Review: Buzzard’s Roost Bourbon – Char #1 and Toasted American Oak
We’re back with a fourth round with Buzzard’s Roost, a brand which has only been around for two years but which now has at least 10 expressions of sourced American whiskeys. This time out we look at two bourbons, both MGP stock.
Buzzard’s Roost Straight Bourbon Char #1 – 4 years old, from a mash of 59% corn, 36% rye, and 5% malted barley. Aged in Buzzard’s Roost’s very lightly charred (level #1) barrels. Clean but simple nose here, peanut and popcorn showing up in equal proportion. A bit of a raw alcohol note suggests that if aging in under-charred barrels, one may need to age for a longer period of time. Similar notes on the palate offer a relatively underdeveloped but innocuous character, heavy with corn notes but hinting at menthol and apples. Vanilla and some spice in the mix, but nothing unexpected. It’s only seconds until the whiskey develops a charred popcorn character that I’ve seen in other Buzzard’s Roost whiskeys, finishing with a gritty, slightly industrial character. Nothing much to see here. 105 proof. B- / $75
Buzzard’s Roost Straight Bourbon Toasted American Oak – A blend of bourbons, aged 4 and 5 years, from two mashbills: one 74%/21%/5% corn/rye/barley, the other 59/36/5, finished in toasted oak barrels — though details beyond that are scarce. It’s solid, straightforward whiskey: moderately wooded on the nose, just a touch rubbery but engaging with ample spice and eucalyptus notes. Lumberyard lingers, but it comes across as offering a toasty balance, never evoking overpowering youthfulness. The palate mixes sweetness and woodsy notes well — butterscotch, milk chocolate, and graham crackers, then a touch of sawdust and a hint of red berry fruit and a fun touch of fresh-cut grass. This isn’t a knock-your-socks-off barnburner, but its uncomplicated sensibilities really do hit the spot, hitting all the high notes of a classic blend but finishing with just a touch of the punch of the frontier. My sample bottle is bone dry. 105 proof. A / $75
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