Whiskey Review: Jeptha Creed Straight 4-Grain Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Jeptha Creed Straight 4-Grain Bourbon

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

As we reported back in May, the Kentucky distillery Jeptha Creed has released a straight 4-grain bourbon. The Nethery family is a longtime farming family, and own about 1,000 acres around Shelbyville, outside of Louisville. They pride themselves in the grains used in their spirits, especially their corn. They planted two kinds of corn on their property: a non-GMO yellow corn, and an heirloom “Bloody Butcher” corn. The latter proved so popular that even the animals were traipsing (bee-lining?) through the yellow corn on the way to the Bloody Butcher.

In August of 2016 Jeptha Creed distilled and barreled the first legal barrel of bourbon in Shelby County since before Prohibition, and fewer than three years later—by February 2019, they barreled their 1,000th barrel of bourbon and are up to nine barrels of it a day.

Their 4-Grain Bourbon uses the Bloody Butcher corn, as well as malted wheat, rye, and barley. According to Bourbonveach.com, it has been aged in both 53 gallon barrels and smaller 30 gallon barrels.

Jeptha Creed Straight 4-Grain Bourbon (image via Jeptha Creed)

Tasting Notes: Jeptha Creed Straight 4-Grain Bourbon

Vital stats: Mash bill of 70 percent Bloody Butcher corn, 15 percent malted rye, 10 percent malted wheat, and 5 malted barley; 98 proof; two years old; about $50.

Appearance: A cool brown. If there are warm browns and cool browns, this is a cooler one. It’s less red: More straight-up brown, like a light tan.

Nose: On the nose, this entices. But it’s not typical. Not just your sweet-smelling butterscotch and vanilla of a good bourbon. More like Goldilocks-approved blend of not too overpowering and not too faint. Just right in terms of strength. It smells of orange zest and cinnamon and spice cake.

Palate: It’s spicy on the nose, and it’s also spicy on first sip. More complex than the pleasant nose would have you believe. On the nose, it’s easy. On the palate, it’s a little weird. A good weird, though. Something I wouldn’t dunk into a drink. I taste pink peppercorn.

And actually, I think this would be really good with food, as opposed to before a meal or after it. It could complement something summery, like a grilled shrimp salad or barbequed salmon. It’d cut through the fat, wouldn’t get in the way in the meal, and would be unusual enough to comment on. On subsequent sips, smoke emerges, but it’s more of a peppery, culinary smoke than a peat.

The Takeaway

Summary

There’s a lot going on here. And it keeps changing. It’s not your standard bottom-shelf standby, and I don’t mean that in the price; it’s not low-end but at around $50, it’s not an ultra high-end sipper, either. It’s something that’s a little odd but also fun. There’s a bit of a disconnect from the nose to the palate but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. More a complex, well-rounded choice.

3.5
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