Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Branch Point Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley is home to “Wine Country,” but distilleries are creeping in between the vineyards out here. Dayton, Oregon, is home to Branch Point Distillery. Founded in 2016 by Neurologist Steven Day, Branch Point chose to distill in the heart of the Willamette Valley to be close to the source where his grain is grown.
Branch Point’s Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon is made with organic white sweet corn, local triticale, and distillers malt. Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye grains. Although Day has been a home brewer of beer, a traditional bourbon yeast strain is used for this whiskey. Copper pot stills are Day’s preferred method of distilling, and each of his whiskies are double pot stilled.
The focus at Branch Point Distillery is grain to glass, but more so that the whiskey should reflect its point of origin. The terroir of Oregon is vastly different from Kentucky, so it will be interesting to see the local grains’ effects on the straight bourbon— especially the triticale. Not many distilleries in the Pacific Northwest use triticale to make spirits.
If you ever visit Oregon just for Wine Country, you should stop in at Branch Point Distillery. The new building and tasting room was designed by the Ferar Wine & Spirits Studio. The old barn next to the tasting room was converted into a barrelhouse for all of Day’s whiskies. Branch Point offers guided whiskey tastings, whiskey flights, and cocktail flights with a beautiful view of the Willamette Valley.
Tasting Notes: Branch Point Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon
Vital Stats: 50% ABV, 100 proof. BIB straight bourbon aged 4 or more years and made in Oregon. 750ml $80.
Nose: Lemon scented nail polish remover hits the nostril first before moving into a yeasty sourdough starter. The cinnamon and sweetness reminds me of my Amma’s fresh sticky buns. Near the end of the nose, I get a hint of chocolate covered strawberries.
Palate: The whiskey is hot and spicy on the tongue, but overall it does not drink too hot. At first, I was confused by the soapy, jasmine quality of it — I thought it was my glass until I sipped from the bottle— but it is definitely there. Drinking it compared to the nose, the whiskey reminds me of soggy cornflakes. However, it gives off flat IPA — the aftertaste is starchy and tannic, which could be why I get this.