Back in January, specifically, January 5 – my birthday – my wife surprised me with a bottle of bourbon at my birthday dinner; a bourbon of which I had never tasted let alone heard. And coming from my wife whom I love deeply, but views alcohol and alcoholic beverages in a binary fashion, I was a little skeptical about getting a bottle of bourbon from her. But I smiled in loving appreciation just the same because what does it tell me about my life partner when she gifted me with that which makes me so happy? Right. She knows me well, and she knows that simple things like this remind me of why I love her so much.
Yeah, I know… Just say it: Awww….. 🙂
After dinner, I, of course, had to sample this heretofore unknown spirit. But before I opened it, I examined the bottle to see that it was 114.3 proof! Holy Shit! I thought to myself, This is going to burn!
Nevertheless, I opened the bottle, and Glencairn glass in hand poured out a finger’s worth. I noticed immediately that the bourbon is a lot lighter in color than when it sits in the green wine bottle. Not an issue, because it’s all about aroma and taste to me.
What I Smell
With my first sniff, I noticed a subtle alcohol smell. That didn’t surprise me considering the proof of this bourbon. But that quickly dissipated and I was welcomed to a nice, sweet, cinnamon and spice bouquet followed by a subtle fresh floral scent. A slight swish of the glass revealed a bit of clove or allspice and a little burnt caramel.
What I Taste
What surprised me about tasting this was that it didn’t burn nearly the amount that I was expecting. It’s warm. No getting around that, but it’s super-flavorful, much like Dave’s Insanity or Dave’s Scorpion Pepper Sauce. Pretty hot stuff, but both pack a lot of chili pepper flavor.
With Noah’s Mill, you get more of that cinnamon and sweet spice up front. About mid-palate is where you started feeling a bit of heat, with a bit citrus, amazingly enough, and the short to medium finish reveals creme brulee and vanilla.
How I Like to Drink It
- Neat ~ If I drink it neat, I put in a small chip of ice to help tame the heat a bit. This doesn’t so much cool the alcohol as it provides just a tiny amount of water to help the aromas and flavors bloom a bit and it does take the edge off.
- Mixed ~ This might be sacrilege, but I actually enjoy making either Mint Julep or an Old Fashioned with this; especially a Mint Julep.
- Rocks ~ I will put this over an ice globe and add a few dashes of orange bitters. This brings out the citrus.
What I’ve Found Out About It
Noah’s Mill is bottled by Willett Distilling. Apparently, they source the bourbon from other distilleries, blend it, then age it in their own facilities. The blend is a mixture of bourbons ranging in age from 4 to 20 years.
This is interesting to me because it’s possible that the flavor profile could change from release to release, much like wine blends do; though I haven’t the faintest idea of how dramatic that change would be. I’d frankly have to do a vertical flight tasting. But truth be told, I’m not sure if I’d have the patience to hold onto bottles to do that. I like to drink my bourbon.
For some reason, I’m really taken by this bourbon. By no means is it something I’d drink every day. But this is a bourbon that I like to have around and since I got that first bottle from my wife in January, as soon as it ran out last month, I immediately replaced it. Maybe it’s nostalgia because the original bottle was a love gift. But I really enjoy this bourbon, and I keep it for when I want something that has a kick, and a 6-month life cycle isn’t so bad.