Review: Big Bottom Bourbon – New White Oak and Port Cask Finish
It’s hard not to think of Big Bottom without immediately jumping to Spinal Tap, but after a few sips of this distillery’s products, my thinking is finally changing.
The company produces two very young whiskeys largely in the Bourbon style (though they aren’t billed as Bourbon). The whiskey is actually made in Indiana, then it is shipped to Oregon where it is barreled and finished; you’ll find the latter state’s name on the label. The mash is primarily corn but they’re heavy on the rye and feature a barley kicker. They’re night and day when it comes to tasting notes but both are exemplary — not to mention incredible bargains.
Snap these small batch whiskeys up if you ever see them for sale.
Both are 91 proof.
Big Bottom Bourbon 3 Years Old New White Oak – The rye (36% of the mashbill) immediately jumps to the top of mind — and the palate — when you sip this young but powerful whiskey. It’s a shock that it’s just three years old, with a maturity and depth of flavor — vanilla, caramel, and intense cinnamon, pepper, and tons of spice — that many eight-year-old Bourbons can’t touch. Great balance among all the elements. Love it. A / $30
Big Bottom Bourbon 2 Years Old Port Cask Finish – Also a 36% rye mashbill whiskey, but just two years old — and finished in Port casks from Prager Port Works in Napa, California. The difference between the New Oak whiskey is astonishing, with this whiskey frankly exhibiting an embarrassment of riches: Dark, dark chocolate, raisins, and intense caramel notes, plus all that rye spice on the back end. The balance is perfect, the color a deep and ruddy rust that looks more like Cognac than whiskey. It’s sweet and savory in perfect harmony: This is an absolutely gorgeous whiskey and, now, one of my favorites. Watch out Kentucky, you’ve got competition. A+ / $40