Traverse City XXX Straight Bourbon Whiskey
What the Distillery Says
MASH: CORN, RYE, MALTED BARLEY
Amber and elegant, our XXX Straight Bourbon Whiskey has been aged at least four years in new American white oak barrels. With warm vanilla and a little heat, this is your go-to whiskey for all occasions. Perfect for sipping, it still holds its own in your much deserved craft cocktail.
What Gary Says
Nose: Vanilla pudding with a hint of cinnamon and a layer of corn with musty/soft oak; a slight edge/bite; on the young side.
Palate: Thin mouthfeel with sweet corn, cinnamon, vanilla custard with some caramel; a touch of sour oak with a slight pepper note at the end.
Finish: Short to moderate in length and mellow while drying.
Comments: Growing up in Michigan, I was really excited to try this. While I found nothing off-putting about this straight bourbon (which is at least 4 yrs old), I also didn’t find anything exciting or special. Each time I tried it, I walked away uninspired and reminded of young, craft whiskey. I didn’t pass the “would I prefer this over Evan Williams Black Label” test – even if priced the same (which they’re far from). Don’t get me wrong – this hits all the right notes for a straight bourbon with the vanilla and caramel. I suspect that the impression of being “young” is a function of being aged in northern Michigan compared to Kentucky.
What Richard Says
Nose: The nose is predominated by malty corn notes. Not dissimilar from younger (4-6 year old) Heaven Hill bourbons.
Palate: Corn pudding and vanilla cream sweetness. The youth of the taste comes from it being more corn forward as a bourbon than any deficiency or harshness in the product. Nice for a young bourbon.
Finish: The finish is mellow and clean.
Comments: [A quick note on the bottle that we reviewed. The current release featured on Traverse City’s website is a four or more year old XXX Bourbon but the bottle we got and reviewed is labeled as a two or more year old XXX Bourbon.] I’m a bit gun shy on new “craft” bourbons because they are always overpriced and typically pretty awful. In opposition to that, Traverse City seems to be doing it right. It’s still pricey at $35 for a young bourbon but that is much more reasonable than like products. The quality of the product is pretty top notch too. It’s young but in a corn forward way. It’s not harsh or rough at all. I hope they are laying down stocks for older versions because I would really like to try this again in a 6 or preferably 8 year old version.
Rating: Stands Out
We would like to thank Traverse City Whiskey Company for sending us a bottle to review.