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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Rowan's Creek Bourbon Review

Welcome to the review for Rowan's Creek from The Willett Distillery and produced by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. This is our second review of a Willett product following our review of Willett Straight Rye Family Estate. To commemorate the occasion, we've invited friends of the blog with the last name Willett (no relation to the distillery) to help review.

Let's get into it.
Manufacturer: Kentucky Bourbon Distillers

Age: Unknown

Location Produced: The Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY

Mash Bill: Unknown

Aroma (from manufacturer): 
Caramel and vanilla layered on herbal and floral notes

Taste (from manufacturer)Starts oily but finishes dry. On the palate you are treated to sweet caramel, vanilla, dusted in floral notes

Finish (from manufacturer): Oak and a lingering spiciness

Alcohol: 50.05% (how oddly specific)

Who is this for?: People who can't draw, bourbon aficionados who are looking for something new, people named Rowan.

Cost (Ohio): Not available in Ohio... Around $40 online

Let's start the review!

Taste - Score 20 out of 35

On the nose, we picked up a very sweet smell with caramel, brown sugar, raisin, rose petal and hints of vanilla and honey. Some of us also picked up a slight tinge of what smelled like lighter fluid.

As we taste Rowan's Creek, we picked up a strong smokey taste (like you smoked a cigar) with corn forward. It tastes bitter and tart and isn't very enjoyable.

Smoothness/Finish - Score 13 out of 25

The finish gave an overly warm Kentucky hug. Starts out rough with the burn, but smooths out as it warms. It has a medium to long finish. The manufacturer says 'dusted in floral notes,' we didn't get floral notes but could definitely taste the smokey with a hint of cinnamon...

Intangibles: Color/Appearance - Score 8 out of 15.

This is one of the worst labels we've seen. It almost looks like it was created by a child. It reminds me of the horrible letter from Dan Gilbert, the horrible owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, when LeBron James left Cleveland to go to the Miami Heat. It was written using comic sans font and looked ridiculous. A better logo would be any creek that exists in the world with any animal standing on the banks. For a bottle at this price, I would expect something unique or inviting. This isn't it. 

As for color, it has a really nice brown/amber color. In the picture below it's right on par with what a bourbon should look like in the glass. 

Availability - Score 0 out of 5

This is not available in Ohio so it gets a 0. #sadness. Again, this is due to our antiquated liquor laws...

Overall Value - Score 10 out of 20

In terms of overall value, given the ash taste and lack of smoothness, this isn't our favorite. At the $40 price point, in our opinion, there are a lot better options that would offer more bang for your buck (Woodford, Basil Hayden's, Michters). Given the bottle design and just overall... this doesn't stack up with similar options, including many produced by the same distillery. Unfortunately, this bourbon missed the mark. 

Final Score: 51 out of 100 - Not one of our favorites

Note: This review was done by Mark and the great Johny K. The bottle was purchased at Total Wine and More in Scottsdale, AZ.

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