Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Proximo. 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.
Both Shelly West and Tracy Byrd did rounds with Jose Cuervo. Merle Haggard mixed mixed Misery and Gin. Beer is a reliable go-to for everyone from Brooks and Dunn to Dierks Bently. But it’s hard to dispute that whiskey is country song’s drink of choice. Don’t just take my word for it.
It’s not surprising, then, that celebrity endorsements and associations between country musicians and whiskey brands are fairly common. Florida Georgia Line got into the whiskey business with Old Camp flavored whiskey, and have recently joined forces with Jason Aldean in releasing Wolf Moon Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
While doing some background digging about this whiskey, I picked up a few interesting tidbits. First off, that the Old Farmer’s Almanac has a website, and secondly that this website defines the Wolf Moon as the full moon occurring in January. What I did not learn was what this has to do with this bottle of whiskey (besides, of course, that it sounds pretty cool), or all that much about the whiskey itself beyond that it is distilled from Midwest grains (meaning MGP Ingredients is a probable source) and aged for four years.
I know that the idea of celebrity branding is to lower the consumer’s guard a bit and lead them to associate the product with something or someone that they already like, but life in the 21st Century has equipped me with enough cynicism and generalized mistrust that endorsements and celebrity-based branding tends to raise my suspicion. My reflex is to ask “Is this a cut-rate product being sold on the merits of an artist or an athlete’s achievements rather than its own?” The best way to get an answer is to sample the product itself.
Tasting Notes: Wolf Moon Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Vital Stats: Aged 4 years, 80 proof, retails for about $25.
Appearance: Clear golden color with a mild orange tint with long, thin legs
Nose: Vanilla aromas are strong, punctuated by some tingly black pepper spiciness
Palate: The initial flavor is a very mellow ginger. The spicy edges are rounded off and it dissipates quickly.
I can’t really say there’s much to dislike here. The whiskey is balanced and professionally produced. The low proof makes this easy drinking and the inoffensive, down-the-middle palate hits several of the important notes you’d expect in a bourbon. That said, there isn’t much to celebrate either. It is a burn-free, easy sip precisely because the flavors feel watered down and unassertive. It’s not interesting enough to sip contemplatively, but it could be a hit as a lower-proof house-party mixer. At the price point you could probably do worse, but could certainly do better.