Huber's Straight Bourbon Whiskey
I recently visited Oak & Flame - a small town store with a huge bourbon selection. As I chatted with the storekeeper on some of their smaller brands, we discussed some of the good things that were coming from craft distilleries, such as Huber's Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Southern Indiana.
Four Generations of Distillers
The Huber family came to Southern Indiana - just 20 miles from Louisville, Kentucky - in 1843. Hailing from Baden-Baden, Germany, they settled into farming the land and raising families. Today, the 7th generation of Hubers operates a farming operation, fruit farm, winery, event space.
The winery grew out of the fruit operation, and in 1978, they opened the doors to their winery. In 2013, they began distilling operations. Straight bourbon products are aged for a minimum of 4 years in the Huber Rickhouses on the estate. Master Distillers Ted Huber and Jason Heiligenberg produce a variety of brandies, bourbons, rye whiskey, and liqueurs.
Huber's Straight Bourbon is an undisclosed small batch blend (typically around 20 barrels) of a 3-grain and 4-grain four-year bourbons. The 3-grain is 60% corn, 20% rye, and 20% malted barley; the 4-grain is 51% corn, 20% rye, 9% wheat, and 20% malted barley. In a farm-to-table operation, Huber uses a blend of four corn varieties in the mash bill, including Yellow Dent, Blue Hopi, Lancaster White, and Bloody Butcher.
Both of these bourbons utilize a sweet mash process, as opposed to the more common sour mash. The finished product is bottled at 92 proof and shares the 4-year age statement. This particular bottle is from Batch No. 0228.
From the website, we're told to expect a bourbon that is elegant, fruit driven and sweet, that is an easy sipper neat or on the rocks, and is balanced, lending itself to an extraordinary craft cocktail.
Color: Golden honey with an abundance of medium legs displayed in my glass.
Nose: Fruit-forward, with the scent of an orchard bursting with ripe peaches and apples. It is balanced out with pie crust and bread notes, along with warm brown sugar and lightly toasted oak. This is very pleasant.
Palate: A rush of sweet vanilla-laced brown sugar is followed by oak and some earthy, hay notes. This is very smooth and leans on the sweeter side without being overwhelming. There are some subtle spice notes at the end, but those are nicely balanced by the sweet. The only detraction is the mouthfeel is a little thin, not reflecting the rest of the sensations.
Finish: Medium with a blend of toasted wood, creme' brulee, and gentle spice, well-balanced with none outplaying the other.
Overall: Pretty good! I found this craft bourbon for $39. I was expecting this to taste more "youthful" and be more grain-forward, but was really pleasantly surprised. While the price point may seem higher than similarly aged mass-produced products, it's in-line with other craft whiskeys. The Huber Family is putting out some pretty good craft bourbon. This is one to consider adding to your collection.