|Find this. Drink this.|
Of the handful of bourbon distilleries left in Kentucky, I've had something from all of them - except KBD. No real reason, except they have so many different bottlings I wasn't too sure where to start. Especially if you read the copy on the bottles they all basically say the same thing:
1. Distilled using traditional methods or passed down through four (sometimes five) generations
2. Something about "Sour Mash"
3. Produced in small quantities
4. Aged for a long period of time to ensure quality
If you know anything about bourbon already, none of this information is useful. These are either too vague to be helpful (3 & 4), standard practice within the industry (2), or inconsequential (1).
So why did I finally decide on Johnny Drum Private Stock?
The internet told me to do so.
Of the reviews I read for the four I narrowed down my KBD choice to (Old Bardstown, Kentucky XO, Kentucky Vintage, and Johnny Drum Private Stock) this one had the most convincing ones. The others sound good (I'll try some of those next) but at the proof (101) and the price (< $30) Johnny Drum Private Stock seemed like the best decision.
And it was.
The nose is like some sort of nutty, chocolate-covered caramel. There are hints of spice, smoke, and oak, too. The earthier notes are stronger than the candied aromas on the palate, but it has a long, dark-chocolate finish. Furthermore, I barely noticed that it is 101 proof. It is one of the best whiskies I've ever had for under $30. Hands down. Highly recommended.
The quality of this bourbon has convinced me to try other things from KBD - although Johnny Drum Private Stock might be hard to follow up.