Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Craft Whiskey Week - Bowen's Whiskey from Bakersfield
For this reason, I get excited anytime a distillery opens south of Monterey, even if it's not exactly close. The latest southern California distillery is Bowen's Spirits in Bakersfield, named for owner Wade Bowen.
Bowen's is sort of a mysterious operation. They sent me a bottle but give very little information about what's inside. It's labeled "whiskey" but neither the label nor the website give any hint as to the grains used to make it. I asked what grains were used and how old it was and was told that the information was "proprietary." Well, let's see what it tastes like.
Bowen's Whiskey, 45% abv ($40)
On the nose this is very raw with wood chips, young wood, that Home Depot smell; you know what I mean. On the palate it has the same young wood notes with a bit of sweetness and a touch of mint; it tastes a bit diluted as well. The finish is minty, like mouthwash.
If I had to guess, I'd say this was a wheat whiskey aged in small barrels. It's got the mildness of wheat with the fresh wood of young whiskey in small barrels. The label features a campfire and describes the whiskey as "smokey" but I don't get smoke at all.
This is not a whiskey I'd recommend.
UPDATE: I'm told the Bowen's mashbill is 100% corn, so hey, what do I know?