Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Steel Bending Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Chances are you’ve heard of Neil Giraldo before. Having been on the music scene for nearly 41 years, he’s been rocking along as the lead guitarist and husband to Pat Benatar, and helping produce countless other albums for acts such as Kenny Loggins, The Coors, and Rick Springfield. Garnering his inspiration from the three basic cords found in the roots of the blues, Giraldo has the ear on how to strike those cords just perfectly.
Perhaps that’s why it seems to be a natural progression to make a foray into the seemingly hot celebrity endorsed/produced spirit market? Maybe so. Giraldo tosses his hat into the ring with ‘Three Chord Blended Bourbon Whiskey’, a blend of up to 12-year old bourbon whiskeys that’s aged in toasted American oak and, using a trademarked process of applying tonal vibration, attempts to achieve a “perfectly toned taste”.
While the idea of applying these “vibrations” to whiskey may seem…kitschy, Giraldo’s team insists the effect on the finished product brings out an additional character:
Using a proprietary and unique process, Three Chord applies tonal vibrations to finish the blend and extract additional vanilla, caramel, and maple notes from the barrel. These tonal vibrations make the liquids expand and collapse, developing a nuanced taste, aroma, and character that is more typical of a seasoned spirit. This process brings out Three Cords flavors and marries them together in perfect harmony.
With a mash bill of 74% corn, 22% rye, and 4% barley malt, and topping out at 40.5 % ABV, Three Chord Blended Bourbon pulls from sourced whiskey stocks in your usual places. Is the combination of off-beat, flavor influencing techniques and older spirits a top charter? Let’s find out.
Tasting Notes: Three Chord Blended Bourbon
Vital Stats: a blend of up to 12-year old bourbon whiskeys that’s aged in toasted American oak and influenced by tonal vibrations; 40.5% ABV; retails for around $40 per 750 ml bottle.
Appearance: Deep amber maple syrup, golden honey.
Nose: Rich maple, cola, and almond toffee. The nose is pleasing, if not ‘syrupy,’ and if that’s the side you lean to, this fits the bill perfectly.
Palate: Spicy in the front of the palate, slight tingle, and a little heat. The finish coats the tongue, leaving a sweet tone.
Possessing an over-all lower ABV would lead one to think that the lack of heat would help to bring the flavors and texture of Three Chord Blended Bourbon to the front of one’s palate. However, sadly it falls nearly flat. The tone feels gimmicky, and uninspired, not to mention slightly intentionally obscure.
That being said, Three Chord Blended Bourbon Whiskey is a decent, easy sipper. And if you’re looking for a great beginner’s whiskey, Three Chord just might be just the right notes.
User Review3.57 (7 votes)
Chef, Sommelier, and Bon vivant, Lacey Jane has been behind the scenes of Portland food culture for 10+ years. You can catch her behind the bar, in the kitchen, or pouring your favorite wines and spirits at different establishments across PDX from dive bars to white table cloths.