Single malt whisky - tasting notes

24 Dec 2013

Johnny Drum Private Stock

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * USA

Johnny Drum is a sour-mash bourbon made by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (also known as Willett). They have a Green label, Black label, a Black label 12 and this Private Stock label. It used to have a separate “15 years old” label on the neck but recently this has been left out so it’s possibly a little younger.

Note that the Willett distillery has been restarted in 2012, but this small batch whiskey is just a label – the spirit is bought from external sources (some suggest Heaven Hill further down the same road).

 

 

Johnny Drum Private StockJohnny Drum ‘Private Stock’ 15 yo
(50,5%, OB 2012)

Nose: fairly spicy and woody, with some gingery oak and cinnamon sticks up front. Soft rye elements. A little nutmeg. Maple syrup and vanilla. Nice hints of peaches and banana in the background. Also interesting earthy hints and a fresh minty top note. Rounded off by some varnish. Mouth: quite a surprise. Very savoury and spicy now, with the mouth-coating dryness of cinnamon, with leather and lots of pine and cedar wood. Juniper berries? Ginger. Something of a herbal gin indeed, strange. Burnt wood. Roasted pecans. Some medicinal notes even. Some late dark chocolate. Hardly any sweetness. Finish: shortish, a little toffee sweetness now but still mostly spices and oak tannins.

A slightly strange bourbon, especially on the palate where it displays some uncommon herbs and spices, and few of the classic vanilla / caramel notes. Heavy on the oak and rye notes as well. Let’s keep it at interesting. Around € 45 from UK retailers.

Score: 78/100

Johnny Drum Private Stock 2 Ruben Luyten 2013-12-24

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  • Macduff 1980 (Golden Cask)
  • Karuizawa 45 Year Old (cask #2725)
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Craigellachie 13 Years
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1659 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.