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Sonoma County Distilling West of Kentucky Bourbon No. 1 (750ML)
"Let's just put it right out there - not all bourbon in the USA is made in Kentucky. Many great craft distilleries around the country, such as Garrison Brothers out of Texas, have their own spins on this native American spirit. Another upstart operation as well, with what it terms a "California bourbon," has just unveiled the second whiskey bottling in a running series that's been proving hard to keep on store shelves. The distillery, Sonoma County Distilling, has out in the wild right now its West of Kentucky Bourbon No.1. This is a wheated bourbon offering, according to the distillery, combing into its mash bill American heartland grown corn, wheat and malted barley. The pot still this whiskey is made from is set over an open flame, interestingly, which is said to promote "high flavor over high alcohol" while also showcasing "the depth of this group of grains." The entrance is smooth with an undeniable honey sweetness. Hold the bourbon in your mouth for a moment though, and a spicy, peppery burn develops. Molasses, allspice, and charred oak smokiness linger through a long, flavorful finish. Overall: B+. I've sipped ""West of Kentucky No. 1"" blind with Blood Oath; I sipped it blind with Four Roses Single Barrel another; finally, I sipped it blind with Maker's Mark Cask Strength. It absolutely holds its own, which is impressive considering it is less than two years old."