Whiskey Review: Republic Restoratives Borough Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Republic Restoratives Borough Bourbon


Photo by Will Meek. Image copyright The Whiskey Wash.

So much of whiskey is about the story, and Republic Restoratives have so much story that it’s hard to know where to begin. How about this for a tagline: It is “an urban, small batch, women-owned distillery and craft cocktail bar in the heart of Washington, D.C.” On top of that, it was an IndieGoGo-funded start-up that exceeded its ask in seven days, and really got going in 2015. Wait, even more: All of its barrels have a high-language “R” as a shout out to Gallaudet University, which is a stone’s throw from the operation.

Being women in whiskey shouldn’t be unique, but it is in the male-dominated whiskey world. Women owning and operating a distillery is, for now, uncommon, but hopefully RR’s ladies will spark a trend. Furthermore, by the look of the pictures, Republic Restoratives has to be one of the coolest drinking spots in D.C. It’s wedged onto a busy corner with a wide open space that speaks to being an overflow summer hot spot. I’m ready to get on a plane and check this place out right now. Borough Bourbon is their first whiskey release, and is up for review here.

Tasting Notes: Republic Restoratives Borough Bourbon

Vital Stats: 88 proof, finished in sauvignon blanc barrels, no age statement, $50 for 750ml.

Appearance: This pours a rich, golden orange with thick and slow legs, and leaves a very pronounced skyline.


Nose: The first thing to hit my nose is an inviting candied orange, which gives in to a flicker of heat, dark bread crust, and sawdust. Very nice!

Palate: On the palate it’s light-medium bodied, clean and balanced, and has a simple raw wood character. It’s difficult to find much else for flavor notes.

Finish: Borough has a medium, drying finish, warming, with more wood notes.

With Water

Nose: Water has the same notes as neat, but it gels more, with some increase in the bread crust and a reduction in the heat.

Palate: Some drops of water did wonders for this, bringing out a menthol note and a hint of vanilla bean, which balances the wood well.

Finish: The heat moves from warming to prickly, and a hint of charcoal emerges.

Final Thoughts: As someone who values progress and diversity in whiskey, there are few reviews I could approach that would have a better start than this. Next time I am in D.C. I will absolutely be stopping at Republic Restoratives. For the whiskey, I really wish I could get more information about the product (age, grain bill, process, etc) to put it in context, but very little is available. My best guess is that this is 2 years old at most, and it’s hard to know what influence the French oak contributes without knowing more. Regardless, this is a clean, straightforward whiskey with a great story at a great price. It’s an easy-drinking neat pour that could provide some nice character to a Manhattan.