Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by William Grant & Sons. 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.
We’re all whiskey lovers here. We all have our favorite bottles, and the ones we want to grab off the shelf at the store. But how fun is it to say you have a “Fistful of Bourbon” in your hands? I’d say the label is a great way to grab attention, but what’s in the bottle will keep you coming back.
Fistful of Bourbon touts that it is “created with over 100 years of whisky blending experience.” Kelsey McKechnie, master blender (and apprentice to David Stewart, the legendary malt master at Balvenie), is young, yet the whisky-making family behind her leads back well over 100 years. Most famous for its Scotch brands, including Balvenie and Glenfiddich, the team at William Grant & Sons sent Kelsey on a quest to the United States to find the perfect five bourbons for a blend. They “wanted to make a bourbon that was smooth as all hell and but with tasty complexity“.
The five “fingers,” or straight bourbon whiskies, that go into Fistful of Bourbon are each meant to add a different tone and flavor: sweet, floral, buttery toffee, warm spice, and licorice. If you think this might be a one-of-a-kind blend, you’d be wrong. William Grant & Sons aim to add Fistful of Bourbon to their core portfolio, aiming to match the same flavor profile, even though each year there’s a lot of variety in ingredients, temperature, and barrels.
Tasting Notes: Fistful of Bourbon
Vital Stats: A blend of five straight bourbon whiskies. 90 proof. Aged a minimum of two years. Bottled by William Grant & Sons in Edison, New Jersey. $26
Appearance: Amber in color. Medium body with nice looking fingers.
Nose: There’s all the classic bourbon aromas of burnt orange and cinnamon. It’s also a warm one with turpentine, clover, and ripe apple. The aromas of picnics in spring or summer: scents of sweetness and fruit while the warmth of the day envelops you.
Palate: The flavor on the palate is a bit dry and bitter with an acidic finish at first. There’s charcoal, toasted orange peel, licorice, and leather. After a few sips it mellowed in my mouth and became more buttery sweet, with warming spices that lingered.
When I first tasted this bourbon I felt it was a little back heavy, but the second sip evened out a bit more on my palate. I kept sipping to see what came forth. It was not as sweet as you would expect from the nose. I would be very curious to see how this one ages. I wanted it to be a bit smoother than it was, but after each round of tasting it got better. I think by the time I get to the bottom of the “barrel” I’ll be ready to taste the next batch.
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Melissa D. Jones is a traveler, blogger, photographer, storyteller, foodie, whiskey lover and creative entrepreneur. Living for adventure and new experiences she's photographed her way around all 50 states and 47 countries (still counting!) and wrote her travel knowledge into a book. When she's not traveling you can find her...