Brand: Johnny Drum Private Stock Label
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Age: 15 Years
ABV: 50.5 %
Nose: Sweet Corn, Maple Syrup, Charred Oak, Vanilla, Glue, Cinnamon, Caramel, Orange/Mandarin and Peanut Butter are my first impressions. Nose carefully because there's quite some Alcohol around, especially if you have opened a fresh bottle. Hints of Cotton Candy, Peach and Caramelised Apple follow. Quite nice once you manage to cheat the Alcohol.
Palate: By far not as Sweet and Tasty as the Nose would want you to believe! It's quite Spicy and a bit Musty actually! Charred Oak, Herbs, Peanut Butter, Rye Bread, Pepper, Nut Casks, Caramel, Nougat, Orange and Maple Syrup.
Finish: Certainly lasting but a bit on the Sour side with Charred Oak, Pepper, Maple Syrup and quite some Mint.
I added a bit of Water and that strongly reduced the Alcohol and Spices on the Nose. The remaining Sweetness and Cinnamon remind me of a Whisky Liqueur. Palate and Finish become too Watery for my taste.
Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20 Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5
A Confederate Drummer Boy
General Remarks: Johnny Drum is a Brand Name owned and marketed by Independent Bottler Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Ltd (KDB) also known as the Willett Distilling Company. Although it's not quite sure where the Johnny Drum is distilled, chances are it's from Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky or Brown Forman or both. Johnny Drum comes a Green Label with an ABV of 40%, a Black Label at 43% and as a Private Stock Label at 50.5% and various age types including 4, 8, 12 and 15 Years. The 15 Years we are tasting today is the flagship of the lot and is produced in small batches only. It costs around 35 US Dollars.
In the American Civil War lots of young boys wanted to join the fight but a minimum age of 18 years was established. Younger boys could only enlist as a drummer or a bugler. Legend has it that Johnny Drum was one of them and after having safely returned from the War started to make Bourbon in Kentucky.
Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good
Conclusion: Not bad but certainly not one of my favourite Bourbons. The Nose is quite okay actually if you can get around the sometimes sharp Alcohol. But on the Palate and in the Finish I find the Johnny Drum less enjoyable. Too Bland, a bit Sour and slightly Musty. Therefore I wouldn't consider buying a full bottle. Cause for mixing it's a bit too expensive.