The Noah's Mill review
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Noah’s Mill is produced by Kentucky Bourbons Distillers (KBD) which operates out of the Willett distillery. Interestingly however, most of the brands that are owned by KBD do not actually identify KBD or Willett as the producing company on their labels. For instance on the Noah’s Mill bottle it is marked as being produced by Noah’s Mill Distilling Company. The Gents are sure there is a good reason for this, we're just not clever enough to figure out what it is.
Noah’s Mill is one of several small batch offerings by KBD. These include, Rowan’s Creek, Kentucky Vintage and Pure Kentucky to name but a few. As you may be aware the term small batch is a contentious one and also an undefined term, but the number of barrels for this small batch is reportedly as low as 20, which is remarkably low. Originally the bourbon was matured in charred oak barrels for a period of 15 years, however since around 2012 there has been no age statement declared and settles for the wording on the bottle as ‘aged until fully mature’.
The bottle shape is of a conventional wine bottle, with the label designed to look old fashioned with a pencil like drawing of a mill, stream and woodland.
For this review we drank it neat (although we added water later) in a Glencairn glass
What we got - Sweet, toffee, Christmas cake (Mr Pie), raisins, rum and raisin ice cream, chocolate, creamy and nutty - cashews (Mav). After adding a small amount of water you lose the rum and raisin ice cream aroma and it changes to be more caramel like
What they say we should get - Toffee, dark roasted coffee, vanilla taffy, banana, raisins and the rustic tang of corn mash. Strong wood spice notes and toasted wood
What we got – Dry and smoky, oak, hint of tobacco (Mav). Smokiness decreases after adding a drop of water and the overall taste increases in creaminess
What they say we should get - Dark dried fruits (fig and raisin), cocoa, marmalade, berry syrup, toffee, vanilla and roasted nuts
What we got – Very very long & warm. No burn
What they say we should get - Lengthy as you would expect from such a high proofed whiskey. Littered with charred oak bitterness
Exceptionally well made and balanced bourbon which is very complex on the nose, however both Gents agreed the complexity did not follow through to the palate. Although not as complex it was still one hell of a great taste. If you didn’t know the ABV beforehand you would be very surprised that it is as high as 57.15%.
The general opinion of adding water to bourbon is that it unlocks new aromas and releases different tastes. Neither of the Gents are finding this yet and, with this bourbon especially, would say that more things are lost than found (we could of course have added too much water, we really should invest in a pipette). Perhaps this will change over time after gaining more tasting experiences.
Clearly this is quite an expensive bourbon (£50 - £70 depending on whether you buy it in a store or online), but it is certainly worth hunting down and outlaying more than you usually would for the average purchase.
This is Mav's favorite bourbon and one he would urge you to seek out and add to your collection.
9 out of 10 - Mav
8 out of 10 – Mr. Pie