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Review: Johnny Drum Bourbon

We’ve covered most of Willett’s expansive whiskey portfolio, but somehow, we missed this bottle, Johnny Drum Private Stock Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon. Willett is slowly replacing many of its sourced brands with its own stock (see the new Old Bardstown and Willett Family Estate lines), but Johnny Drum remains a sourced product made at an unknown distillery. Once upon a time, when old whiskey stocks were easy to come by, it carried a whopping 15-year age statement, but the bottles you are likely to find today are not age-stated. Let’s see how this recent bottling fares.

The nose is punchy with alcohol and a bright, waxy citrus-tinged sweetness. Aromas of orange rock candy eventually turn more Granny Smith apple and give way to creamy caramel and butterscotch as it opens in the glass. The palate is soft but not light-bodied. A nice balance of candied orange peel, vanilla bean, and dry, almost dusty, oak is interspersed with a variety of spice cabinet notes and bit of cigar wrapper. Despite the initial assertiveness of the alcohol, there’s a steady, even heat all the way into the medium finish, fading with more candy sweetness and a bit of buttery caramel. Classic stuff.

101 proof.

A- / $40 / kentuckybourbonwhiskey.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

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Johnny Drum Bourbon



Drew Beard

Drew Beard is Assistant Editor and Social Media Manager for Drinkhacker. He has studied and written about beer, whisk(e)y, and other spirits since he first started drinking them, earning several booze-related merit badges along the way, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. In addition to his work with Drinkhacker, Drew is also Spirits Editor for Santé Magazine. A recovering Federal government employee, he is happy to have finally found a career where it is acceptable to drink on the job.

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