Oh Taste & See: Town Branch Bourbon

It has been a good while since I wrote any new posts for this blog - mostly because I've been busy working on another spirits related project that is much more hands on - starting a distillery! Check that out here: http://CooperRiverDistillers.com.

Alas, I couldn't resist the urge to write about whiskey, so I'm back with a review of a very interesting bourbon that is from the heart of Kentucky bourbon country, but is not from one of the 'usual suspect' big distillers. This bourbon is Town Branch. Distilled in Lexington, KY it's the first bourbon from the Lyons Spirits division of Alltech, a large, multinational agribusiness company that also dabbles in brewing and distilling. If you've had Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Bluegrass Sundown Liquor, Pearse Lyons Reserve malt whiskey, or any number of animal feeds then you have sampled Alltech's products. The distilling side of the business grew out of the passion of Alltech's founder - Irishman Pearse Lyons - and you can taste his passion for whiskey in every sip of Town Branch Bourbon.

Color: Town Branch has a golden-honey color that is classic bourbon. Light enough that you know it's not more than 5 or 6 years old, but enough color to let you know it has spent some decent time getting to know the inside of a charred oak barrel. The distiller is tight-lipped about exactly how old Town Branch is (along with other details on its production), but based on color and flavor I'd guess it's probably a 3 or 4 year old - just hitting its stride.

Nose: This bourbon has a very clean nose with no ethanol to burn your sinuses. There are mild hints of orange zest and a light corn/grain aroma as it sits.

Flavor: Similar to the nose, Town Branch's flavor is light, crisp and clean. There are some grainy notes along with a unique sweetness that could be from the mash-bill which is higher-than-usual in malted barley. Although a bit sweet, this is not a syrupy, thick bourbon. Over time flavors of vanilla, cloves, and apple juice develop.

Finish: The finish is quick and clean with hints of vanilla, and it's very, very smooth leaving no burn, but also lingering flavors.

Overall this is a nice little bourbon, and certainly says great things about what we can expect from Lyons Spirits in the future. Its availability is still quite limited, but if you see it definitely give it a try.


whiskeywriter said...

I had wondered where Whiskey Jim went, and wow, you were busy! So stoked to hear about Cooper River Distillers! Craft spirits made right in my backyard. I'll eagerly await the first rum. Any idea what the full product line will be?

Also, great bourbon review here as well. Cheers.

Whiskey Jim said...

I do have some ideas on the full product line, but given the lead times, I can't announce much yet - a big hint: I'm from Kentucky. You can get a teaser in the newsletter I recently sent out - http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1ff40112a9c61fd8dfbc1f942&id=37f55365bc

Once things are up and running I'll have you out for a tour!


Anonymous said...

Yo Whiskey Jim!

I just stumbled upon your site thanks to an email from a friend of mine (@TheAlemonger on Twitter) regarding your upcoming distillery. Talk about exciting! Great to see the growth in the distilling business, especially so close to home (I'm from South Philly originally and now live in South Jersey).

As far as this whiskey goes, sounds like this leans towards the lighter side of Bourbon. Is it available in South Jersey? I've never seen it on the shelves. My blogging buddy Limpd recently reviewed one of Alltech's beers and seemed to enjoy it. I'll have to have him do some recon work on his next business trip to Louiseville.