Review: Ben Holladay Missouri Bourbon Bottled-in-Bond

Ben Holladay is Missouri’s oldest distillery, and after a $10 million renovation in 2015, it began distilling bourbon on-site for the first time in three decades. Seven years later, the first bourbon from those days was completed and bottled, having been released sometime last year. All production from mash (73% corn, 15% rye, 12% malted barley) to distillation to barrel aging are completed on site here in Weston, Missouri.

Today Ben Holladay is part of the McCormick Distilling Company, which produces Five Farms Irish Cream, 360 Vodka, Tequila Rose, Broker’s Gin, and more. This is the first bourbon in its lineup, a six year old straight Missouri bourbon, bottled at six years of age and bottled in bond. Let’s give it a try.

Well, color me duly impressed. The nose here is on par with anything of this age from Kentucky or Tennessee, a pleasant melding of peanut butter, Corn Nuts, and a pinch of baking spice. A slight touch of petrol evokes a sense of youth, but the aroma is overall quite easygoing and approachable. The palate falls right in line with expectations, though its more corn-heavy than the nose might suggest. Some grassy, not-quite-dill-but-close notes emerge here, alongside touches of mint, a slight bite of orange peel, and a more pepper-driven spice. Again, some ethanol-driven character provides a bit of bite, but it’s never out of bounds.

All told it’s a solid bonded mixer — made all the more interesting thanks to its unusual state of origin.

100 proof.

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