All week people have been asking about the odd, brown wine on the Drinkhacker “to review” shelf. It ain’t Chardonnay. It’s Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, which is sold in a traditional white wine bottle, much to the confusion of passers-by.
Corner Creek is an artisan bourbon, aged eight years in oak, bottled at 88 proof, and “lightly filtered.” It’s that last part that’s the kicker. Corner Creek has more “flavor” to it than just about any spirit I’ve encountered since starting this website. Some of that flavor is good: Strong vanilla, toasty oak wood, cherry fruit. But there’s a real roughness here that you’ll either find charming or overpowering. Charcoal, earthy, and gut-punching char, Corner Creek finishes with a reminder of whiskey’s days in the saloons and poker tables of the Old West. Aside from the wine bottle, I mean.
Corner Creek is the very definition of a “frontier whiskey,” and in fact I was strongly reminded of Bulleit Bourbon when I sampled it (repeatedly), though with less of a smoky character.
Corner Creek is complex and challenging, but it’s quite drinkable. In fact, it can generate quite the debate over the importance of “smoothness” in bourbon. That is, I have to say, the last term I’d use to describe this intriguing bottle.
B+ / $18 (on huge discount here; $28 is more typical) / cornercreekbourbon.com