Kentucky Owl Releases St. Patrick’s Limited Edition Bourbon Whiskey

| February 8, 2022

Stoli Group’s Kentucky Owl recently announced the release of a St. Patrick’s Limited Edition Bourbon Whiskey in celebration of the ties that connect Irish and Kentucky whiskey making.

Kentucky Owl is said to be known for selecting rare, aged bourbons and blending them to create unique limited run batches. Such is the case for the Kentucky Owl St. Patrick’s Limited Edition, which features hand selected barrels of Kentucky bourbon blended through Irish eyes.

Kentucky Owl’s Master Blender John Rhea partnered with Louise McGuane, Ireland’s first modern whiskey bonder and founder of J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey, to create the St. Patrick’s edition.

Kentucky Owl St. Patrick’s Limited Edition

Kentucky Owl St. Patrick’s Limited Edition (image via Stoli Group)

Irish whiskey bonding is a way of blending from the 19th and 20th centuries, when most Irish distilleries produced whiskeys for bonders to age, blend and bottle. When the Irish whiskey industry collapsed in the 1930s, bonding faded away. McGuane helped resurrect the tradition again in 2015.

Rhea and McGuane blind tasted individual cask samples, then did it again through multiple blending variations. The result features Kentucky straight bourbons aged 4 to 11 years, with rich caramel notes and vanilla from rare older bourbons; spice and fruit from higher rye bourbons; and sweetness and citrus from wheated bourbons.

“We tasted through the lens of bringing fruit-forward profiles that are desirable to us as Irish whiskey makers, but we also wanted something still representative of the Kentucky Owl style,” McGuane said in a prepared statement. “This blend tastes like the Kentucky Owl products whiskey drinkers love, with an echo of big and bold juicy fruit flavors so familiar in Irish whiskey.”

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The whiskey-makers explained that the nose of the St. Patrick’s edition features sweet caramel and honey, with just enough spice married in to tease the palate.

On the palate, it offers notes of caramel, butterscotch and frosted cinnamon roll, with hints of chocolate, orange, candy floss and some citrus peel.

There’s forest fruit on the mid-palate and a longer, lingering finish with vanilla pod and balanced wood influence.

And this project extends beyond this St. Patrick’s release, as these chosen Kentucky Owl barrels will be transported to Ireland for McGuane to fill with future releases of Irish whiskey.

“Bringing together Rhea and McGuane, bourbon and whiskey, Kentucky and Ireland has been an absolute honor,” said Damian McKinney, Global CEO of Stoli Group. “Through the release of St. Patrick’s Bourbon Whiskey, Stoli is pleased to present a rare new blend that marries the best of two amazing worlds.”

This is the second Kentucky Owl release under Rhea, who previously served as Four Roses Distillery’s chief operating officer, where his responsibilities included quality control, maturation, evaluation and product blending. He was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2016 and served as chair of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association board of directors.

Stoli Group purchased Kentucky Owl in 2017. Originally founded by C.M. Dedman in 1879, the Kentucky Owl Bardstown distillery went dark during the Prohibition era and remained dormant until a descendant revived the brand in 2014.

The Kentucky Owl St. Patrick’s Limited Edition Bourbon Whiskey clocks in at 100 proof and has a suggested retail price of $135 for a 750mL bottle. It’s available through a limited number of retailers across the brand’s national distribution footprint.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...