Whiskey Review: J.P. Trodden Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Crafted from start to finish in Woodinville, Washington, J.P. Trodden Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey uses only two grains in their mash bill: corn and winter wheat. Winter wheat is planted around September, and grows during the winter months, usually harvested in the spring. Planting winter wheat is a really good way for farmers to prevent soil erosion, and apparently makes a pretty tasty bourbon.

J.P. Trodden is named after the owner’s grandfather, who carried mail through the Okanagan region in Washington and British Columbia during prohibition. Along with letters and packages, he also concealed spirits that he brought to the U.S. from Canada which liked to share with his friends and family in his cozy retreat, Cabin Number Five. The cabin is still owned by the family today, and according to their family lore, J.P. Trodden Small Batch Bourbon is the only spirit they’ve chosen to imbibe on the property.

Whiskey Review: J.P. Trodden Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: 45% abv, 90 proof, aged a minimum of 2 years in new American Oak Barrels. The mash bill is 70% corn and 30% winter wheat. 

Appearance: The bourbon is a really light golden color, with thin, sharp legs to match. 

Nose: On first glance, it smelled astringent and sharp. It opens up into a sweet, grassy notes. Everything about this whiskey seems very light and airy, but it’s not lacking in complexity. After I let it sit for about five minutes, notes of caramel and tarragon showed themselves. Overall, the smell is pretty mellow. 

Palate: This is a spicy bourbon! It looks really light and the liquid is also pretty thin, so I wasn’t expecting such a packed flavor profile. I was very surprised. The smell also doesn’t do it justice. It starts off with a base: a warm, lovely burn lay on my tongue from start to finish. Slightly sweet notes of figs and dark cherry accents show themselves mid-palate, while tannins leave my mouth feeling somewhat dry.

On the finish, I notice vanilla sweetness and a slight nuttiness, maybe almond. I definitely liked it; it’s a whiskey I would break out around the holidays to warm me up on a cold day. Because of the complexity and unique ways each layer of flavor work together, I can see how much care they put into crafting this bold flavor profile. 

The Takeaway

I was really surprised by the spiciness of this whiskey. It was as intense as a very spicy rye, but didn't taste like rye at all. J.P. Trodden Small Batch Bourbon was warm and spicy, but still balanced. I favorite part was the whiskey's long finish that left me with a warm, full feeling.

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Shauna McKnight