Bowman Brothers Pioneer Spirit, Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey
A. Smith Bowman Distillery/Sazerac, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
90 proof, no age statement. MSRP: $33, in NH for $29.99
First, a bit of history from the company website:
John, Abraham, Joseph and Isaac Bowman were Virginia militia officers in the American Revolutionary War. In 1779, they led thirty pioneer families to Madison County, Kentucky and established Bowman’s Station. Later, the brothers helped establish and settle Fayette County. They were legends, admired and respected by fellow settlers for their courage and bravery. This hand-crafted bourbon whiskey is a tribute to these four heroic Bowman Brothers.”
A. Smith Bowman.com
Here’s a new one for you: A. Smith Bowman doesn’t make their own whiskey yet they also are not a NDP. Instead, they purchase whitedog – unaged whiskey distillate – from Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace makes the mash bill, ferments it, distills it twice, and then A. Smith Bowman gives it a 3rd distillation at their Virginia facility with an Irish style copper pot still. Bowman ages it in new, oak, charred barrels (reportedly 6 to 7 years, although I’m still trying to pin this down.) Easy enough for them to do, as both they and Buffalo Trace are owned by the same parent corporation (Sazerac.) Many reviewers say that this Buffalo Trace’s #2 mashbill, the one used for Elmer T. Lee and Blanton’s.
Nose – oak, floral,a hint of tobacco,
Palate -a beautiful round mouth-feel, although not quite as thick as Michter’s bourbon. Notes of toffee (or is that mocha?) and toasted oak. Drier than some of the relatively sweet bourbons that I generally enjoy, yet less dry than dry wines. This stands out as one of the better whiskeys that I have tried – and that says something. Normally I’m wowed by notes of toffee (Michter’s Bourbon) or if it’s finished in a wine cask, such as Angel’s Envy bourbon. Yet this is a straight, classic, oaky bourbon that I’m digging, which tastes miles away from Jack Daniels, Jim Beam. This is something special. Several people have noted that this tastes like the more famous Elmer T Lee (Buffalo Trace), but alas I haven’t had a chance to sample that bourbon yet.
For more details I can point you to this article on A. Smith Bowman and their whiskeys: American Whiskey, Yes, Virginia, there is a Gentleman, Linda and John Lipman