DISCLAIMER: The Sample for this review was provided by the distiller. All ideas and opinions in this post are entirely my own. I do not accept any money for these reviews.
Color: Dark honey
Nose: Smokey Campfire, Sweet Almonds, Honey, Vanilla, and Oak
Taste: Smoky Campfire, Honey roasted Almonds, Pepper, Vanilla, and Oak
Finish: Long Smooth Finish
California whiskey. It’s funny, when I first started drinking whiskey I thought it had to come from either Scotland, Kentucky, Or at least Tennessee to be considered good whiskey. I have since come to conclusion that it just have to come from the distiller who takes pride in what they do. Today’s bottle comes from the Bowen’s distillery in Bakersfield, California. Let’s be honest, when we think of Bakersfield California, or California in general we don’t think of good whiskey, but we might have to start.
I’ve taken the following straight from the Bowen’s web site;
“Nearly 20 years ago, Wade Bowen was fortunate enough to meet Bud, a fifth generation moonshiner. While
others were experimenting at home making their own craft beers, he was more interested in spirits, particularly Bud’s smooth whiskey that was poured from mason jars. Bud shared family secrets and methods with Wade as he was getting on in age and didn’t want to see his knowledge and craft die with him.
Wade continued on after Bud passed away with his own education. Experimenting year after year until he finally achieved the smooth and smoky flavor profile that you taste today.”
This article goes on to say that their whiskey is what it is. It’s almost as if they’re saying, we like it and that’s what really matters. They really have an outstanding job with this. Rick and I really enjoyed this one it has a bit of an issue though. Reading through other people’s reviews there seems to be an issue with smoke. Some people swear to tasting campfire smoke, others say there’s no smoke at all. It was no different with us. Rick, whose palette leans more towards the Islay region tasted no smoke and all. While myself, was able to get the slightest inkling of camp fire smoke. We both agree though that either way it is still a damn fine whiskey.
The nose starts off, for me, Smokey Campfire, Sweet Almonds, a touch of Honey, Vanilla, and Oak. Rick doesn’t get any of the smoke. We both agree that we like the way it smells. He tried and tried to detect the campfire, but it was just too faint. I partly wonder if I may have imagined it myself. I don’t believe I did, but I’d love to hear what you all think.
The balance between the nose and the palette is extraordinary, it’s almost exactly the same. There is an introduction of peppery oak flavor, which in my opinion seems too really balance out the palette. It starts with honey roasted almonds and ends on the peppery oak. The campfire is almost lost completely on the palette, only brought forward by gargling the whiskey a bit. Yes, I gargle, it’s fun and does fun stuff to the flavor!
The finish is extremely smooth. Too smooth for me, there isn’t a bite to it at all. Although, it does have a nice warming sensation on exhale, which is different. Most of the whiskey I drink warms on the way down.
All in all this is definitely one I will be looking for. Maybe not as an everyday drinker, but definitely in the cabinet as a backup.
I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Review suggestions are welcome.
Until Next Time,