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Evaluate: Rock City Bourbons – Small Batch, Toasted French Oak, and Cask Power


Rock City Distillery isn’t new to bourbon; the distillery began in 2010 in Little Rock, Arkansas and produces bourbon, in addition to vodka and liqueurs. However then not too long ago, the founder took a visit to Kentucky. The story goes like this:

In March of 2020, Rock City’s Founder and Head Distiller Phil Brandon launched into a visit to bourbon nation in Kentucky to discover a technique to make extra bourbon to fulfill the rising demand for Rock City spirits. He found the Collaborative Distilling Program provided by Bardstown Bourbon Firm and realized that he may use his personal bourbon recipe together with Arkansas-grown grains to provide high quality bourbon.

Working with our grain companions at Stratton Seed from Stuttgart, Arkansas, 180,000 lbs. of Arkansas-grown corn and wheat have been trucked 500 miles to Bardstown, Kentucky. And so, the journey started: making Arkansas bourbon within the coronary heart of Kentucky.

The primary cook dinner was began on March twelfth, 2020, and after cooking and fermenting, the group used the column stills at Bardstown to distill the white canine, which was then lower to 110 proof earlier than filling new charred oak barrels from Kelvin Cooperage and Gibbs Brothers Cooperage. The bourbon was then aged again in Little Rock at Rock City Distillery’s downtown barrelhouse.

The result’s Rock City’s new Column Nonetheless sequence that proudly touts the collaboration with Bardstown that includes Arkansas grains and Brandon’s recipe.

For higher or worse, the bar’s been set on this new endeavor; time to see how issues stack up.

Rock City Small Batch Bourbon – The nostril leads with a pleasant and brilliant burnt caramel crunch accented with spearmint, and possibly a contact of malty chocolate a la Milky Method. It’s a really deceptively civil introduction to the explosive scramble that follows on the palate of scorching cinnamon that’s met helter skelter with cayenne-coated walnuts and extra of that burnt caramel sweet. The spicy sweetness dissipates like watching a stampede of horses soften into the dusty sundown, after which settles into muted leather-based and oak notes with the slightest contact of unsweetened vanilla extract. That is fairly the caravan of complexity and flavors, an surprising however nice journey. For all that kick, there is no such thing as a intrusion of acetone or ethanol, simply flat out daring spice and warmth. All that at simply 92 proof. A- / $40

Rock City Toasted French Oak Barrel End Bourbon – So what occurs while you take this straight bourbon with an outsized persona, end it in toasted French oak, and notch up the proof? The nostril is surprisingly understated in comparison with the small batch. Barely any spice and extra of a marshmallow sweetness as an alternative of caramel. However then issues positively spin out on the palate. The cinnamon and pepper spiciness is encumbered with a touch of prune, though the pink scorching cinnamon profile is unmistakable. A extra bitter rendition of leather-based and oak pops out within the end, which is consistent with the toasted oak remedy. One other enjoyable pour and sitting boldly however balanced at 100 proof. A- / $60

Rock City Single Barrel Bourbon Cask Power – That is going to be fascinating. Given the vary of profiles within the different presumably blended expressions, what are we going to seek out with a single barrel? But once more, the nostril presents up tender greetings, this time treading extra conventionally alongside bourbon notes, which will be summarized within the softer creamier spectrum of caramel, extra Werther’s candies than burnt nut brittle candies. (And truthfully, I swear I scent “water” – some kind of dilution. Inconceivable I do know, however there’s a distinct anti-aroma pulling all of the scents again.) As we have now discovered by now, third time is a fiery allure with all of the pop and warmth of jalapeno assembly cinnamon. The fascinating facet of all this warmth is that it’s spice-forward with little or no trace of the ethanol and acetone notes of alcohol. I discover this commendable, all of the pizzazz with not one of the medical after-taste. The end is equally sleek in its exit, no sudden dissipation of pink hots, which linger committedly and softly on the oaky leather-based base together with a touch of unsweetened cocoa. 114 proof. A- / $70

All in all, it is a stable collaboration, however who is aware of if the well-crafted boldness in these expressions is owing to Bardstown’s mastery of distillation or some particular character in Arkansas corn. Regardless of, these are worthy pours regardless.

Rock City Single Barrel Bourbon Cask Power


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