Like Yellowstone I reviewed yesterday, Belle Meade is another pre-Prohibition brand being resurrected by descendants of original whiskey makers. As with most new comers (or at least folks that haven’t been around in a while) in whiskey making, they are sourcing bourbon from elsewhere while they ramp up distilling and aging their own stocks. This Nashville distillery sourced this bourbon from Midwest Grain Products, a huge industrial distillery that was started by Seagram’s that became independent after Seagram’s went broke. While a lot of bourbon aficionados turn their noses up as non-distiller producers who source their bourbon from MGP, I personally have tasted good bourbons from there Bottled by High West, Smooth Ambler, and Barrell. Their high rye bourbon mashbill is very good, all the grains are non-GMO.
So, Belle Meade is high rye MGP bourbon using two different yeast strains, aged six to eight years, and bottled at 90.4 Proof. What I also like about this bourbon is that it is non-chill filtered. Chill filtering helps quickly get barrel and other sediment out of bourbon, but it robs whiskey of some of its flavor. Kudos to Belle Meade for that and being very clear on their label and website of what they are selling.
The color is a lovely dark amber with some slight red hue. Long oily legs. Nose is lovely rye spice and corn syrup. This promises to be good! On the palate is rye spice, apricots, a little vanilla, cherries, raisins, and slight oak. The flavors are similar to Four Roses Single Barrel and Smooth Ambler Old Scout. Decent mouthfeel. It has a really nice long finish; slightly dry and floral at first but makes your mouth water at the end.
This is a good one and definitely worth the $35 or so price tag. I also bought their Madeira wine cask finished bourbon which I will review soon. Happy Easter!
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