This port barrel-finished bourbon was “modeled” after the 2016 expression, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise given the success of the 2016 limited-release. It was named for Captain Isaac Bowman, who, like his older brothers Abraham and Joseph, was an officer in the American Revolutionary War and is known for his spirit and adventure-filled life (and this ‘character’ is said to have inspired and come though in the whiskey).
For anyone wary of port-finished bourbons or other whiskey becoming too sweet, this one draws on some of the boldness and character of port without becoming overly saturated. According to the distillery, some whiskey from each batch produced of the Isaac Bowman Straight Bourbon will be reserved for blending into the next batch, “to ensure consistency in flavor and color.” Could be interesting to try future batches to gauge how it may (or may not) evolve.
Appearance: Glossy with a port wine-kissed mahogany.
Nose: The port is noticeable from the get-go, as is stewed fruit – earthy and sweet. Another layer of lighter sweetness brought to mind gummy bears, followed by subtle spice.
Palate: Layered and complex. Stone fruit baked in a dough (like traditional hamantaschen or Pueblo prune pies). The sweetness isn’t cloying, but rather playful and rich and it dissipates nicely. A bit of oak and warm char balances the finish.