BRADSHAW BOURBON

I recently caught a video from bourbon expert Fred Minnick where Bradshaw Bourbon scored exceptionally well in a blind tasting of $41-$60 bourbons. Seeing how well this scored in a competitive middle-shelf range of bourbons encouraged me to give this sourced bourbon a shake and see if it was worthy of a starting position or relegated to the practice squad.

Why Bourbon?

Celebrity bourbon is becoming quite popular. The James T. Kirk bourbon has been available for some time and recent collaborations with Marianne Barnes and Peyton Manning utilizing a 13-year product from George Dickel resulted in a phenomenal rush on Sweeten’s Cove Tennessee Whiskey.

Why would Terry Bradshaw step into the bourbon limelight? He summed it up succinctly:

There is something quintessentially American about bourbon,” said Bradshaw. “There’s just nothing better than a fireplace, two fingers of Bourbon, a great cigar and Pavarotti playing in the background. I’ve always appreciated a good bourbon, and now I’ll be enjoying my own!”

The Tasting

Bradshaw Bourbon comes in a fairly generic bottle and highlights Terry Bradshaw’s 4 Super Bowl appearances with the Roman numerals IX, X, XIII, and XIV. The product is a sourced bourbon that is bottled by Silver Screen Bottling in Owensboro, Kentucky and is from batch 0001. Other products from Silver Screen include the James T. Kirk bourbon, as well.

A quick search of an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax site leads to the O.Z. Tyler Distillery (now called Green River Distilling) as the source of Bradshaw Bourbon. We weren’t impressed with the rapid aged O.Z. Tyler Bourbon when we last sampled it. The bottle indicates the finished product is aged a minimum of 2 years and is bottled at 103.8 proof (which is 51.9% alcohol – and also Bradshaw’s career passing completion rate).

The mash bill is 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley. The website indicates we should nose vanilla, toffee, banana, leather and campfire notes, with cinnamon, vanilla and coconut on the palate. Let’s see what we think:

Eye: Light copper. Definitely looks young – like weak tea – with thin, watery tears dripping down the side of the Glencairn glass.

Nose: Vanilla, light butterscotch and some grassy notes. Not a lot of complexity here.

Palate: Light on the palate with spice and vanilla at the forefront with some banana. Terry wanted a smooth drinker – I would agree – just wanted a little more.

Finish: Medium-long with wood char and spice ending on a long, dry note. The finish is actually pretty good for, what I suspect, is a fairly young product.

Overall: I found Bradshaw to be young and needing a bit more age on it to round out the spicier notes. Terry had intended it to be smooth, but I found it more like a frontier-style whiskey with some bite. At $40, it’s affordable and an interesting foray into the celebrity spirit market. This rookie needs some more playing time in my book to warrant the price. In a competitive playing field, it faces solid age-statement talent in this price point, including Russell’s Reserve, Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Knob Creek 9-Year.

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