Blade and Bow 22 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The Blade and Bow project started three years ago with intentions of honoring the heritage of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery site. There is currently no major distilling there today (a micro-still is in the works) but it does still have several warehouses, which is where Diageo ages most, if not all, of its North American whiskey. The name, Blade and Bow, comes from the anatomy of a key (the blade is the long section and the bow is the end or ornamental part) and the Five Key symbol that has always had a strong presence at Stitzel-Weller. The Five Key symbol stands for the five steps of making Bourbon (grains, yeast, fermentaion, distillation and aging) and was later used as a symbol of southern hospitality.
The design of the bottle also honors the Five Key way of doing things. Five of its six sides are dedicated to the five steps of crafting Bourbon, leaving one side for the labeling.
This Bourbon has already scooped up a couple major awards winning “Best Straight Bourbon” and a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The Bourbon inside this limited offering is not from Stitzel-Weller nor would the folks at Diageo tell us the exact name of the distilleries it came from. But they did share the juice is from two distilleries, one located on 17th and Breckinridge in Louisville (current address of the Bernheim Distillery) and the other one residing at 1001 Wilkinson Boulevard in Frankfort (current address of the Buffalo Trace Distillery).
Mashbill of the limited release 22-Year-Old saying its around 15% rye, 7-10% malted barley and the rest corn.
Aroma: The nose is beautiful. It reminds me of the old style bourbons from the 1960s and ’70s, presenting vibrant caramels, fruits and fresh New Orleans pralines with hints of dark cherries and smoked paprika. This is the kind of bouquet that really whets the palate, getting you ready for what hopes to be a beautiful taste. Sometimes the nose can be deceiving though. Will that happen here?
Palate: The palate picks up where the aromas left off, offering the richness in old style bourbons, filling the mouth with caramels and vanillas. But it’s the mouthfeel of this bourbon that’s special, all encompassing, surrounding the palate from top to bottom with a mouthcoating dripping presence. This is beautiful bourbon with the resounding caramel, vanilla and nutmeg notes I hoped for with hints of coconut, fig, freshly picked strawberries, banana and a lovely and long tickle of cinnamon.
Finish: The finish is long with an edgy baking spice and vanilla notes.