Johnny Drum Kentucky Straight Bourbon

[NOTE: This is the “regular” Johnny Drum (or, the “Black Label”), not the higher proof “Private Stock” version.]


Nose: The smell on this one, again, hasn’t really given me much info on what the taste will be like. This one, like many of it’s predecessors, is pretty bland on the nose. It is very light and very inoffensive. But, again, it doesn’t do much to help predict the taste. Palate: This guy starts out slow and then ends up with a LONG finish. The initial taste is spice and a bit more peppery. The long finish starts with some heat, tapers off a bit, and finishes with some more heat. It is kind of a weird heat though. It is “hot” but not necessarily super harsh. And, it is very warming. This would be a good “sit-in-front-of-the-fireplace-in-wintertime" kind of bourbon. It also has a nice mouthfeel, but isn’t as “oily” as others. I think that this would be a nice glass to take your time with and I think it would improve on sitting and after having some. So….maybe a 2nd glass would be better than the 1st? Comments: This is the first bourbon reviewed so far from the Willett distillery (aka Kentucky Bourbon Distillers). For reference, Willett makes, well, Willett….as well as products like Old Bardstown (that will definitely be featured in a review in the future), Noah’s Mill, Rowan’s Creek and the various Johnny Drums. The almighty Internet states that there are rumors that Willett actually sources Johnny Drum from Heaven Hill, but there does not appear to be any hard evidence. Interestingly, at least around these parts, the “Black Label” version of Johnny Drum is much harder to find, despite being lower proof (86) and much less expensive (under $20). This is also reflected in the fact that I had a hard time finding reviews for this one, whereas there were plenty for its higher proof brother. And….for disclosure purposes, I must declare that I like the “Private Stock” version of this a lot. I don’t have an open bottle but I think I have a bottle in “reserve” somewhere, but didn’t spend a lot of time looking for it. If I find it easily, I’ll review that one too. Also, the label on this one states “Kentucky’s Finest Bourbon”. Don’t you believe it. It ain’t bad, but it sure ain’t the finest in KY!