Monday, June 11, 2012

Group Taste: Noah's Mill

This is the latest of my joint reviews with my pals Jason from Sour Mash Manifesto and Tim from Scotch & Ice Cream.

Noah's Mill is the premium selection from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers small batch collection, which includes Pure Kentucky XO, Kentucky Vintage and Rowan's Creek (I reviewed those three several years ago).

While they own a distillery that they recently refurbished and began distilling in, Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD) is an independent bottler and all of their current product is sourced from other distilleries. Noah's Mill is a bourbon which is sourced from one or more of the Kentucky distilleries; it's bottled at a higher proof than the other bourbons in the collection.

Noah's Mill (Kentucky Bourbon Distillers), 57.15% abv [Batch 11-121]($50)

This one is very musty on the nose. The mustiness is followed by some peanut candy (PayDay bar) and rubbing alcohol. The palate is mostly heat with some wood underneath that grows stronger into the finish. Hmm, where's the flavor? I've never had a high proof whiskey that was so indistinct. Given that it's high proof, I thought that water might help bring out some flavor notes as it often does with high proof whiskeys, but no dice. Water gives the palate a bit of those peanut notes from the nose, but not much else.

I've heard a lot of good things about Noah's Mill from a lot of people I respect, but this one just left me perplexed. Of course, given that this is a vatting of sourced whiskeys, the potential is there for a lot of variance from batch to batch, but if this batch is at all representative, I'd say it is easily one of the most overrated bourbons out there.


Florin said...

Sku, if this is a batch effect, your bottle and mine come from the same batch. I picked up the peanut aroma & flavor as well, and was equally underwhelmed by the whole experience.

SteveBM said...

I've always been the only person I know who doesn't like Noah's Mill. Your comments about high proof with no distinct flavor echo my thoughts.

James said...

Steve, did you guys all get the same batch? Looks like you and Tim pretty much hated it, while Jason gave it good marks.

Also, I'm heading to LA (from SF) for a last minute trip tomorrow and would appreciate some food recs. Korean, Mexican, Chinese (especially good dumplings), and anything else that might be a must try. Thanks!

sku said...

James, it was the same bottle which we split three ways.

As far as food recs, well, there area lot on the blog. To narrow it down, what part of town will you be staying in and will you have a car?

James said...

We'll be staying at an Embassy Suites--either Downey or Glendale. We will have our minivan so easy parking would be great as well as kid friendly places. However, we're willing to drive to destination spots.


sku said...

If you're looking for dumplings, you need to go east to the San Gabriel Valley, which is just about 20 minutes east of Glendale. For dim sum, hit Sea Harbor or Elite or for a more traditional palace-with-carts type experience, though not quite as up to par food wise, NBC. For XLB (Shanghainese soup dumplings), you want Dean Sin World which is a tiny little place, but oh so good.

If you're in Downey, you're just a short hop from one of our best Mexican places, La Huasteca in Lynwood (I've been meaning to write it up but haven't gotten to it yet).

All of the good Korean is in Koreatown, southwest of Glendale. My K-Town reviews are here. The best Korean BBQ is probably Park's but Dong Il Jang is more kid friendly. See a comparison here.

Have fun!

kallaskander said...

Hi there,

there has been a change in Noah's Mill from ... matured 15 years... to ... Aged in wooden barrels until fully mature.

There are many good reviews out there for the 15yo. Could be it is reduced age as well as batch variation.


James said...

Sku, thanks for the recommendations. We hit Sea Harbor, La Huasteca, and Dong Il Jang. All three were superb and we're itching for more. I'll definitely have to ask you for more food recs when we come down next time. Many thanks!