality and image by bringing its public something better than moonshine in a Harley Davidson-esque bottle that says, hey, drink me – I’m affordable and it’s not like you know the difference anyway.

Simply put, this is a shooting and mixing whiskey intended for those who don’t know or care that sipping is a thing. Coming in at around $25 per 740ml bottle, this bourbon brand was acquired by Hood River Distillers within the last year or so and is an attempt to fill the gaping hole left in their whiskey portfolio by the sale of their Pendleton Canadian Whisky label. In looking to bring the brand in front of a larger consumer crowd it was opted to change the liquid to a four year old Kentucky bourbon sourced from an unnamed distillery. This bourbon was then cut with “glacier-fed spring water from Mount Hood” before being bottled up at 80 proof.

Touted as a “lifestyle brand,” it seems like less of a lateral move over from their former crown jewel, and more of a calculated step down into the pit where they can duke it out against brands like Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s.

Easy Rider Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Easy Rider Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (image via Hood River Distillers)

Tasting Notes: Easy Rider Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: This four-year-aged offering is 80 proof and “blended with glacier-fed spring water from Mount Hood”; prices around $25 per 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: This whiskey has a clear, golden-brown hue. The bottle has rounded shoulders and a cork/wood top in the return-to-rustic fashion many distillers are turning to these days. The black label feels like dry pleather and is embossed with metallic lettering.

Nose: One of the faintest scents you’ll ever encounter in a whiskey with just the slightest whiff of general sweetness.

Palate: A dominantly sweet, vanilla flavor suffuses this smooth whiskey. It has a tongue numbing, cinnamon touch that snowballs into a pleasant burn at the back of the throat. Slight, peaty bitterness rounds things out in an agreeable manner.

The Takeaway


While it is easy to poke fun at the brand image Hood River Distillers is going for, this is still a great, safe everyman whiskey that doesn’t disappoint. Its smooth sweetness is sure to agree with many mouths and mixers.

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