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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Blade and Bow Review

Welcome to the Columbus Bourbon review for Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This review was requested by one of my wonderful readers (Joe G.) who scored a bottle at Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati.

Unique to Blade and Bow is the key around the bottle. If you collect all 5 keys, you can send in a picture of them and they put your name on a cup in a room with all the other cups at the old Stitzel Weller distillery. 

Blade and Bow is produced by Stitzel-Weller, which also owns the I.W. Harper and Orphan Barrel brands.

We'll get started with the basics.

Manufacturer: Stitzel-Weller 

Age: No age statement on bottle.

Location Produced: Stitzel-Weller Distillery, Louisville, Kentucky

Mash Bill: Unknown

Tasting notes (from manufacturer):

Nose: Fresh fruit

Taste: Hints of dried apricot, ripe pear and a sweet roasted grain

Finish: Charred oak and warm winter spices
Proof/Alcohol: 91 (45.5% alcohol by volume)

Cost (Ohio): $49.99 + tax in Ohio

Let's start the review. 

Taste - Score 27.5 out of 35

This review was done by me (Mark).

On the nose, I picked up vanilla and oak. I didn't get any of the fresh fruit the manufacturer has on the tasting notes. It was a pleasant aroma. I was at a tasting a few years ago and at the time, and the group picked up orange and floral notes. 

The taste was heavy tones of vanilla. Overall, it was fairly straightforward but enjoyable. I didn't pick up any apricot or pear and I'm not sure what sweet roasted grain smells or tastes like so obviously didn't pick that up. 

Smoothness/Finish - Score 19 out of 25

The finish was short to medium. Nothing out of the ordinary. It finished like what I would expect a bourbon to finish so no complaints here. 

Intangibles: Color/Appearance - Score 12.5 out of 15

I like the uniqueness of the bottle shape with all the corners and the overall shape. The keys are a bit gimmicky and they get in the way once the bottle is opened. However, I'm sure I'll keep it (for anyone wonder, I have key #1), similar to the Blanton's tops. 

In terms of the color, it's a bit lighter than some, but still looks right in the glass. 

Availability - Score 1.5 out of 5

This product is available in Ohio, but you're going to have to do a decent amount of work to track down a bottle. As you can see in the availability maps, Blade and Bow is showing at a handful of retailers. However, I've never actually seen this on the shelves of any store in Ohio. In fact, I purchased my bottle during the holidays in Illinois. 

Columbus Availability (5/23/22)

Dayton Availability (5/23/22)

Overall Value - Score 15 out of 20

The $49.99 question... should you buy this if you find it? I think this is a good bourbon worth having. The Keys are kind of fun in a gimmicky sort of way. The taste was solid and I enjoyed the experience. I wish there was more known about this bourbon... including age statement and mash bill. However, even without those, this is a solid bourbon at a decent price that is a fun bottle and gift and also makes for a decent drinking bourbon. 

Final Score: 76.5 out of 100 - Solid

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

Note: This review was done by Mark. The bottle was bought by me in Bloomington, Illinois at retail price.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! This is a really nice bourbon to have on the shelf. And I have numbers 1 & 2. :-)