With this being our inaugural review, and taking the growing Michigan Bourbon landscape into account, it is important for us to feature one of the many offerings from our home state! Without further ado, let’s get into it:
- Producer: The Traverse City Whiskey Co. (sourced from MGPI)
- Location: Traverse City, Michigan
- Name: Straight Bourbon XXX Whiskey
- Classification: Small Batch & Hand Crafted
- Specific Characteristics: Batch Number 006
- Age: “Four years or more”
- Proof: 86
- Michigan Minimum Shelf Price: $29.99
Smell: Sweet corn immediately dominates the nasal passages, giving way to savory spices. Rose petal aroma is present after a couple of minutes, as is only a minor alcohol scent indicating its relatively low proof. Overall, a fairly balanced yet not very complex aroma that doesn’t overpower the palate.
Taste: Like the aroma hinted at, this Bourbon is sweet first, but not overly so. Spicy flavors from the rye quickly catch up and balance the taste, with an earthy pecan-like flavor mixed in. Flavors of orange, caramel, and cinnamon are also present.
Despite not being very old or complex, this Straight Bourbon is balanced from the time the bottle is opened and moves around the mouth as one would hope for. It is noticeably sweet first on the tip of the tongue, bitter for a only a moment, and then moves to the sides of the tongue for a lingering salty and slightly sweet finish. As a seasoned Bourbon enthusiast, this is what I would expect for the market around the $30 price point. Although it wouldn’t personally be my first choice of sipping Bourbons in this price range, it is better than I expected from a relatively new brand. My wife, who is a little bit less of a Bourbon drinker, found it to be enjoyable and commented that it is “very good” and “smooth.”
Recommendation and Score
Recommendation: I would not hesitate to recommend this Bourbon for use in higher-grade cocktails, or as a sipping Bourbon for those new to drinking Bourbon.
Score: 84 out of 100 overall.