Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.
I have to admit a certain penchant for Burnside Bourbon. One of the first local Portland, Oregon spirits I was truly struck by, it has held a special place in my heart since I first tasted it a few years ago.
Beyond my own fondness for the spirit, there are myriad undeniable traits that make the sourced Burnside a more than worthwhile local sip. Hailing from Portland’s own Eastside Distilling, home to Portland Potato Vodka and a smattering of kitschy spirits ranging from Cherry Bomb Whiskey to holiday Eggnog “Advocaat” Liqueur, Burnside certainly has its work cut out for it standing out in that crowd.
Relatively light in color in the glass, the four year old Burnside Bourbon packs a corn-forward punch. Charcoal and ethanol jump out on the nose, with saccharine notes just barely rounding out without being overwhelming.
The corn-led sweetness of the nose follows through into the first sip, accompanied by spicy vanilla, and light caramel notes. Dark cherry is also subtly present on the nose. Incredibly reminiscent of honeyed cornbread, the 70% corn mash bill shines through every step of experiencing Burnside.
Although not entirely syrupy like some more unfortunate bourbons, this whiskey proves densely sweet on the palate. Offset by a baby kick of spice on the finish, Burnside goes down smooth. A drying, sugared rose petal aftertaste rounds out the dram.
Although recommended for mixing by Eastside themselves, Burnside Bourbon surely holds up on its own. However, when the occasion arises, it is a welcome addition to an Old Fashioned, a Sazerac, or a perfect summertime Mint Julep.
A price point of around $28 for a 96 proof, 750ml bottle sets it on a truly reasonable plain. By no means the fanciest, most prestigious bourbon around, it remains a standby and a great friend to lean on. Considering the well-balanced nature of this spirit alongside its reasonable price and ease of mixability,
I give Burnside Bourbon a score of 92.
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I am a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR whose Environmental Studies thesis focused on “Scotch Whisky, Sustainability, and Commodification of Nature & Culture”. While writing my thesis, I spent time living and studying in Glasgow, Scotland where I visited and interviewed distilleries nationwide, concentrating on the...