Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Milam & Greene. 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.
Milam & Greene are releasing a literary-inspired blend of whiskeys. The small Blanco, Texas, distillery has called upon three award-winning authors from the whiskey world: Heather Greene (CEO of Miliam & Greene), Noah Rothbaum, and David Wondrich (authors of Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails) to create Unabridged Volume 1.
“Unabridged celebrates friendships unfolding throughout the unedited and messy chapters of our biographies,” says Milam & Greene Whiskey CEO and blender Heather Greene. “As friends and fellow whiskey-writers, the three of us had an implicit pact to support each other’s dreams. After publishing many books and hundreds of articles, garnering awards, and thousands of tastings, Unabridged makes good on that promise. Milam & Greene Unabridged showcases the flavors a barrel can impart into bourbon over time and place.”
Milam & Greene blends multiple casks of varied ages. At the low end of the age spectrum, they used 13 casks of 2 ¾-year-old Kentucky bourbon with malted rye, and at the high end of the age spectrum they used six casks of 14-year-old Tennessee Bourbon. By volume the whiskey is predominantly four-, six-, and 14-year-old Tennessee bourbon, with a healthy amount of Kentucky and Texas bourbons as well.
David Wondrich, Flaviar’s Resident Spirits & Cocktails Historian, says, “on the nose is an oaky, split-log tang, which is cushioned by waves of pecan pie, maple syrup and creamed corn and a whiff of alcohol driving everything forward. The palate is rich and chewy, with cinnamon-spice oak and dark-chocolate notes to balance the richness. Long finish.”
For their standard offerings, Milam & Greene source their grain from Texas, Oregon, Wyoming, and Washington to combine into a single mash bill. The distillery uses a 300-galleon Vendome Copper pot still as the heart of their bourbon production, and ages its whiskey in #4 char new American oak casks. Its flagship bourbon is composed of 70% Texas corn, 22% Pacific Northwest malted rye, and 8% Wyoming barley.
Milam & Greene was founded in 2017, which makes it a relative newcomer to the Texas whiskey scene. That means many of the casks from their Unabridged series are sourced. The distillery they are sourcing from has gone unnamed, or at least I have been unable to identify it.
Something this reviewer found interesting: While poking around on Milam & Greene’s website I found a list of whiskey tutorials. Milam & Greene has a “Whiskey School,” led by their CEO Heather Greene. It is a comprehensive course. Although I cannot attest to the complexity of the program, I believe it is a rather unique opportunity to learn about whiskey from a member of the industry.
Tasting Notes: Milam & Greene Unabridged Volume 1
Vital Stats: Bourbon whiskey. 59% ABV 118 proof. MSRP $89.99.
Appearance: Burnished copper
Nose: Like a first novel from a young author, the alcohol is trying to make a strong first impression. We get hints of toast, charcoal, red cinnamon bears, and baking spices. They all hit at once, making the opening chapters to this whiskey a little muddled.
Palate: As we settle into this story, we are treated to cigar tobacco, earthy notes like milled wood, and worn leather. A main character is rye spice in the middle chapters, with orange peel, and rye bread playing supporting roles. The mouthfeel is rich across the tongue and lingers for a while. The finish here is understated and smooth, with bitter bakers’ chocolate and a hint of candied cherries.