Rowans Creek Small Batch Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey 50.05% 70cl


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Rowans Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is a superb small batch whiskey distilled and aged by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers in Bardstown, Kentucky.

The Willett Distillery was founded by Thompson Willett on his family’s farm three short years after the repeal of prohibition. Both Thompson and his father has worked at the Max Selliger & Co. Distillery but, in 1936, Thompson left Selliger to build his own distillery and the first batch, which was approximately 30 barrels of spirit, was produced on the 17th March 1936. The distillery remained in Willett family ownership until 1st July 1984 when Even G. Kulsveen, son-in-law to Thompson Willett, purchased the property and formed Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Ltd., which Even’s family runs today.

After a period when no whiskey was distilled from the early 1980s (during which time it was an independent bottling company), the distilling plant was renovated and now has three operating stills – a column still, a “doubler”, and a pot still which recommenced distilling in 2012. As well as Johnny Drum whiskies the distillery also produces Noahs Mill, Johnny DrumWillett’s Bourbon and Rye. The whiskey is stored in one of the eight warehouses each capable of holding between 5,000 to 6,000 barrels (total capacity 48,623 barrels), approximately a quarter the size of those found at other distilleries. The warehouses were built on some of the highest ground in the county, assuring that a fresh breeze would aid in the maturation of the whiskey.

Rowans Creek Small Batch Bourbon takes its name from the creek that still runs through the distillery carrying the best limestone spring water there ever was for making good bourbon. The creek itself was originally named after Judge John Rowan, who in the late 1700’s settled around Bardstown and became a well-respected judge and statesmen. Although the distilling equipment from the Judge’s days is also no longer around, the original Willett column still and the new Vendome pot still are now housed in the rebuilt distillery building.

Once distilled Rowans Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is then aged in charred oak barrels, and hand bottled at 50.05% ABV (100.1 proof) in small lots, one batch at a time. It is pretty powerful stuff bottled at 50.5%, so you might want to add a little drop of water. Rowans Creek is a small batch whiskey each batch comes from a very small selection of barrels (although, by law, there is no specific requirements to be a “small batch” bourbon!).

Tasting Notes

Rowans Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey has aromas of light toffee-d fruit with well-integrated oak and spice. Soft entry with a beautiful balance; vanilla, tobacco leaf and dried fruit to the fore, while oak and spice bring up the rear. Complex and long with good depth and a delicate touch.


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