Whiskey Review: Isanti Spirits Sunken Bobber Bourbon

Sunken Bobber Bourbon

image via Gretchen Holzgang/The Whiskey Wash

When owner Rick Schneider launched his distillery in Isanti County, Minnesota, he set out to make a good whiskey in the last dry county in the state. Despite the obvious obstacle, Schneider received overwhelming support from the neighboring community, with local famers even offering to grow specialty grains for the whiskies.

As owner and distiller, Schneider runs a fairly small operation on the same property as his family’s home, and is fairly new to the distilling scene. Though the idea first came to him in the ’80s, the real inspiration to setup shop came few years back, when Schneider grew tired of life in academia. Isanti Spirits has only been fully functioning since July, 2015, but Schneider aspires to grow the business and continue to expand the facilities.

As a former glass blower, Schneider and his wife do all the labeling and glass work themselves, and also source much of their grain and barrels locally.

Isanti Spirits released its signature two-year-old rye whiskey about a year ago, but their first bourbon, Sunken Bobber Bourbon, hit the shelves more recently. With this first batch bottled at 100 proof and aged only about one year in 15 gallon American oak barrels, I expected the bourbon to have a notable heat. It did not disappoint.

The distillery plans to release a limited big barrel version at two years, and the rest after it reaches five to seven years of age. A batch aged in 53 gallon barrels is set for release in 2021, so I look forward seeing how this bourbon matures as it ages.

Tasking Notes: Isanti Sunken Bobber Bourbon

Vital Stats: 100 proof. Grains: corn, rye and barley. Aged about a year, $30 to $40 range for a 750ml.

Appearance: Light caramel

Nose: The nose is rich and sweet. I detect notes of chocolate, vanilla, and nuts with a little bit of spice.

Palate: This bourbon is a 100 proof, giving it a some heat but is balanced with notes of vanilla and hazelnut. In the mid-palate, the flavors are smooth with a more noticeable sweetness. The finish is rich with a little hint of berry and allspice accenting a long-tailing heat.

Final Thoughts & Score/Buy A Bottle:

Score: 80/100

Buy NowI found the Sunken Bobber to be well-balanced for a high proof bourbon – rich and round, with a medium body that coats the tongue. A long heat lingers without overpowering the pleasant hints of spice and vanilla. A few droplets of water open up the sweeter overtones.

About the author

Gretchen Holzgang