What with September being Bourbon Heritage Month, it’s only natural to think of Kentucky when cocktail hour rolls around. But as nitpicking drinks nerds like me like to point out, while most bourbon comes from Kentucky, nothing says that it has to. And at a time when craft distillers are coming out of the woodwork in pretty much every state in the nation, more and more bourbon—good bourbon—is flowing from sea to shining sea. Exhibit A: Milam & Greene Unabridged Volume 2 Bourbon. This blend of straight bourbons hails from Milam & Greene Whiskey in Blanco, Texas.
Okay, here’s some further nitpicking. Some of the bourbon (20 casks out of a total of 56 in the batch, to be precise) in Unabridged Volume 2 does indeed come from Kentucky. This whiskey was distilled on column stills and made using malted rye and Milam & Greene’s proprietary mash bill, then matured in Kentucky.
But Milam & Greene puts an emphasis on blending. And that artistry comes into play with Unabridged Volume 2 in a couple of ways. The bourbon from these Kentucky casks (some of it 2 years old and the rest 3 and a half years old) was mingled with 34 casks of bourbon distilled in Tennessee and ranging in age from four to 16 years. Some of the youngest whiskey in this Tennessee component was aged exclusively in Tennessee. The older barrels spent time in both Tennessee and Texas. Milam & Greene then tossed in two more casks of bourbon, made on their own pot stills in Blanco and aged for two years in the potent Texas climate. This blend tapped into some of the oldest and rarest barrels of whiskey in Milam & Greene’s library. Bottled without dilution, it weighs in at a hefty 117.6 proof.
This cask-strength character and the depth of the bourbon’s blend come through in the glass. Unabridged Volume 2 has a rich, robust texture, with fragrances of dark fruit and leather, tinged with caramelized sugar and anise. Add a few drops of water to see the flavor open up to layers of brown sugar, licorice, spice cake, and dried orange peel.
Milam & Greene Unabridged Volume 2 Bourbon just hit the market on September 13. And this limited autumn release won’t last long. Purchase a bottle on Milam & Greene’s online shop or check your favorite retailer for availability. $94.99, milamandgreenewhiskey.com