Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Kentucky Owl. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
I remember my first sip from a Kentucky Owl bottle. I enjoyed it quite a lot! It was their rye no. 1, which has a beautiful label that features flowing words and a soft green hue. They have more than ten bottles now, which seems slightly experimental. Perhaps they’re chasing a final recipe, or simply having fun. Either way, we know they’re sourcing their juice, because they don’t tell us where it’s distilled other than in Kentucky and they don’t own a distillery… yet.
The so-called ‘Kentucky Owl Park’ is underway! Under their new parent company, SPI group (think Stoli Vodka), they’re building a new distillery. Given nationwide recognition, huge investment money and a talented master blender, Kentucky Owl is staged for the big leagues. Of course, it’ll be years until we start seeing product distilled at Kentucky Owl Park. The demand will likely continue to grow and people will be oh-so-pleased to purchase Kentucky Owl at a more reasonable price once supply catches up.
Dixon Dedman revived the brand in 2014, nearly a hundred years after his great-great grandfather Charles Dedman lost his entire inventory to the feds via prohibition. The government had it ‘confiscated’ and taken to unknown warehouses for “safe-keeping.” Awfully polite of them, wasn’t it?
The one we’re discussing today is their first nationwide release and it clocks in at least $100. We know the proof as well, but that’s about it. Let’s see how it tastes!
Tasting Notes: Kentucky Owl Bourbon Confiscated
Vital Stats: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 96.2 proof, $100-$150 for a 750mL.
Appearance: Green tinge on the outsides with a rich, dark orange and almost ruby color towards the middle.
Nose: Sweet sour mash and green apples. Be wary of the alcohol, but at the right distance this intensely aromatic bourbon will send notes of vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, mint, and peach cobbler your way.
Palate: The palate is initially very contrasting to the nose. Oak tannins and alcohol bring a rush of intensity followed by a short finish. A bit of water opens it, allowing us to taste red berries, dates, cinnamon covered peaches and homemade vanilla ice cream. A bit floral and herbal, but definitely a spice driven bourbon.
A very aromatic bourbon, which I really appreciate, it drinks a little less exciting than I would like for the price point. It is balanced and tastes like a quality bourbon, but lacks a bit of soul. I would be much happier to experience this at a $50 bottle, but I mostly look forward to seeing the finished product of Kentucky Owl Park.
I am strongly passionate about knowing where the spirits I drink come from. While I generally see sourced and blended whiskey as potentially fantastic, I care less about it. I have no doubt Kentucky Owl will flourish now and later, and I will definitely buy a bottle of their Kentucky Owl Park distilled bourbon when it’s available!
User Review3.24 (21 votes)
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After graduating with an engineering degree in Colorado, Cameron Holck discovered his passion for hospitality. He followed his love of the outdoors into the Pacific Northwest where he continues his dedication to bartending, and as a sales representative for Four Roses Bourbon. He warmly welcomes the fact that a night...