Whiskey Review: Watershed Distillery Straight Bourbon Whiskey

, | September 10, 2021

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Watershed Distillery. 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.

Watershed Distillery is clearly a fan of apple brandy. They distills apples sourced from their home state of Ohio in a push to bring back the traditional American spirit. Their collaboration with Ohio apple farms is right in line with their loyalty to community, trying as hard as possible to source things as locally as possible.

Finished in their very own apple brandy barrels, Watershed Distillery Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a three-part blend. The brand’s standard bourbon, a six-year apple brandy finished bourbon, and a sourced bourbon are blended, offering a unique, complex, and rich finish to a truly delectable bourbon.

Of the release, CEO and founder of Watershed Distillery Greg Lehman says, ““In recent years, our team has grown more passionate about bourbon blending,” Lehman stated. “Our focus with this blend is flavor, and we think our innovative six-year apple brandy finished bourbon is the perfect defining ingredient to build an elevated and unique offering—it turned out better than we ever imagined.”

The Watershed Straight Bourbon Whiskey I tasted today has the perfect level of sweetness, ideal for my personal bourbon preference. It is non-chill filtered, a process that some believe is “mainly cosmetic,” with others still insisting that non-chill filtered product is overall more consistent.

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This whiskey was one of the real delights of my tasting year. Both new releases from Watershed Distillery, the Bottled in Bond and this four-year Straight Bourbon, offer something different depending on your mood. The subtlety of the apple brandy influence on the whiskey is perfect for a standalone finger, or a specialty Whiskey Sour.

Watershed Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels (photo via Jerry Jenae Sampson)

Watershed Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels (photo via Jerry Jenae Sampson)

Tasting Notes: Watershed Distillery Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged four years. Finished in apple brandy barrels. 90 Proof (45% ABV). Average price $50/750mL. Made in Columbus, Ohio.

Appearance: The sunset in Oregon right now, a sky on fire.

Nose: Just perfection. Caramel, peach, vanilla, and apple.

Palate: This offers a nice slow burn, bitter on the front of the palate, with a pleasant astringency mid-way through. Flavors of cacao, oak, and honey round out the rich body.




The Takeaway


What can I say that hasn’t already been said. If you can find this selection, I would highly recommend picking it up trying it for yourself. For the price, it’s a great addition to any collection.

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Jerry Jenae Sampson

Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.