Whiskey Review: Stumpy's Old Monroe Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Stumpy’s Old Monroe Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

Stumpy’s Spirits’ story initially reads like your typical grain-to-glass story: winter wheat, barley malt, and Indiana corn grown on an 8th generation family farm and then used to make small batch, single barrel bourbon whiskey. The limestone aquifer underneath the farm holds water reportedly close in nature to the famed Kentucky water that holds the secret to the classic American bourbon offerings.

The interesting twist here is that the farm was separately part of owner/distiller Adam Stumpf’s mother and father’s family before they met, and the family transfer occurred as the result of a runaway mule incident. After the parents wed, their family possession of said farm totaled eight generations, and your classic grain-to-glass story was formed.

Stumpf comes from a beer background, having been a homebrewer and professional at Anheuser-Busch for four years before turning to distilling. A return to university put Stumpf in the position to pitch an entrepreneurial idea for an MBA class, a craft distillery, which he followed through on and eventually broke ground in 2014. Old Monroe marks the distillery’s first aged release (read: non-vodka or white dog) and therefore first official attempt at bourbon. This year, Stumpy’s Old Monroe took home a bronze medal for whiskey in the American Craft Spirits Awards alongside roughly 60 other distilleries.

Tasting Notes: Stumpy’s Old Monroe Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: 90 Proof. $30/750ml. Mashbill: Corn, winter wheat, barley malt. Barrel No. 12.

Appearance: Brilliant burnt amber pour with lively color and an inviting brightness. Legs are thick, multi-dimensional, and slow to crawl down the glass’ edge. The surface is almost bouncy, showing a pleasant viscosity.

Nose: There is a succulent burst of red fruits right off the bat, notes of raspberry puree and almondy cherry pith. All is enveloped in the warm aroma of buttery baking pastry, and together the aroma is complex yet subtle in its presentation. The butter transforms in to a burnt toffee with deeper inhales, which also produces some wafts of delicate oak touched with basement must. The aroma here showcases the lighter, brighter side of young(er) wheated Bourbon.

Palate: Old Monroe hits your lips like heavy cream…smooth and perfect in its silkiness, indulgent simply based on the weight of the liquid on your tongue. It drinks easier though, almost too easy. Its initial flavor shows a deft balance between freshly-shaved oak and luxurious butterscotch and vanilla. Sweetness and alcohol also keep each other in check as multiple sips find little in the way of harshness going down.

In the finish, there is a pointed sweet/fruity perfume, almost pear-like, that brings the almond-kissed nuttiness out for a most pleasant lingering finish. There is a bit of vanilla/marshmallow/butterscotch overload in the long finish, but that just seems like splitting hairs in an overall well-crafted dram.

The Takeaway

I am impressed by the cohesion that this relatively new product possesses, void of age statement but obviously young (the distillery is barely 3 years old,) and from a single barrel. At just under $30 a bottle, and given its quality as a straight sipper, this Bourbon will easily make my list of great deals for 2017.

If it was readily available to me, I'd most likely keep a bottle around as a great multi-use bargain bottle.

User Rating 4.13 (8 votes)