Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Burnside Bourbon 4 Year

March 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

Burnside Bourbon is a new straight bourbon marketed by Eastside Distilling (formerly Deco Distilling). It’s aged 4 years, rather than the minimum of 2 for a straight bourbon, and other than a tight-lipped “It’s more than 51% corn” I don’t have much more information about the making or aging of this whiskey. I can only tell you what I find in the glass.

Nose: Cherry, oak, caramel, brown sugar, heavy maple, very malty, noticeable alcohol (it is 96 proof, after all). It has some banana, grainy, pancakes, cinnamon, and fresh sawn wood, and it’s lightly nutty with a trace of acorn. When allowed to air a bit, the nose loses the alcohol harshness, and is much more pleasant.

Taste: a bit hot, but moderately sweet, with strong caramel, bit of toffee, vanilla, maple, brown sugar, cinnamon, and burnt sugar. It’s salty and peppery, grassy, has some clay, and is overall a bit oaky and aggressive. There’s some light pear and banana, with tobacco, and tannins showing up a bit later. There is some sweet corn to the taste, but this whiskey is mostly about the wood.

Finish: Warm, tannic and resiny, woody, lingering burnt sugar and maple syrup. Some walnut and cloves join in with the nutmeg, and wood, and eventually it fades to salts and minerals.

I find Burnside a bit warm and woody for a sipping whiskey, until it’s tamed by a splash of water to reduce the proof. But it is an interesting bourbon for spirit-forward cocktails where the spirit will be somewhat tamed by vermouth or anise other mellowing or sweetening ingredients. Given that it’s 96 proof, you won’t lose too much proof in your cocktail from that mellowing dilution.

Burnside Bourbon 4 Year, (Eastside Distilling, Portland, OR), 96 proof, $28

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