Review: Tatoosh Bourbon

tatoosh bourbon 3 years oldTroy Turner opened Tatoosh Distillery in 2009 in Seattle, citing his bootlegger and moonshiner ancestors as inspiration. Now Turner is producing whiskey, based he says on a hundred-year-old recipe, using local ingredients. (No Indiana-made stock here!)

The mashbill isn’t a shocker: 70% corn, 15% rye, and 15% malted barley. The mash is distilled in a hybrid pot/column still, then aged in 47-gallon new oak barrels with a #3 char for three years. The final product is bottled at 80 proof and is not chill-filtered. (Finishing and bottling take place in Bend, Oregon.)

And so, on to the experience. The nose is surprisingly mild, almost shockingly so. Very mild popcorn character, slight notes of caramel, vanilla, and leather. The palate sticks closely to this formula, coming across as one of the mildest whiskeys I’ve ever encountered. The gossamer body features all of the above, plus whispers of chocolate and fresh cut apple, and a touch of cinnamon on the back end. The whole thing fades away in seconds, almost like sipping an iced tea.

I’m hard-pressed to recall a whiskey that has had an impression like this on me, so mild and simple, yet I can’t say it isn’t a well-made, quality whiskey. While my personal preference runs to deeper, more intense bourbons, some may find the more easygoing style of Tatoosh more to their liking. Plus, it’s super fun to say.


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2 Responses

  1. Chris December 28, 2013 / 11:10 pm

    Sorry to say, but there is no Tatoosh Distillery. They have no facility of their own, and as far as I know, the entire production process is in Bend. They dance around this fact on their website, but the sad truth is that none of this whiskey is made in Seattle. If it was, there would be no sense in sending it to Oregon to bottle. There are plenty of spirits made in Seattle, but this is not one of them.

  2. Chris January 25, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Chris is correct i live and work in bend nearby the place that bottles this its trucked in in bulk plastic totes

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