In the spirit of small businesses and shopping locally, I decided to give this bourbon a shot and see how it stacks up with the “big boys”. Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet made popular the phrase, “It’s five o’clock somewhere” (which I’ve used more than once, even if it is five o’clock in Nova Scotia or the Azores!). Bourbon30 brings that time forward just a few minutes more.
Bourbon30 is operated by Master Crafter Jeff Mattingly. Growing up in the unincorporated community of Mattingly, Kentucky, Jeff and his five siblings enjoyed sneaking into their father’s stash of Early Times. Today, while Jeff is not a distiller, he is a crafter, blending unique whiskies together, to be enjoyed with friends and family, just like he enjoyed sips as a mischievous youth. At the Bourbon30 Experience in Georgetown, KY, you can enjoy tastings straight from the barrel, as well as unique crafted blends and expressions.
Well, it IS that time – Bourbon30, that is. Let’s give it a taste!
The bourbon is presented in a rounded bottle, complimented with a woodgrain label and black wax dip topped with a “30” and clock stamp. Bourbon30, as a bottler and not a distiller, labels the bottle as distilled in Kentucky. It carries a 5-year age statement and is bottled at 100 proof. There is no information on the mash bill for this product. Earlier releases from Bourbon30 were sourced from Indiana (MGP); I suspect these likely came from Heaven Hill and its extensive selection.
Eye: Deep copper with medium legs exhibited when swirled in a glass. For a five-year blend, this has developed nice color from the oak barrel.
Nose: Caramelized sugar and honey sweetness.
Palate: More honey, caramel and vanilla balanced with oak and black pepper spice.
Finish: Caramel, oak and spice cascade into an exceptionally long finish. Wow!
Overall: The availability of this bourbon isn’t extensive. I was able to acquire a bottle at a large, regional chain in Kentucky for about $40-$50. I didn’t have high expectations for this sourced and blended product. However, for a five-year bourbon, craftly blended, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a lovely thick chew on the palate with a good deal of complexity, all balanced nicely together. I may slide this into a blind tasting and see how it compares with some of the major players. Jeff and his team can take pride in delivering a solid product worthy of the name Bourbon30. Cheers!