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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Kentucky Boubon Distillers Ltd Brands

Johnny Drum Bourbon

Johnny Drum, Old Bardstown,  Kentucky Vintage, Noahs Mill,

Pure Kentucky XO, Rowans' Creek, Willett Pot Still,


Johnny Drum Bourbon Black Label 43%Abv 86proof

Colour, Tawny brown

Nose,  Honey amber, cedarwood, golden copal, perfume with water added

Palate,  Initially both corn & rye notes Fades into citrus & cooked maize, classic caramel, vanilla notes, light oiliness

Finish, Medium; Rawhide, nutty, minty, dried tea


Johnny Drum Bourbon Green label 40-43% ABV, 80-86proof

Colour, Chestnut

Nose, Aloeswood, benzoin gum powder, smoke, pencils, young Armagnac

Palate,  elements of a well-blended Speyside on the front palate Sweet corn, corn & rye notes prominent, leather,

Finish, Medium; Amazing how the malted barley notes show themselves, clover honey, citrus floral


Johnny Drum Private Stock label 50.5% ABV, 101proof

(various ages including 4, 8, 12, and 15

Colour, Mahogany

Nose, Pine trees, campfire smoke, takes on a wonderful single malt nose with water added

Palate, Smoke elements quite prevalent, deep forests & woods, candied pecans, musty, oranges

Finish, Medium; Pepper, spice, mint, a blend of forests and cedarwood.

Willett Distillery

Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Ltd Brands

Johnny Drum Bourbon Black Label

Green label 40-43% ABV,

Private Stock label 50.5% ABV, (4, 8, 12, 15 years)

Old Bardstown Bourbon

Black label 43% ABV, 6 year ageing;

Gold label 40% ABV, 6 year ageing;

Estate Bottled label 50.5% ABV, 10 year ageing,

Vintage bourbon and rye (47% abv, 17, 21, 23 years)

Single barrel brands:

Willett Family Estate Bourbon and Rye (Barrel Proof,)

Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon (47% abv, 6-7yo)

Small batch (at most 12 barrels per batch) collection:

Kentucky Vintage bourbon (45% abv, 17yo)

Noah's Mill bourbon (57.15% abv, 15yo)

Pure Kentucky XO bourbon (53.5% abv, 12yo)

Rowan's Creek bourbon (50.05% abv, 12yo)  

Limited availability brands:

Corner Creek bourbon (44.3% abv, 8yo)

Kentucky Pride bourbon (45% abv, 10yo)

KBD also bottles and ages a number of brands

under contract,

Vintage bourbon and rye (47% abv, various ages including 17, 21, and 23 years)


Small batch (at most 12 barrels per batch) collection:


Kentucky Vintage Bourbon (45% abv, 90proof 17 year ageing)

Colour, Chestnut

Nose, Oranges, lemon, tangerines, clover honey

Palate, Ginger, butter, apples, light mouth-feel, creamy texture

Finish, Short to Medium; White pepper, almonds, evergreens.

Old Bardstown Bourbon Black label 43% Abv 86proof, 6 year ageing;

Colour, Oloroso Sherry

Nose, Grains, light spice, butterscotch

Palate, Cocoa, lemon, light mouthfeel

Finish, Medium; Cigar boxes, heather flowers, spearmint


Old Bardstown Gold label 40% Abv, 80proof  6 year ageing;

Colour, Burnished Brass

Nose, Mint, grainy, green tea, light perfume

Palate, Light and easy mouthfeel, banana, fresh laundry, sandalwood

Finish, Medium; Barns, heather honey.


Old Bardstown Bourbon Black label 46% Abv 90proof, 6 year ageing;

Colour Tawny

Nose, Benzoin Sumatra, lemon peel, charcoal

Palate, Initially cereal grains Caramel candy, vanilla, slight smokiness, light syrup notes,

Finish, Medium; Fir trees, mint, cedar, allspice


Old Bardstown Estate Bottled label 50.5% Abv 101proof , approx 10 year ageing The original Willett Distillery brand, first batch distilled 1936

Color: Auburn

Nose: Golden copal incense, eucalyptus, with added water this noses like a single malt that’s been finished in sherry casks

Palate: Nutmeg, somewhat salty mouthfeel, herbal, malted barley showing its face, green tobacco

Finish: Medium; Earthy, grass clippings, light leather notes

Noah's Mill bourbon (57.15% abv, 114.3proof 15 year ageing)

Colour, Polished Mahogany

Nose, Sooty, oak, cologne, leather, smoky

Palate, Salty, mint, musty, significant rye presence, yet with a creamy texture

Finish, Long; Molasses, toffee, rich caramel, chocolate, fudge, peppermint.


Pure Kentucky XO bourbon (53.5% abv, 1-7proof 12 year ageing)

Colour Tawny

Nose, Black tea, cedar, leather, oak, spice, vanilla, sooty

Palate, Eucalyptus, earthy, more vanilla, cherry, rye grains coming to the forefront

Finish, Medium to Long; Salty, maple syrup, woods – think Pacific Northwest rainforest.


Rowan's Creek bourbon (50.05% abv, 101proof, 12 year age ing)

This is KBD's best-selling brand.

Colour, Auburn

Nose, Light pepper, rich cologne notes, camping under the stars, eucalyptus, mint

Palate, Great caramel & vanilla notes… Very cliché to describe a Bourbon like this, but these notes really shine here.  Apricot, cigar boxes and cellars.

Finish, Medium; Lemon, cedar, light smoke, fresh berries, spearmint


Single barrel brands:

Willett Family Estate Bourbon and Rye (Barrel Proof, varying ABV and ageing, limited distribution)


Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon (47% abv, 6-7 year ageing)

Introduced 2008; bottled in a decorative decanter that received a double gold award for packaging design at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


(Although the product has the term pot still in its name, it has been reported that part of the distillation process for the product was performed using the more common column still distillation method — with a pot still used only for the doubler stage.)


Limited availability brands:


Corner Creek bourbon (44.3% abv, 8 year ageing)


Kentucky Pride bourbon (45% abv, 10 year ageing)


Contract Brands:

KBD also bottles and ages a number of brands under contract, including the bottling for such brands as:


Black Maple Hill small batch bourbon and rye (46.6% abv, 14 year ageing, for CVI Brands)


Classic Cask small batch bourbon and rye (17-21 year aging, for Spirit Imports)


Conecuh Ridge small batch whiskey "distilled from bourbon mash" (45% abv, approximately 4 year ageing, for Spirits Acquisition Corp.) – Note that under U.S. regulations a whiskey "distilled from bourbon mash" is similar to a bourbon, but is aged in used oak barrels rather than in new ones.


Michter's small batch and single barrel bourbon, rye, and bourbon-like unblended American whiskey


(various abv and ages, for Chatham Imports)


Old Pogue small batch bourbon (45.5% abv, 9 year aging, for the Pogue family)


The company also occasionally releases various limited-edition special bottlings (often bottled under variations of the Willett brand name) for individual distributors.