Earlier this year, Hood River Distillers, an increasingly busy operation that’s best known for Lucid Absinthe, added another bourbon to its portfolio: Easy Rider. Easy Rider was purchased from another company which had been marketing the spirit as Easy Rider Arizona. There’s no actual connection to the classic Peter Fonda movie, but the screaming eagle icon on the front label definitely proposes a biker connection.
I don’t have any connection to the old brand owner, but we know that today Easy Rider is sourced from a Kentucky distillery (so, not MGP), and as expected there’s no mashbill information. With that said, let’s see how it tastes.
If you’re looking for a harmless “mixin'” whiskey, you’ve come to the right place. Easy Rider is soft and simple and easy to enjoy, but honestly its price tag is the most appealing thing about it. The nose is gently corny, with a touch of peanut brittle and a hint of incense. A modest caramel note gives the entire spirit a Cracker Jack character, and the palate blends this with a fairly simple, spicy note dominated by allspice and cinnamon. It’s sweet, but not overwhelming in the slightest. The lightly grainy finish is unoffensive but — as with much of the Easy Rider experience — fairly plain, holding strong on the peanut/popcorn note with a lacing of barrel char and a hint of licorice to add the lightest level of nuance.
Anyway, you get the idea.
B / $25 / hrdspirits.com