Proof: 100.1 / ABV: 50.05%
Age: 16 months
Distillery: Neeley Family Distillery, Sparta, Kentucky
Mashbill: 64% corn / 28% wheat / 8% malted barley
Retail Pricing: $49
Availability: Distillery only, might be found at a few local shops
Packaging Notes: elegant and incredibly informative. I love that I didn’t have to go searching for all the relevant metadata online. Very cool of a craft distiller to be this transparent. The back label says “A taste of what’s to come while our bourbon continues aging.” No BS marketing. Who is this family and why are they so honest?? Love it.
The distillery is pretty low key and doesn’t have a website (just a Facebook) but the back label reveals this to be a sweet mashed, triple pot stilled wheated bourbon that is non-chill filtered and bottled at barrel proof. I’ve got to say, big props on just keeping it real with the facts.
Sensibles: Reminder, this is a sixteen month old whiskey…
The nose is very youthful, with tons of corn and little barrel character present. If you’re patient and allow it to breathe a bit, you’ll pick up a hint of caramel. Otherwise, this is going to smell a lot like white dog to most folks. The taste is corn, sweet but musty and herbal with subtle flashes of almond and honey. The finish is medium-long with only a whimper of vanilla shining through that is quickly overpowered by a strong medicinal, cough syrup aftertaste. Yuck.
Value: This is a hard pass obviously but let me also say that Neeley Family Distillery sources and bottles George Dickel bourbon under the David James name and it’s delicious. I crushed a 375mL bottle of that stuff in two nights this last Christmas. Remember, a lot of folks got their start bottling someone else’s stuff (High West, New Riff, Smooth Ambler, etc.) and few have been brave (or dumb?) enough to release such a young whiskey for the world to critique. I really dig their transparency and sourced bourbon so I’ll revisit this distiller when their own distillate comes of age. For now, stick to their David James offerings.
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