By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/16/2016 | Send Email
A weekend in my wife's hometown - celebrating her incredible accomplishments as a designer - turned into one of the most exciting work trips of the year when I realized her grandparents' house was a five minute drive from the well-regarded Tom's Foolery Distillery. The town of Chagrin Falls is a beautiful, quaint little place, which as the name suggests has a massive waterfall running through the middle of town. Just outside the town are some of Ohio's largest and most historic estates along with apple orchards and open space. It was there that we came upon the home of the Herbrucks. Tom and Lianne are the real deal. With out the pomp, ego, or gimmicks that have become ubiquitous in the Craft Whiskey world, these two are generally achieving something great through hard work and dedication. They hit all the important craft notes without making a fuss about it (local grain grown on their own farm, hand distillation, pot stills, years of experience). They have several hundred barrels sitting in their unheated warehouses and while they no longer have the historic Michter's stills that is not stopping them from continuing to make some of the best craft whiskey in the country. This whisky does of course come from those special stills. Expect big bold flavors of dark wood, stewed stone fruits, minty spice and earthy grain. The nose reminds me of some of the great young old whiskies I've had (those post-Prohibition gems). Ultimately, it's a flavor profile that's almost non-existent in KY today. Dryer than most modern bourbon, likely due to the lack of patent warehousing, it remains very balanced with a lovely palate filling texture - leaving you with a unique forest floor and dark cocoa finish. There isn't a hot or harsh note anywhere in the mix and the whole thing is as seamless and integrated as can be. We're all very lucky to have a crack at this special juice.