Tatoosh Bourbon – The Review

Posted on March 13, 2016 | By TheEnabler | Comments Off on Tatoosh Bourbon – The Review

And….we’re back. 

We recently were able to acquire a bottle of Tatoosh Bourbon, as pictured to the left.  This bourbon is from the Tatoosh Distillery in Seattle, although all the making and bottling is done at the Bendis Distillery in Bend, Oregon (a distillery that makes a couple of lovely gins).  I am unclear as to the extent that Tatoosh oversees the work, but I have always been a fan of Bendis, so it is in good hands either way.

The distillery opened in 2009, the product of the two friends Mark Simon and Troy Turner.  Their families have backgrounds as moonshiners during Prohibition and also as healthy drinkers, apparently.  The Tatoosh Distillery can be found here.

This bourbon is aged 3 years, relatively young for a small batch bourbon.  The mashbill is listed online as 70% corn, 15% rye, 15% malted barley.  Aging and bottling is done in Oregon.  It is 80 proof, so not a strong bourbon.

So, the Palate and I got our drink on.  What did we think?

Color:  A lighter amber, very pleasant and inviting.  Even lighter in the glass.

Nose:  No sweetness.  A surprising amount of alcohol given the proof.   No bread smell, you can tell is doesn’t have wheat.  Not unpleasant, but simple and mild.

Flavor and mouth:  The flavor is fairly mild, with a bit of bite and spice at the end of the finish.  The finish is relatively short, although in my mouth it does linger on the sides of the tongue a bit.   We taste a bit of citrus and some oak.  The bourbon overall is mild and drinkable but not especially notable.  Not much complexity, it would make a decent mixing bourbon, especially for a Manhattan.  Would you want to pay the 45 to 55 bucks for a mixing bourbon?  That is up to you.  TP, she was a bit more harsh.  She said it reminded her of a cheese pizza.  Pretty good hot, but you get the taste of cardboard and it ain’t great cold.  Make of that what you will, but it is not high praise.

Overall, I will drink the Tatoosh, but I would not seek it out.  I would like to try it again in the future if they have some that has been aged longer to perhaps gain complexity.  This is a bourbon that might benefit from the accelerated aging techniques that Maker’s Mark 46 utilizes with the added barrel staves in the weird array that looks like nuclear reactor rods.

I am also looking forward trying the Tatoosh Rye, which I have heard good things about.  I think we might find a bit more complexity there.


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