Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. was founded in 2013, bursting onto the American whiskey scene at a time when the bourbon wave was nearing its crest.
Like many new distilleries, Blaum Bros. complements its own production by sourcing from an established distillery. Which one? You guessed it – MGP in Indiana.
MGP-sourced bourbon is hardly new. There are probably over 100 brands that source, at least in part, bourbon and rye from MGP.
Whereas some companies pretend that they “hand craft” all their whiskey, despite sourcing it from elsewhere, Blaum Bros. takes a different approach. A blunt approach, you could say. As its website will tell you, Blaum Bros. Knotter Bourbon, is like it sounds, “not our bourbon.” The website goes on to provide that “The brothers’ Grandfather did not distill moonshine for Al Capone, they don’t have a secret family recipe, and they were not the first distillery since prohibition to do this or that.” Transparency and levity are appreciated.
Blaum Bros. sources a bourbon and rye from MGP, “Oldfangled Knotter Bourbon” and “Knotter Rye.” And, by what we can tell, have selected quite well.
We decided to check out these two bottles to see how well the boys over at Blaum Bros. did at selecting some barrels from MGP.
Blaum Bros. Knotter Rye (Elixir Spirits Parking Lot Pick, Barrel #19) (123.8 proof; Barreled 5/16/2013, bottled 8/28/2018; 5 years 3 months 12 days)
Nose: This is tremendous. Underproof and inviting, with rose petal floral notes and soft herbs, iced tea, peppermint, milk chocolate, some attributes reminiscent of a Highland Scotch, with a ginger lemon tea. (4/5)
Palate: There’s some sharp ginger right up front, followed by vanilla, dill, peppermint, caramel, ginger tea, cake frosting, and sweet lemon cough drop. (3.5/5)
Finish: The ginger carries through to the palate, blending with the sweet lemon cough drop, and transitioning back into the peppermint with some anise. (3.5/5)
Overall: The unique nose, with the bright flavors throughout, make for an experience that is more than satisfying. (4/5)
Value: This was picked up for $65. For cask strength rye at 5+ years, this is more than competitive at that price. (4/5)
Blaum Bros. Oldfangled Knotter Bourbon (10+ years, 118.7 proof)
Nose: A high-rye profile right away, rye spice with clove, all spice, and cinnamon, against a traditional bourbon backbone of caramel and chocolate, brown sugar, butterscotch, could be confused with a rye on the nose. Some damp wood/oak. Some wet leaves. A bit of cherry and tropical fruit. (3.5/5)
Palate: The rye spice continues to lead the way. It explodes initially with most of the baking spice rack. Some cherry and other stone fruit. Some stemmy/pitty woodiness. More heat on the palate than the nose, which makes it a bit harder to sort through. It’s similar to sparks going off. Salt and pepper. Oak. Mouthfeel is a bit lacking with the creamy/oily texture. (3/5)
Finish: The rye really takes over with some brown sugar and baking spice. There’s a trace of tropical fruit and pineapple. Some apple and cinnamon sugar. (3/5)
Overall: A good high-rye bourbon that delivers some good rye flavors in complement to a traditional bourbon backbone. (3.5/5)
Value: This retails for about $90, which drops it down just a bit. (2.5/5)
Gentlemen devoted to the finest.