While The Dead Rabbit says its based on five year old whiskey on the bottle, the whiskey itself doesn’t carry an age statement, which means that the blend may have some 5 year old whiskey in it, but we don’t know how much, and the rest of the bottle is a mixture of much more shortly aged alcohol.
What The Dead Rabbit does have is an epic backstory:
The Dead Rabbits were a notorious Irish immigrant street gang whose sworn enemies were the nativist anti-immigrant Bowery Boys. Their antagonism came to a head in a notorious riot that raged for days in 1857. Up to a thousand gang members were involved before order was finally restored. The leader of the Dead Rabbits was John Morrissey, a notorious figure who would later go on to become a Democratic congressman and senator.
The nose sweet vanilla that competes with the ethanol. The nose is subtle and not complex.
The palate is clean but there is too much Bourbon Cask to really appreciate what I like about Irish Whiskey. There is just a hint of sweet that might have some malt in it, but it is so overpowered by the time in the Bourbon and New Oak that it leaves me wanting more of the Irish, and less of the American influences.
I’m giving The Dead Rabbit a69/100, making it just a point into Mixed Drinks Only territory. Save it for your coffee!
Awesome backstory that taught me a bit about my Irish roots.
If you love Bourbon with a hint of Irish this might be the bottle for you.
At $35 there are better options out there.
If you like Irish Whiskey and butter cookies, don’t come looking to The Dead Rabbit to fulfill your desires.
The mouth feel is clean, very sweet, and exploding with banana flavors. I can’t get the association out of my head, this tastes like someone ground up Banana Runts and infused it with alcohol. You can’t really appreciate the alcohol, which worries me, because this level of sweetness and flavoring could easily lead to someone drinking more than they should. It is 40% ABV, but it doesn’t taste like that. It tastes like candy.
I don’t want to be a snob, but this is more candy than whiskey for me. Sure, its like dessert, but its so heavily sweetened and flavored that after a single dram I just can’t think about pouring another. I’m going to give this a 50/100, making it a Mixed Drinks Only whiskey – but there is so much flavoring, this is a mixed drink even without any other mixers added.
Very mild taste.
If you like candy flavored whiskey, this will be right up your alley.
May be great if your trying to get a newbie to like whiskey.
If you don’t like candy flavored whiskey, you are not going to enjoy this.
Tastes like dessert, which might be good, except after a single dram the sweetness and overly rich banana flavoring doesn’t make me want to pour another glass.
I ranked Death’s Door whiskey as a 68/100 as a straight sipper, but at $40 a bottle for me (Northeast United States) there are better options for two twenties – so I was curious how it would do as a Manhattan.
The good news is that a bit of vermouth did take off the rough edges of this Death’s Door whiskey.
This Blade And Bow scored a 48/100 as a a sipper, which relegated it to the Mixed Drinks Only category. Which means I wasn’t super excited about what a Manhattan would do for this Blade And Bow whiskey. I find that a Manhattan can soften some rough edges, but usually results in a 10 or 15 point increase (max) to the base whiskey.
The makers of Blade And Bow might not have been super happy with my score as a “straight sipper”, but hopefully they will be a little more pleased with what their bourbon can do as a mixer, especially for a Manhattan.
I used my normal two to one formula, mixing two parts whiskey with one part vermouth, then adding in a few drops of Orange Bitters, and this Blade And Bow really shone through.
My issue with Blade And Bow as a straight sipper was the soft sweet opening and the hardness on the swallow that was kind of a punch in the face. The good news is that the vermouth really evens this out, turning this jarring sip into something much smoother. The vermouth takes that rough finish and just smooths everything out in quite a lovely way. So much so, that this is the all time biggest increase when comparing a whiskey to its Mixed Drinks Only pairing.
This Blade And Bow Manhattan scored an all time high 90/100 (as of 3/17/2021). If you love a good Manhattan, this is a must try. This just might might help me justify spending $50 on another bottle – which is crazy for a mixer right? But still, it’s that good in a Manhattan.
The first thing that hit me on the nose was the alcohol. This whiskey is only 86 proof, but the alcohol on the nose would have made me guess higher. It wasn’t until I added some ice and let it open up that I could appreciate any of the more delicate notes. Once it opened up I could really smell the oak and vanilla. I was expecting to maybe smell something from the time spent in the Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, but the nose is all bourbon to me.
The first sip matched the nose. Straight, the alcohol smacks you in the face. Opened up a bit with some ice or water and I can appreciate the oaky vanilla on the sip, and it does finish with a red wine dry, acidic mouth feel that hints at a bit of sweet fruit.
I’m giving Agitator a 50/100, but because of its red wine roots, I am very curious to find out how it does in a Manhattan, as this is a Mixed Drinks Only bottle from here on out.
If you like a dry finish, this might be right up your alley.
Opens up with a bit of ice or water.
Red wine finish.
The straight whiskey has a very strong alcohol punch.
Is $30 bucks too much for this? The fact that I’m not sure makes it a con for me.
Kilbrin 10 Year Single Malt is distilled in pot stills from 100% malted barley, produced at one distillery, at least according to their website. What distillery? I can’t find that. There is a parish in County Cork by the name of Kilbrin, but there is no distillery there.
Based on the pieces I can put together from online research Kilbrin is a sourced whiskey. It’s not available in Ireland, and it sounds like its basically purchased from other vendors, and bottled as Kilbrin.
The nose is fruity and full of apples with just a hint of vanilla.
The first sip is very approachable but the finish has a lot of alcohol in it. Enough that I feel it going up my sinuses and into the back of my throat. I feel like Kilbrin’s distiller deserves a shout out. The whiskey is opens well, and is a great entry level body, but it hides a lot on the finish, a finish that is a bit rough, full of alcohol burn, and not nearly as smooth as I’d like from a bottle with a 10 Year age statement.
I picked up this mini bottle of On The Rocks Knob Creek Old Fashioned pretty much on a whim. They had a rack of them by the check out and I’d never seen them before, and it said Bourbon, so I grabbed a bottle.
I’m not a huge fan of Knob Creek Bourbon’s to be honest with you. When I reviewed Knob Creek Small Batch it scored a 49/100 but I’m happy to say this makes a much better Old Fashioned.
This premade On The Rocks Knob Creek Old Fashioned has a sweet fruity nose. That burnt sugar and char I didn’t like so much with the straight Knob Creek Small Batch mixes well to make an Old Fashioned. It likely also benefits from being diluted down to 35% ABV, compared to 50% for the Small Batch.
The palate is a pleasant woody char followed by sweet. If you like a sweet mixer, you will love this On The Rocks Knob Creek Old Fashioned. If your like me, and can’t have a lot of sugar, this mixer might not be the best choice for you.
I did enjoy sipping this Old Fashioned, but by the second tumbler I had a headache, which is what too much sugar does for me. I literally don’t eat any sugar or carbs, so this my just be a “me” issue.
If it weren’t for the headache, On The Rocks Knob Creek Old Fashioned, would have scored a 90 as a mixed drink, but for me the headache brought that score down to an 83/100.
Great value at $13 bucks for a bottle. Sure, it’s a small bottle but even if you buy two that’s only $26 bucks for a regular sized bottle’s worth.
If you like sipping bourbon, this might be a tad sweet. For me it was almost like a desert drink.
According to their website, Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey uses a unique Solera System aging process to make their whiskey. What is the Solera Aging Process?
It kinds looks like a pyramid. If you watch the little video they provide you can see they basically created a named process for blending younger and older casks before they draw off the final product to be bottled.
So what does the end product of this pyramid process smell and taste like?
The nose is light charred oak, sweet vanilla and alcohol. None of the notes are particularly strong, they all just kind of sit there.
The first impression on the sip is vanilla and sweet until the swallow, which is dry oak and char as it goes down your throat. That char may be a shock for some. The front of your tongue picks up the sweet vanilla and when it hits the back of the throat it is raw and oaky and very strong compared to the opening.
There is an interesting duality on the swallow of this whiskey. It is a little dry from the time in the oak barrels but it is also very, and I’m struggling for the right word here, watery? There isn’t any real mouth feel to this whisky, it is just watery with no substance. I feel like something with this much oak should have more oil, something more substantial?
The stark difference between the soft sweet opening and the hardness on the swallow really cost this blended whiskey points. Blade and Bow scored a 48/100, meaning this whiskey is destined for Mixed Drinks Only.
What do I do with bourbon that isn’t sip worthy? I make Manhattans of course.
If you can find or buy this online at the $25 price point, this is a great bottle to make mixed drinks. The Vermouth and Orange Bitters takes this rough edged bourbon and turns it into a smooth, tasty, Manhattan.
I feel like I got ripped off as I payed $40 bucks for my bottle of Fistful of Bourbon. At $25 this would be a great bottle for mixed drinks like a Manhattan.
A Fistful of Bourbon Manhattan scored an 80/100, and mixes into Sip Worthy Manhattan.