|"STOP! DROP! SHUT 'EM DOWN OPEN UP SHOP! WHOA! WHOA! THAT'S HOW ROUGH RIDERS ROLL!"|
For the last couple of days I've been deciding between two bourbons. No, it's not for my annual whiskey gift to myself (of which I already have one in mind) but just for every day drinking. The two bourbons inspired two different songs in my mind. I'm sure the reader can tell from the title of this blog that one of the bourbons was Long Island Spirits' Rough Rider Bourbon - Batch #3. Also, one can easily determine the "winner" from the title as well (as I only write about things I've purchased). Yet if you are wondering what the other bourbon was, it was the John B. Stetson Bourbon.
I opened this post referencing DMX's song because both bourbons evoked memories of different songs, which ultimately helped in my decision to choose Rough Rider over Stetson. While never a fan of DMX, Stetson reminds me of this cologne commerical. I do prefer the Stetson song to The Ruff Ryders Anthem but I think of "cologne" when I see or hear the name "Stetson." It's kind of dumb, I admit, and I know the bourbon won't taste like cologne, but that wasn't the only reason Rough Rider Bourbon won.
Here's the list of reasons why:
1. Rough Rider Bourbon also comes from my home state of New York, while Stetson come from Kentucky: support as locally as possible!
2. In support of the craft spirit movement, I am trying to change my buying habits to focus on these smaller distilleries. Stetson's distiller is not named, but since it comes from Kentucky, I'm willing to bet it's not a craft distiller (although, I'm willing to be wrong on this too).
3. The Rough Rider bourbon was finished in wine casks. I really enjoyed the Bordeaux-finished Cragganmore so I figured this might be equally interesting and delicious.
4. Theodore Roosevelt is one of my favorite figures in American history (due mostly to his Progressive policies and his love of, and interest in, the natural world.)
The nose has notes of caramel, honey, orange, vanilla cola, and freshly-cut grass. Initially it's light but develops a tongue-coating, oily texture (which I love). The first sips open up with pepper and some floral notes while flavors of orange, vanilla, and toasted marshmallow follow. The wine-finish is there, but you have to search for it. It's also surprisingly smooth for its age.
All-in-all, a good whiskey. It's an enjoyable sipping whiskey and I don't think I over-paid for it (around $35). However there are a lot of other "craft" whiskies on the market (for roughly the same price). For example, this Rough Rider Bourbon didn't impress me as much as the High West OMG Rye did, which has the exact same price-point and I've purchased that again: I don't think I'll buy Rough Rider again (at least any time soon). Therefore it doesn't quite stand out as being one of the best "new" whiskies.
Try it yourself though - I can guarantee that at least you won't be disappointed.