We’ve been writing about Green River for years, almost since it got started back in 2016 under the O.Z. Tyler name. Last year we even looked at an almost ready preview bottling of Green River’s eponymous bourbon, made from a mash of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% barley.
Now Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is here, made entirely in Owensboro, Kentucky and officially on the market, albeit with no formal age statement. (Let’s call it 4 years old.)
I was a big fan of the prerelease bottling, though that was bottled at 117 proof. How does Green River present at a much tamer 90 proof? Let’s find out.
I’m pleased to report there’s still lots to like here. Almond and nougat notes are evident on a nose that offers ample spice and a healthy grassy quality driven by the rye. A gentle grind of pepper adds just a hint of heat, but it’s not at all overwhelming. The palate is sweeter than the quite grassy nose would suggest, with notes of marzipan and vanilla prominent, moving from there to cinnamon-swirled applesauce. Some popcorn and peanut here, as is to be expected, but both play second fiddle to the earlier elements. The rye is amply accounted for, a big pop of charred grass and some bay leaf heading up the finish. And yet there’s still room for a hint of maple and butterscotch on the conclusion.
Plenty going on and plenty to enjoy — and a modest shift from the pre-release bottling we saw in 2021. At all of $30, I have zero problem recommending this as a house mixer.
A- / $30 / greenriverdistilling.com