Kentucky Owl Confiscated
It should go as no surprise that our home state of Kansas is not high on most distilleries’/distributors’ lists for allocated bourbons. With under three million people (34th most populous state) spread out over 82,000 square miles (15th largest state by area), were are at an obvious economic disadvantage. But that doesn’t mean we are left out completely. It just means we lag behind.
Companies like Kentucky Owl, who started production in 2014 with only 1,250 bottles of the Kentucky Owl Bourbon for which production hasn’t increased significantly, are not likely to focus on Kansas. And even when they expand product lines to a broader release like Kentucky Owl Rye, those initial releases are not broad enough to include Kansas. Only when “nation wide” releases exist do these sorts of things tend to hit here at home, and then often at a significant delay.
Enter Kentucky Owl Confiscated. Batch 1 of the non-age stated Kentucky bourbon was released in April 2019. Recently, this product finally hit shelves here in Kansas. Would the hype be worth the wait?
Kentucky Owl Confiscated Batch 1 (96.4 Proof) (NAS) (Sourced – Undisclosed Kentucky Straight Bourbon)
Nose: Brown sugar; butterscotch cookies; steamed corn; light summer potpourri; banana nut (almond/peanut) muffins; dry oak and leather; apricot/plum; red apple skins; light minerality. Dark sugar and bread forward, but with subtle and pleasing fruitiness behind. (3/5)
Palate: Brown Sugar; buttered cooked corn; butter cookies; toffee; banana; baking spices; oak and pipe tobacco developing on the back of the palate. Not thin, but not creamy or oily. (3/5)
Finish: Medium in length. Drying chocolate and brown sugar; leather; tobacco; orange citrus/apricot; baking spice. (3/5)
Overall: This teeters back and forth from flirting with great and flirting with disaster, but it never quite hits either. There are some interesting nuances and complexities throughout, but complexity does not necessarily mean desirable. In the end, I’m satisfied with the outcome on tasting notes alone. But I can image much more out of this blend. Fortunately, I can imagine worse as well. (3/5)
Value: A non-age stated whiskey at 48.2% ABV for $129? Maybe. But with an overall score of “satisfied” (a 3/5 where value is not taken into consideration) and those same specification? No thank you. I can find dozens of equal or better pours on local store shelves every day for one-half or even one-third this price. (1.5/5).
“This teeters back and forth from flirting with great and flirting with disaster, but it never quite hits either.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.