Spirits of French Lick’s The Mattie Gladden Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled in Bond

Indiana whiskey is mostly associated with Midwest Grain Products, but with the rise of new distillers, Indiana is now a growing region with new producers. One such producer is Spirits of French Lick, that is producing not only bourbon but other spirits. I picked up a bottle of The Mattie Gladden this weekend at Hokus Pokus, which is a no-kidding bottled in bond bourbon. The mashbill is high rye, with 55% corn, 35% rye, and 10% malted barley. This bourbon is double pot stilled to 130 proof and then barrelled at 105 proof, using heavily toasted but relatively lightly charred (No. 2 char) barrels. So the 100 proof bottling is not going to have been watered down all that much. It carries a four year old age statement, which is the minimum required to be labelled as bottled in bond. I paid $46.99 for this bottle, which is about right I think.

The color is a nice amber, not terribly dark, probably due to the light charring of the barrels. On the swirl though is a nice thick film and gravity defying thick legs. Very oily bourbon which I attribute to the lack of proofing down. On the nose, the notes are very grain forward with corn and a hint of rye, some green apple notes. The palate is very interesting, and unlike any other bourbon I have tasted. Candied corn made with lightly caramelized sugar, fresh green apple, apricot, slight cinnamon and cardamom, and fresh oak, which then fades into candied herbal rye on the finish. Medium but nice mouthfeel. Finish is long and lingering.

Most bourbons are usually caramel, vanilla, baking spice, and oak driven, meaning that the barrels are the big driver of flavors. Not so with The Mattie Gladden – this is very grain and fruit driven. It strikes me as a spring and summertime bourbon, and also a bourbon for folks who like scotch and Irish whiskies. And for those who are nutty for high rye bourbons, this is definitely up your alley, at a nice price point for bottled in bond bourbon.

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