Whiskey Review: Nine Banded Cask Strength Wheated Bourbon

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Nine Banded Whiskey. 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.

As I have been able to responsibly meet and talk with fellow whiskey lovers in person again, the question inevitably comes up as to what we missed the most during the various lockdown stages of the pandemic. A lot of people made do by watching movies at home on their own time. Cooking skills and bread making dominated what we shared on social media. As strange as it is, I showed many people how to make cocktails over Zoom. Now while some of this is just adaptation and may or may not continue, the one entertainment activity that people seemed to miss the most and could not find its socially distanced substitute was listening to live music.

Why is that? We hear music all the time. Music is so easily accessible to us in this day and age. We can isolate ourselves in headphones, sing along in our car, and Zoom has also made it possible to sing Karaoke with each other over the internet. And, if you have to, you can always make your own microphone at home with various kitchen utensils. So why, if we are not starved for music, do we miss hearing songs that we’ve heard a hundreds of times but in a live setting more than anything else?

I’ve heard it theorized that our hearing is our first sense to develop. We hear our mother’s voice and others’ before we are even born, and that is a comfort. Sound is also probably the first thing to frighten us as well, and music organizes those sounds into predictable patterns that help us make sense of the din of the outside world. I know for myself seeing a musician perform something that made me feel a certain way makes it all the more personal when I see that moment live.

Austin Texas is home to Nine Banded Whiskey and nine-banded armadillos. And for a city that is known for not not taking itself too seriously, it is also home to a serious amount of live music. SXSW, Austin City Limits and innumerable watering holes hosting the next big thing in music every night. This is what the people behind the brand Nine Banded Whiskey are attempting to capture in a bottle: a whiskey that can keep up with Austin’s lifestyle.

With Nine Banded Cask Strength Wheated Bourbon, they’re only adding a little Texas flavor from the hill country. But it would seem that a little bit of Texas personality goes a long way. Let’s get to tasting.

Nine Banded Cask Strength Wheated Bourbon (image via Jason Marshall)

Nine Banded Cask Strength Wheated Bourbon (image via Jason Marshall)

Tasting Notes: Nine Banded Cask Strength Wheated Bourbon

Vital Stats: 115 proof (57.5% ABV) 51% corn, 45% wheat, and 4% malted barley. Distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, in new, charred American oak barrels. Blended and bottled in Austin, Texas. $51.00 MSRP

Appearance: Clear, pale straw. No turbidity, yet faint rivulets form long, streaking tears.

Nose: A medium approach gives us some warm umami, nuts and honey

Palate: Very flavorful! A little chewy, the umami still comes through, accompanied by caramel corn, saline, and even a little hard salami. This would pair well with a charcuterie and cheese.

The Takeaway

Summary

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Despite the pale color and faint aroma, this whiskey has a surprising amount of flavor once it crosses the lips. There’s personality, dimension, and a little viscosity to ponder as it tells its story on your palate. This would be a decent sipper on it’s own, perhaps as you discuss your favorite bands to see live.

3.5
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