Hello readers and welcome to my first live review from Reserve 101 at 1200 Caroline here in downtown Houston. Tonight we’ll be bringing to you coverage of the release party of Yellow Rose Outlaw Texas Bourbon, a new product distilled right outside of Houston in Pinehurst locally by Yellow Rose Distilling company. They have produced the first commercial Bourbon product with a 100% corn sweet mash distilled in a custom-made European alembic pot still and aged in charred white oak barrels. Tonight’s review will consist of a review of the spirit and also a review of a barrel aged cocktail featuring the whiskey.
The nose of the product is sweet and light. A few notes begin to invade the senses starting with the dominant redolence of its sweet corn, moving to vanilla and honey, and evolving into smokey toasted wood and tobacco. It finishes with some trace caramel, cereal grains, and malt. This was strange considering this is not made with malted corn according to Ryan with Yellow Rose. The nose is not nearly as potent as you would imagine Bourbon to be typically.
The flavor has some notable differences however. A strong base note of dark chocolate initially hit the palate, moving towards sweet corn, molasses, and maple tinges. It then headed in the direction of some light caramel and vanilla, typical of the oak barrels, and an appearance of some almost single malt barley-esque flavors. Again this was strange as my friend and band-mate Tron also detected the same notes immediately and it is not fermented with any barley. It finished silky smooth with a strong flourish of charred oak.
We are also being treated to a second course so to speak. Reserve 101 took an empty barrel from Yellow Rose, added sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, honey, and the Yellow Rose Bourbon as well and rotated it over a course of a few weeks. The cocktail resembles a Manhattan (someone here affectionately referred it to a Houston) but with a wonderful honey finish reminiscent of mead spiced with cinnamon.
Please come out to Reserve 101 and try some of this cocktail if you are in the area and please go by your local area Spec’s liquor to buy a bottle for $73.67 of the Yellow Rose product. You won’t regret it and you’ll supporting a very passionate group of fellow local Houstonians. Look for an interview with Ryan Baird of Yellow Rose Distilling soon.
Rating of Bourbon: 5 out of 5
Rating of Cocktail: 4 out of 5