Here at The Real Dram, we pride ourselves on being open minded whisky thinkers and whisky drinkers. We think that it takes all sorts to make the world go round, so you will never find us telling you how should do something, or what you should or shouldn’t drink. We aim to be both an exploration of the world of whisky and a guide to what you might expect when you drink a dram. We do give you a numerical score, but more as a way of telling you how we felt about it, rather than as a notion of what is or isn’t good whisky.
Saying this, we had come to realise that American Whiskey was a bit of a blind spot for us. It was an area that we had kind of ignored and in some almost unspoken ways looked down upon. That was until we were sent a bunch of different samples of Americana by the lovely chap that is Ben Bowers.
Ben is currently engaging in his very own charity led whisky challenge. His aim is to raise £5000 for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. He is doing this by drinking and reviewing a dram of whisky every day for 366 days. His reasoning is clear, to support a charity that is close to his and his daughters heart, so that they can carry on doing important and life changing work.
We have made a donation towards Ben’s target and we would love it if you, our readers, would too… At the time of writing this blog, Ben had raised 33% of his ambitious target, so follow the link, dig deep and be generous: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adramaday
Noah’s Mill is a Bourbon that is distilled by Willett Distllery Company, who are a Kentucky based company who make a wide range of Bourbon and Rye. It is bottled at near cask strength and its aim is to harken back to the history of bourbon making, when most spirit was either drunk straight off the still, or out of the barrel, rather than at 100% proof as most is now.
Cost: £50 – 60
Appearance: Dark, reddish brown, like a classic pint of mild.
Aroma: For a whiskey of high strength, this dram has a nuanced and complex nose. There are obvious qualities, which you always associate with bourbon, such as oak spice and vanilla sweetness here. However there are also darker fruity notes that have a rich and unctuous quality. These notes are juicy cherry and strong dark chocolate.
Taste: As you draw the glass to the mouth, you are greeted with sweet buttery caramel flavours, which melt into milky chocolate. This notes are evocative and carry the mind to sweet shops of youth, or pull you into the best pudding that you have ever eaten.
Just as you are enjoying these first notes, you are hit by the strength of the dram, with its spice and alcohol. However, despite it’s obvious power, this is in no way burning or tongue stripping in the way some higher proof bourbon’s can be.
Finally, as the power dies down you are left with a long, smooth, creamy wooden finish. Earthy, old and warning. The heat builds and bubbles in the throat, warming you up. This part of the dram gave me the feeling of joy that can usually on be attained by slipping down into a large, leather chair in front of a blazing fire, that you have successfully started.
Mouthfeel: Big, bold, but ultimately incredibly well balanced.
Overall: This was a game changer for me, it showed me that bourbons can be big, bold and yet still manage a beautiful balanced flavour. It doesn’t happen often, but this dram instantly went on my to purchase list. Sadly, my search has so far gone unfulfilled as the age statement seems to have bene stripped from this bottle and in its place is a NAS whiskey. Now this might not be a bad thing, but I don’t want to run that risk, so my search goes on.
Real Dram Factor: 8.5
Source: Ben Bowers of A Dram a Day
More Information: Willett Distillery Website