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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

Casey Jones Total Eclipse Bourbon

On April 8, 2024, the town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be in the center of attention when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, casting a solar eclipse. Hopkinsville was also in the path of the solar eclipse in 2017, and it will be for this year’s eclipse that Casey Jones Total Eclipse Bourbon is named.

The Stillmaker - Not the Engineer 

We stopped by the Casey Jones Distillery in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on our way home from a warm, winter getaway. The Casey Jones Distillery takes its name from Casey Jones, a local stillmaker. During Prohibition, Jones was well renowned for creating finely crafted stills for moonshiners in the region. 

While many built column or pot stills, Jones crafted square stills that were easily hidden inside of wagons and pick-up trucks to create mobile distilling sites and keep the law at bay. Unfortunately, Casey’s luck did run out and he served a few years in a West Virginia prison. Casey's grandson Arlon Casey Jones ("AJ") carries on the family tradition - both in distilling and crafting his own still - modeled after one that Casey built six decades ago. 

The Tasting 

Casey Jones did a great job with marketing this bourbon, as the label bears a large copper-colored etching of a solar eclipse. I really appreciate the transparency and disclosure behind the finished spirit, as well. While many craft distillers provide a quick story and share limited information about an “old family recipe”, this label shares all. Mash bill number 4 is used to produce this bourbon, containing 75% locally-sourced yellow corn, 10% wheat, 10% rye, and 5% malted barley. The label has a hand-lettered 3-year age statement, and the final product is bottled at a versatile 100-proof.

From the website, we’re told to expect baking spice and butterscotch on the nose, followed by a semi-sweet body with orange zest and toasted oak, and finishes with smooth, pecan notes.

Eye: Amber with a few lacy legs evenly spaced along the inside of the Glencairn glass. 

Nose: Sweet, with vanilla glazed kettle corn followed by tart grannysmith apple. There are fainter notes of spice and oak.

Palate: A burst of vanilla, followed by toasted oak and light peppery-spice. Subsequent sips reveal some corn-pudding-like notes. A drop or two of water mutes some of the more prominent notes, but the orange zest is revealed.

Finish: Medium-long led by toasted oak and spice.

Overall: This craft bourbon was very nice. While I’d prefer a little more maturity, the underlying sensory profile is a good one. I appreciate the uniqueness of the mash bill and the slightly higher proof, as some of the better notes could have been lost in a lower-proof product. 

We’ll have to wait until August 23, 2044 to catch the next solar eclipse in the United States. Don’t wait that long, though, to try this craft bourbon. If you’re looking for this bourbon to highlight your eclipse party, you may need to stop by the Casey Jones Distillery where it can be purchased for $49.99. Their bourbons can also be found in select retailers in CA, GA, KY, IL, OK, TN, TX, NY, NJ, and WI.

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