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Review: Devils River Bourbon Whiskey

 

Devils River Whiskey is the brainchild of Mike Cameron, who serves as president of the Texas Distilled Spirits Association, and his new bourbon brand comes to us from Dallas. The company, which just started selling in the state in April, is taking a largely traditional approach with this whiskey, distilling its mash (high-rye, with “dialed back corn”) in copper pot stills, aging in #4 char barrels, and blending the finished product with local water from the namesake Devils River. The whiskey is chill-filtered before bottling at 45% abv. No age statement is provided. (Note: This whiskey is allegedly sourced from elsewhere, but the company has not responded to requests for clarification.)

Let’s give it a whirl.

The nose is wood-forward, with ample barrel char, and while the wood is dominant, it’s not overpowering. The alcohol sears the nostrils in a manner that’s a bit harsh — frontier-style, perhaps — but also provides aromas of cherry juice and some spearmint.

The sawdust notes continue onto the palate, where notes of plum, butterscotch, and tart cherry emerge. Solid body; sharp and a bit burly. The finish remains moderately woody, with notes of cloves and a hint of sweet mesquite… but maybe that’s just the Texan in me coming vicariously forward through this rustically styled whiskey.

Would love to see this with some more barrel time on it.

90 proof.

B / $30 / devilsriverwhiskey.com  [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

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Devils River Bourbon Whiskey

$30
8

Rating

8.0/10
Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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7 Comments

  1. TrueTexasWhiskeyFan December 6, 2017

    A product that looks like its made here in Texas but is not.

    It is inherently shady and dishonest to apply for label approval in compliance with the law, in this case showing the state of distillation(Kentucky), Then to remove that same information from the label so as to manipulate the public into thinking they are buying a Texas Product.
    There is nothing wrong with sourcing whiskey, its the dishonest part that is the issue.
    It would appear Devil’s River bourbon is actively deceiving you to make you think you are buying and supporting Texas. Shame on you for deceiving people on their texas pride.
    #devilsriverwhiskey

    Reply
    1. Christopher Null December 6, 2017

      If this is true, Devils River is being awfully cagey with its labeling… I’ve reached out to the company for comment.

      Reply
  2. MG January 12, 2019

    was really disappointed in this Whiskey from the time I poured it into a glass an observed the really weak color. The taste was just not the Bourbon taste I was expecting and had a really strong spice note to it. Then I read the reviews, which is what I should have done first and found that it is apparently made in Kentucky and marketed as if from Texas. Will not buy again

    Reply
  3. Steve January 25, 2019

    I bought this thinking it would be oaky and woody…simply put it’s like licking the ass end of a billy goat!!! Shit bourbon and a waste of $$$

    Reply
  4. Kevin Hagan March 17, 2019

    Purchased this product in FL at Total Wine. Nice packaging but a product that does not live up to its price! Would not re-purchase

    Reply
  5. Travis Galloway September 22, 2019

    Wow- really. Horrible Whiskey- not even for free. I literally poured it down the sink to avoid getting sick.
    Richmond Texas

    Reply
  6. Joel - Nacogdoches December 11, 2019

    As a Texan experimenting with Texas Bourbons (they are weird!) I bought this blind. Finding out it is not a Texas Bourbon was disappointing, but not as disappointing as the taste.

    It tastes more like Corn Whiskey or a young Malted Barley Whiskey than a Bourbon. I find it off-putting and neither my wife or I could find a mixer adequate to make it drinkable; it simply ruined everything we tried.

    Reply

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