Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wakey Whiskey: The Spirit of America Handcrafted Bourbon Whiskey

by Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, it's time for another #wakeywhiskey!  This one is coming to you strong on this Easter Sunday from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. The Spirit of America Handcrafted Bourbon Whiskey, bottles at 86 proof for a 43% whiskey. Now, I know I said Indianapolis, but this spirit is only "produced & bottled" in Indianapolis, but it's actually distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Remember that location if you're a frequent reader, as it will pop up a good bit. It turns out Lawrenceburg is home to one of the largest distilleries in the USA and their specialty is sourcing high-quality whiskey.

The Spirit of America Handcrafted Bourbon Whiskey
The Spirit of America Handcrafted Bourbon Whiskey

Spirit of America is labeled as a Bourbon Whiskey (not a Kentucky Bourbon mind you, but bourbon can be made anywhere in America) and is shown on the back label as being 2 years old, which designates the youngest possible barrel using in making the spirit. Of course labeling it as a bourbon has a few other requirements, including that it's made from a minimum of 51% corn.

On to the spirit... it's on the light side for a bourbon, so this is most likely coming in at the younger side of 2 years.  There's really not much of a nose, what is there is a hint of corn syrupy sweetness mixed with a strong booziness. There's not much oak flavor in the aroma, not much vanilla, and it's not very pleasant.

To the taste... the oak comes through a bit more, but it doesn't balance well with the strong alcohol burn of the overall whiskey. Even still, the flavor is rather bland and lacking in complexity.  This needs something else to cut the flavor, like a good mix. Honestly, this would probably be decent as a mixing whiskey, but as a stand alone sipper, it's just not worth the price. The Spirit of America is coming in around $40 a bottle and I'd rather grab a $20 bottom shelf handle of bourbon like Ancient Age or Early Times if I'm going to go full on Touchdown. A Touchdown, for those of you unfamiliar, is just a straight up bourbon and coke/diet coke. Geaux Tigers! Excuse me... #GEAUXTIGERS. If you've ever celebrated a touchdown in the student section of Tiger Stadium, then you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. The aroma marinates the air, and it's amazingly intoxicating.

Back to the present... I try not to get negative in these #wakeywhiskey columns, but this just isn't a good bourbon for the money. It needs some more time in the barrels, whether that's at the source distillery or at the finishing company doesn't really matter, but it's obviously too young and too harsh to be a good sipper.
Happy Easter everyone, and choose your #wakeywhiskey wisely!

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