Review: Ransom Bourbon

Review: Ransom Bourbon

We’ve already covered a handful of products from Oregon-based Ransom Spirits, including their Old Tom Gin, which put them on the craft distilling map over a decade ago. The whimsically named Whippersnapper was the distillery’s first foray into whiskey, but recently they added to the brown spirits portfolio with this bottle, Ransom Bourbon. The mashbill for this whiskey is a four-grain recipe of 66% corn, 23% rye, 6% wheat, and 4% malted barley. It’s a blend of 2-, 3-, and 12-year-old bourbons, some of which have been sourced from Indiana (the younger stock, unusually) with the remainder having been distilled on Ransom’s hand-hammered, direct-fired French alembic pot still. While they are presently blending their older stock with younger Indiana-distilled bourbons, the goal, according to a Ransom spokesperson, is to have an entirely house-distilled product in the future. While we wait for that bottle, let’s give this one a go, shall we?

The aroma is immediately unusual, showing lots of well-aged character with leather, damp oak, and barrel char but also hints of the youthful components in the form of sweet creamed corn and peanut brittle. A creamy note of caramel candies binds everything together nicely. On the palate, this is easy drinking bourbon with a light, honeyed body and gentle warmth. It’s no flavor bomb, with mild notes of hot cocoa, oatmeal cookie, and cinnamon sugar that feel as straightforward as an everyday bourbon with just a bit more mature elegance. What it lacks in depth, however, it almost makes up for in balance and approachability. The finish is generous but somewhat monotone with a brown sugar sweetness that’s enlivened as it fades with a bit of peppery spice. It’s an impressive final product born from what were surely very different whiskeys. And at a great price point, to boot.

88 proof.

B+ / $38 / 

Ransom Bourbon




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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