I’m back with one of those bourbons I’ve had my eye on for years but haven’t gotten around to trying: Rowan’s Creek. I have tried a few of the other offerings from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers out of Bardstown, though. Their line includes Johnny Drum, Willett’s, Noah’s Mill, and Kentucky Vintage among others – an impressive range for sure. Rowan’s Creek in particular has a solid reputation among the folks I’ve spoken to about it so this is one that should be interesting.
– 100.1 proof (precisely)
– Made by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers
Rowan’s Creek walks a fine line between appearing charmingly amateur and looking cynically so. The simplicity and written-out sentences on the front labels don’t come across like marketing-department copy, but the intentionally roughed edges and stained coloring just seem to be trying a little too hard. The rear label also goes off on one of those origin tales that bother me about a judge and his creek way back in the good ole days. That said, there is a theme of unabashed and unrefined pride in the product throughout the packaging, which for some reason comes across like they mean it.
Otherwise, the bottle has a nice, more wine-like, shape and is topped off by a simple wax sealing.
There’s a nice big nose on this one: I get sweet peaches, hot bricks, dried grass, and a touch of the alcohol coming through. On the tongue, that dried grass comes through but the sweetness doesn’t express itself until mid-way in the form of an almost-raspberry. The last half of it is strong on the oak end of the spectrum with spikes of dark chocolate in there. The finish is long, warm, and still oaky. What’s most impressive about Rowan’s Creek though is the mouth feel. This has a luxurious full texture to it almost to the point of feeling syrupy.
Now that I’m a few sips into this one, I’m liking it more than when I wrote those words above. It is certainly developing over time in interesting ways. I like this quite a bit, but I think my expectations were a little high because it’s not quite what I’d hoped it would be. Oh well – I should enjoy it for what it is, a very good bourbon.