Whiskey Review: Milam & Greene Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch 1

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. 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 in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs. 

Whiskey is progressively becoming an industry that produces a spirit of equity. From Virginia Distillery Co.’s CEO Angela Moore’s scholarship for Women in Distilling to Rachel Barrie’s induction as the first female master blender of a Scotch distillery, acknowledging the presence and tremendous influence women have in the business and in whiskey itself is something every enthusiast should be aware of and celebrate.

I recently had the privilege to review Dr. Barrie’s GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch #12 and stumbled upon an article by Ms. Heather Greene. I was impressed with her writing and got a copy of her book, Whiskey Distilled: A Populist Guide to Water of Life. A few days later, when writing this review, I discovered that the “Greene” in “Milam & Greene” is the very same woman who once interviewed Dr. Barrie!

Ms. Greene’s story is perhaps made for TV. She became interested in whiskey while working as a waitress in New York City, and later landed a job at Glenfiddich distillery, before writing her book. In a completely separate turn of events, her career in music led her to meet Marsha Milam, a then music producer, who had read Greene’s book. Together, the two, along with Marlene Holmes, a veteran distiller from Jim Beam, and Jordan Osborne, the distillery’s chief brewer, established the Milam & Greene brand.

Together, they have won a series of awards for their products, including Best of Show at the American Craft Spirits Association’s competition in 2022. The brand also just completed a multi-million dollar expansion to meet growing demand.  If you’re interested in learning about whiskey in general, check out Ms. Greene’s YouTube series.

The whiskey being reviewed today is Milam & Greene’s Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey: Batch 1, a novel experiment. This whiskey combines the spirit of three different states and two (potentially three) countries. First, the whiskey is made of 20% Kentucky whiskey, aged and distilled by Holmes, and 80% Tennessee bourbon. It is blended and aged in small batches in Texas to create the almost-final product.

Finally, French oak staves, previously holding port wine and rye whiskey, were baked in the Texas summer sun, charred, bundled together, and steeped in the Very Small Batch Bourbon for two weeks. 

The complexity of process is evident in the whiskey itself. Coming in at 108 proof, the expression is intensely hot for an overproof whiskey, which may be a result of its relatively young age (roughly 4 years). Putting it on ice or adding some water is a smart choice. Still, the whiskey is very robust for a younger aged spirit and pours through several flavors I have not frequently found in bourbon, namely tangerine, melon, and a hit of bitter asparagus toward the finish.

However, rather than leaving you with a feeling of a targeted flavor profile, the whiskey pulls you in several different directions at once, perhaps losing some of its unique luster to strong corn sweetness and rich oak. Still, for a new project, Milam & Greene shows it is a forward thinking and innovative group, willing to experiment boldly away from traditional bourbons. Given their track record of success, I look forward to their future experiments in whiskey.

Milam & Greene Small Batch Straight Bourbon Batch 1 review

We review Milam & Greene Small Batch Straight Bourbon Batch 1, a blend of Tennessee and Kentucky bourbons that’s been finished with French oak staves. (image via Milam & Greene)

Tasting Notes: Milam & Greene Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch 1

Vital Stats: Blend of Tennessee bourbon (80%) and Kentucky bourbon (20%). Finished with French oak staves. 108 proof (54% ABV). $69.99/750ml. 

Appearance: Dominate yellow with a light brown core. 

Nose: Tangerine citrus and cedar staves dominate, but honeydew, light nutmeg and roasted almonds

Palate: Thick cedar. tobacco leaf and warm wheatgrass jump off the tongue, quickly fading to rye and much thicker oak notes. Corn sweetness rolls over the oak and bitter asparagus until the finish, which returns to cloves but adds creamy cooked bananas. 

Source link

Shopping Basket
%d bloggers like this: