Blue Run Kentucky Straight Bourbon Reflection 1
We travel often to Kentucky and frequently stay in the Georgetown area. Blue Run Spirits recently announced that it was building a distillery on the north side of town. Wanting to sample the "local stuff", I found a bottle of Blue Run Kentucky Straight Bourbon Reflection 1.
A Local Name
Founded during the Pandemic in 2020, Blue Run has been making a splash in the bourbon industry. Many of the 10 bourbons and rye whiskeys they have released have gone on to sell out in minutes. Blue Run takes its name from the nearby creek in Scott County, and the birthplace of bourbon, and is a nod to the founders and to whiskey director Devon McKinney. The founding group, including a Nike designer, a director from Facebook, a hospitality executive, a political advisor and a philanthropist joined forces along with industry legend Jim Rutledge to source and ultimately produce spirits. Rutledge is the retired Master Distiller from Four Roses with more than five decades of distilling experience.
In August 2022, Blue Run announced that they would be building a 35,000 square-foot distillery along with a 20,000 square-food rickhouse in Georgetown, Kentucky, near the Toyota plant. The addition of 45 new jobs continues to fuel the $9 billion Kentucky bourbon industry.
This bourbon comes in a lovely cylindrically-shaped bottle adorned with a metal butterfly affixed over the Blue Run name. This is labeled as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, indicating it is at least two years old. If a bourbon is listed as "straight" and is less than four years old, it must carry an age statement. This bottle does not carry a separate age statement, though, indicating it is at least four years of age.
The label further shares this is bottle number 1925 from the Summer batch dated 6/28/2022. The finished bourbon has been bottled at 95-proof.
From the website, we learn that this bourbon was contract distilled by Blue Run's Liquid Advisor and Bourbon Hall of Famer Jim Rutledge. Jim distilled this batch of barrels at Castle & Key Distillery. The name “Reflection I” was chosen by two of Blue Run’s founders who faced personal challenges over the past two years, in the middle of the pandemic and while launching the company. Pulled from existing aging stocks, this approachable bourbon, at this particular proof, is what they both enjoyed during this period, allowing them to reflect on what truly matters, starting first and foremost with family.
Eye: Bright amber with a host of short, thin legs displayed in my Glencairn glass.
Nose: A dizzying bomb of vanilla and butterscotch disk candies. Lighter notes of dried apricot, a summer bouquet, toasted wood, and baking spices are also present.
Palate: This is delicious.True to nose, there is butterscotch, florals, and marmalade blended into a slippery mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium with butterscotch, light oak, and spice.
Overall: This is a very smooth sipper. I've enjoyed what has been produced at the Castle & Key Distillery. Much of what has been released to date has been produced under the former Master Distiller Marianne Eaves. It will be interesting to see how Blue Run continues their brand and flavor profiles as they move from sourcing barrels to their own production.