DISCLAIMER: The Sample for this review was provided by the manufacturer. All ideas and opinions in this post are entirely my own. I do not accept any money for these reviews.
I contacted Wilderness Trail about their Bourbon, but was told it wasn’t ready yet. Not folks to miss an opportunity, they asked if I would be interested in trying out some Rum and Vodka. I said sure and let them know that I wasn’t really in to Rum or Vodka but I’d give it a try. I was a little surprised that they would send me Rum and Vodka, I mean who sends a whiskey blogger that kind of stuff? I agreed to try it anyway, thinking that if nothing else I’d give the rum to my wife, and get some orange juice for the vodka.
I must admit that I didn’t think much more about it until the package came in. As I am pulling out the bottles, I realize that the Bottle have tags on them. I’ll have pictures of the tags a little later. It was the claims on the tags that made me do a bit more reading about these spirits. Lets start with the Rum.
I am not really a rum drinker. That’s not to say that I don’t like it, it’s just to sweet for my tastes. Rum is generally made from molasses. Molasses is a by-product of sugar production and comes from two sources, sugar cane and sugar beets. Here in America we bastard-ize it by calling the syrup extracted by pressing sorghum grass, Sorghum Molasses. Although it is similar, it is in fact not the same. It is actually Sorghum syrup. Now that you have a bit of history, I’ll tie it back to this particular rum.
The reason I went in to all of that is because this is actually made from Sorghum “Molasses”. My first introduction to sorghum wasn’t great, but that was whiskey. This is rum, and it is aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. Not just any bourbon barrel though, from what I can gather it is aged in Four Roses Bourbon barrels! Now wilderness trail calls this, “The Bourbon Drinkers Rum”. A little presumptuous, but who am I to judge? Oh wait! I am a blogger, that’s my job! So without further ado.
This rum is very light in color, almost like straw. The nose has a heavy dose of bourbon with a slightly sweet undertone. It really has more of a sweet bourbon characteristic than anything else. I’ll admit that at this point I was starting to feel like I was going to have to take this a little more seriously. I was still a bit hesitant to taste it, the Queen Jennie wasn’t my favorite. But in the name of curiosity I had to.
This was actually good. I was expecting something like the sorghum whiskey, but this was more like a no added sugar rum. I don’t like putting it like that, but it is hard to describe. Rum has always been too sweet for me. This was the least sugary rum I have ever had. It was still sweet but in a good way. It wasn’t exactly bourbon, that was washed away as soon as it hit the tongue, but there is definitely a hint of the barrel on the tongue. Not enough to ruin the rum, and just enough for me to enjoy it. I admit it, I liked it. What did my wife, the rum drinker, think? I’m glad you asked.
She wasn’t as impressed. She thought it tasted more like a clear rum. She likes her rum like I like my scotch. Aged. I turned her on to a 12 year old rum recently and she was hooked. This on the other hand was a very young rum and not quite what she likes in a rum. I admit on the second sip I did find that clear spirit taste, but to a non-rum drinker it didn’t detract from the overall experience for me. Rick declined to try it.
I might have to pick up a bottle of this to experiment more with. It is definitely fun, and while I can’t say it is something I would turn to for my bourbon fix, I can say I wouldn’t mind having in the cabinet. I can see this for an occasional hot summer day, poured over crushed ice, with a bit of fresh squeezed lemon and a splash of either Grenadine or Maraschino juice. I don’t know if that is an actual drink, but it sounds good.
Blue Heron Vodka-
Quick what is vodka made from? Admit it you said potatoes. Here’s the dirty truth about Vodka it can quite literally be made from anything. There was a chef that was convinced that making vodka from chicken dung was a great idea. The cheap stuff is generally made from cast-offs and is distilled until it is almost pure ethanol, which smells distinctly like rubbing alcohol, then water is added to bring it down to 80 proof. The more expensive vodka is made from grain, just like whisk(e)y but it is also distilled to almost pure ethanol. There are those that can taste the difference. I for one, cannot. Vodka has always been served with orange juice, or in a mixed drink of some sort.
Blue Heron from Wilderness Trail distillery is made from a 50/50 blend of corn and wheat. Wilderness Trail is touting this as “The Bourbon Drinkers Vodka”. They were right about the rum, but seriously vodka? How can they call it that? Vodka is tasteless, colorless, and smells like nothing! So what in the world could make this a vodka for the Bourbonite? Lets dive in.
It’s vodka, so we already know it’s clear. That is where the comparison to all the other vodka I have ever had stops. Because the moment you smell it you realize it’s different. First off, it has a smell, and it is pleasing to the olfactory senses. That really through me off. I can’t say I have smelled a lot of vodka, but the few times I have slipped up and tried it was always the same. Either harsh chemical, or a lack of smell. This was a bit like white dog. White dog is whiskey before it is aged. It a bit like sweet cornbread. Not a lot of complexity to it, but it’s surprisingly nice.
Here’s the biggest surprise. It tastes good. It’s hard to describe, it’s flavorless in the mouth, it is only after you swallow that you taste it. It leaves a slightly sweet and tangy aftertaste in the mouth. It does have a slight burn, but not anything like what I am used to from vodka.
I’m not going to convert to vodka. It can’t compare to whisk(e)y, but this is definitely this bourbon drinkers vodka of choice. I will be looking to purchase a bottle of this for the cabinet as well. I don’t know if I’ll continue to drink it straight as I did for the purpose of review, but I won’t go out of my way to try and completely hide it essence.
If their Rum and Vodka is this good I can’t wait to try their whiskey. I usually drink what I am writing about, it helps to revisit and gives fresh perspective while writing. It also helps at times to find something I didn’t notice before that makes it better or worse than my initial review. These however are quite good. I really can’t find anything to hate. I think I have already said all there is to say. I’d definitely recommend both of these.
I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Review suggestions are welcome.
Until Next Time,