Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples by Terry Bradshaw Brands. 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.
“Terry’s been busy.” It says so right there on the website for Terry Bradshaw Brands, and it’s hard to argue. The Hall of Fame NFL quarterback has attached his name to hamburger patties and barbecue sauce, reality TV and quarter horses – and he remains a regular co-host on Fox NFL Sunday each week during the season.
In the last couple of years, Bradshaw also began pitching a Kentucky straight bourbon and, more recently, a rye. Both are apparently sourced from Green River Spirits Company in Owensboro, Kentucky – and released at 51.9% alcohol by volume to match the four-time Super Bowl winner’s career completion percentage.
I asked if Bradshaw wanted to talk with The Whiskey Wash about the two releases, but was told he doesn’t do interviews during the football season. That seems reasonable, with the schedule he must keep as an NFL analyst. Still, I was curious about how involved he was with the production and/or selection of the whiskies.
Ultimately, though, it doesn’t much matter. The question is how good the whiskey tastes, and whether it’s worth the suggested retail price. So let’s give it a pour to find out.
Tasting Notes: Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Appearance: Light amber, watery legs on the side of the glass.
Nose: A lot of ethanol, even for a whiskey at more than 103 proof. Underneath the booziness, however, you find brown sugar and molasses. It doesn’t come across as complex whiskey – just simple, straightforward, and sweet.
Palate: You can tell it’s a high-rye bourbon, but the spiciness isn’t overwhelming. Think Crème brûlée, vanilla, and brown sugar cake with brown sugar glaze. The finish is relatively short, with just a hint of the rye spice lingering in the back of your mouth.
Final thoughts: Nobody’s going to the Hall of Fame for this whiskey, but that’s a high bar. For the price, this is a perfectly acceptable Kentucky bourbon. Given the sweetness and lack of layering, it would probably be ideal for mixed drinks.
Tasting Notes: Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Rye
Appearance: Light copper, not a lot of legs.
Nose: Like the Bradshaw bourbon, there’s a lot of ethanol here. On top of that, you get a healthy snout full of spice initially. Also apple slices, ginger, turnips, and, interestingly, a hint of an old gymnasium.
Palate: The lack of aging shows up more in the rye than it did in the bourbon. This is a young whiskey that would undoubtedly benefit from a couple more years in oak. It’s not bad; it’s just not particularly complex or long-lasting. Think dark fruit like figs or black cherries, and brown sugar.
Final thoughts: The novelty of a Terry Bradshaw whiskey on your shelf might warrant the price on this one regardless, and it’s not a bad rye. Enjoy it with your favorite TB stories from the glory days.
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Scott Bernard Nelson
Scott Bernard Nelson is a writer, actor and whiskey reviewer in Portland, Ore. Scott works in higher education these days, but he previously spent 22 years as a journalist, covering 9/11 in Manhattan, crossing into Iraq with U.S. Marines and contributing to The Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual...