Bowman Bros Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) (Elsewhere $40)
Though it needs a little coaxing, this small-batch Bourbon is a fitting tribute to the four Bowman brothers, Virginia militia officers in the Revolutionary War. Give it some time and a splash of ice water, and the aromas and flavors open up. Look for sweet notes of almond, cocoa and caramel, plus the clove and nutmeg notes that build on the finish.
Distilled three times on a pot still like an Irish whiskey, Bowman Distillery in Virginia has been quietly churning out elegant Bourbon whiskey for years. Purchased by Sazerac in 2003, the operation has slowly been revamped to accommodate the drinking desires of the entire country, which is why we're finally seeing some Bowman whiskey here on the West Coast. The Small Batch release is a 90 proof expression that offers plenty of charred wood character, but is decidedly lighter and more elegant than the standard distilled Kentucky cousins. The Bowman is ultimately less sweet and more focused on the grain. This unique whiskey is distilled fermented and distilled twice in Kentucky before being shipped to Virginia as new make for a third distillation in pot stills. It's then aged on site at Sazerac Co.'s experimental craft distillery in Spotslylvania County, VA.