Ah, sweet bourbon. The most ubiquitous of all the American whiskey varieties. Despite its many distinct variances in flavor and color, every bourbon has a few things in common. Every bourbon must be made in the United States; it must be aged in new, charred American oak barrels for a minimum of two years; and the mash bill must be at least 51% corn.
Common knowledge for many bona-fide whiskey drinkers, but it’s worth noting that despite these specific production guidelines, there are so many varieties of flavors that make bourbon, overall, one of the most diverse spirits, and probably one of the most challenging to make. Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey takes this challenge to heart. Distilled and bottled at Ransom Spirits located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the spirit is a great, truly unique take on a classic style.
Ransom Brewing was founded in 1997 by Tad Seestedt, with “a small life savings and a fistful of credit cards,” according to their official website. Named after the “ransom” it took to open its doors, the distillery began by making grappa, eau de vie, and bourbon. It quickly began making fine wines and other grain-based spirits. Seestedt now owns Ransom Farms which boasts 40 acres outside the small Oregon town, Sheridan. Their farms are certified organic, and are also home to cougars, elk, and pheasant, alongside the barley and grapes, of course.
Whiskey Review: Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Vital Stats: The mash bill includes corn, rye, and barley. The proof measures to 91.3 and 45.65% ABV. My bottle was from batch no. 001, bottle 1086.
Appearance: The wax seal was a little aggravating and hard to open, but it was definitely worth the agony of pulling off the hardened wax. The spirit is a bright, orange color. The liquid is thin, with barely any legs.
Nose: Smells crisp, like vanilla and orange peels. It’s refreshing and zesty – not too boozey, with hints of spice and citrus.
Palate: Despite its relatively thin viscosity, this whiskey packs a great punch. Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a little different than your typical bourbon. Where many bourbons put sweetness and rich flavors on display, this one airs on the light, citrusy side, opting for a refreshing sweetness that doesn’t linger on your palate for too long. Not to say that the vanilla and caramel flavors aren’t present, but they’re complemented with lighter flavors that offer a great balance between sweet and tart.
I was super satisfied. The spirit makes a great everyday drinker, and it’s fairly priced so it won’t break the bank. It makes a great cocktail, but it’s tasty enough to drink neat or on the rocks, and the uniqueness of flavors sets it apart from other bourbon whiskey. I fantasized about drinking a glass of this with a nice pork loin and spring veggies.