Review: Mission Microdistillery Civilized Bourbon Whiskey


This review has been conducted as part of a blind taste test to determine the best Traverse City Bourbon.

Product Details

  • Producer: Mission Microdistillery
  • Location: Traverse City, Michigan
  • Name: Civilized Bourbon Whiskey
  • Classification: Small Batch
  • Specific Characteristics: N/A
  • Age: No Age Statement (We were told 3.5 years at the tasting room)
  • Proof: 80
  • Michigan Minimum Shelf Price: Not distributed – $34.99 at the tasting room

Tasting Notes

Smell: This Bourbon has a very strong corn smell which can’t be missed.  As the corn gives way to an alcohol scent, it leaves one with the sense that they have just smelled a straight corn “moonshine” rather than a Bourbon.  These two scents overwhelm the palate leaving room for little else, but a slight floral fragrance does eventually show through.

Taste: Somewhat shockingly, the first flavor tasted was a maple syrup-like sweetness on the tip of the tongue.  This sweetness quickly mellowed some into a strong corn flavor, and gave way to little else.  After swallowing the spirit, some earthy spiciness finally shown through.


This Bourbon is not very complex, and really shows its youth.  It is noticeably sweet first on the tip of the tongue, then tastes like a hot corn “moonshine.”  It doesn’t dance around the tongue at all, but rather finishes mostly on the roof of the mouth.

Recommendation and Score

Recommendation: I would not recommend buying this Bourbon at this price point, as much better can be found for the same price or less.  This is disappointing to say, as it is one of two Bourbons actually distilled in Traverse City.  In fact, sadly, that may be the only reason I would buy another bottle.  If you are a fan of moonshine, you may find it more enjoyable.

Score: 71 out of 100 overall.


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