Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. 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.
Log Still Distillery, the maker of Monk’s Road Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a new distillery, but it is has a clear mission and is deeply rooted in its home of Gethsemane, Kentucky. The central Kentucky distillery was founded by cousins Wally, Lynne, and Charles Dant, who wanted to revive a family legacy of distilling in the region. Their philosophy is that “faith, family, community, and bourbon pave the way for future generations.” The scope of the Dant cousin’s project puts their money where their mouth is and touches on all these elements.
The $60 million distillery project, which became fully operational in September 2022, created 146 jobs seeks to make opportunities to bring families and communities together. In addition to distilling spirits, the campus (called Dant Crossing) hosts a large wedding venue with a chapel and dining hall, a soon-to-open farm-to-table restaurant, an outdoor amphitheater with seating for 2,000, lodging options, and later this year Gethsemane Station, a private railcar and train depot that will be available for dramatic entrances and departures.
Monk’s Road is the name of its first release gins and bourbons. Within the Monk’s Road line, their Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a wheated bourbon, with wheat being the second most prominent grain after the all-important corn. Founder Wally Dant said of its release: “This new offering is incredibly soft on the palate and provides that smooth finish so many wheated mash bills are known for. This is going to be a great sipper for the colder months.”
After trying it myself, I don’t know if I would classify it as smooth as Mr. Dant asserts, but it certainly does have those vanilla, spice, and citrus notes bourbon lovers are seeking.
Monk’s Road Small Batch Bourbon (image via Log Still Distillery)
Vital Stats: 47% ABV, No age statement listed, MSRP: $48.99.
Appearance: The liquid is a clear, light brown that appears golden in the light.
Nose: Vanilla, caramel, and strong cinnamon spice greet you first. Orange citrus and light earthy notes unfurl on the second and third passes.
Palate: The vanilla and spice follow into the palate, however, the spice here is more peppery in nature. Strong earthy and nutty undertones permeate throughout. The burn of the alcohol is a bit abrasive in this bourbon, but notes of cereal, orange, and light cherry sweeten it up. The finish is heated, peppery and lingering.
Whiskey Review: Monk's Road Small Batch Bourbon
For me, the flavors in Monk’s Road Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey are classic, straightforward and a little harsh. It’s exciting to see a distillery as it emerges onto the scene, but the product does not quite live up to time-tested and less expensive competitors such as Maker’s Mark or Buffalo Trace, especially for sipping neat.
Having said that, I think this whiskey would make a great mixer for traditional bourbon cocktails. I’ll be keeping my eye on Log Still Distillery. They’re hungry to make a name for themselves in Kentucky distilling, and that has to include bourbon. I’ll be curious to see what they put out next.
Larissa Banitt is a writer and nurse born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She's a foodie, whisk(e)y nerd, and animal lover. You'll often find her hiking with her dog, trail-riding with her horse, or crocheting with her cats.