They’ve dropped the “A.D.” at the front of the name and are now just “Laws Whiskey House” — and the Denver, Colorado-based operation has been busy adding expressions to (and tweaking older releases in) its extensive lineup. Today we look at the bonded version of its straight four-grain bourbon, which hits the bottle after 6 years in full-size barrels. Laws’ four-grain mashbill consists of 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 10% heirloom rye, and 10% heirloom malted barley — and it is in fact the first ever bonded bourbon produced in the state.
Surprisingly on the green side on the nose, the bourbon evokes the frontier from the start with notes of forest floor and the austerity of the rickhouse. In time, spices emerge, but it’s slow going: Cloves, nutmeg, and licorice eventually revealing themselves. The palate is burly and sharp, with plenty of toasted wood giving way to more spice, heavy on cinnamon and eventually pushing some black pepper as the decidedly hot whiskey continues to percolate and develop in the glass. The finish feels like it should be bruising, but it’s surprisingly quite clean and gently fruity, hinting at chocolate at times. This fade-out is easily the best part of the whiskey, and it’s always good to end on a high note.
Overall, however, the whiskey’s savory body dominates a bit too fully throughout the experience. A splash of water helps, as does some air time.
B+ / $77 / lawswhiskeyhouse.com