Washington Bourbons ranked.
It’s the time of the year when I don’t visit distilleries as often. I have taken some time and reviewed the spirits I have rated in this blog and have decide to rate each type of spirit. I’m going to start off with one of my favorite type of liquor, an All American original, bourbon. It’s hard to rate made in Washington bourbons with those made by the big distilleries in Kentucky. Most Kentucky made bourbons are blends, some from batch a, some from batch b, etc. This provides a consistent product year after year. Most smaller distillers like those in Washington produce their bourbons in much smaller batches so a bottling run would be from the same batch of say 30 to 40 barrels. This can mean some differences in the products from year to year. There are a few in Washington that do blend their bourbons with mass produced bourbons to maintain a consistent product from year to year.
I rate the Washington bourbons I have tried in 4 levels. A grade is the top shelf stuff. These could be comparable to some of the higher end Kentucky bourbons. B grade is very good, equivalent to the top selling national brands. C grade is ok, I would serve it to family and friends. Grade D needs some work or is a product I don’t care for.
There are 4 bourbons in my A grade level. My favorite is Valley Shine’s Benjamin’s Barrel Strength Bourbon. It is produced in limited quantities. I have made the drive to Mount Vernon just to get a bottle. Wish it came is something bigger than a 200ml bottle. The other 3 are J.P. Trodden Bourbon, Tatoosh Distillery Bourbon and Dry Fly Bourbon 101. These are known for their outstanding quality.
My next level of bourbons contains 12 brands. All are good quality and are excellent straight or with a splash of water. You don’t want to use these for something like a bourbon and coke. Included in this group is 3 Howls Backbeat Bourbon, Oola Waitsburg Bourbon, Woodinville Bourbon, Valley Shine Benjamin’s Bourbon, 2 Loons Bourbon, Nightside Bourbon, Chamber’s Bay Greenhorn Bourbon, Bad Dog Bourbon, 2 Bar Straight Bourbon, Heritage Distilling Bourbon, Blackfish Bourbon and Fremont Mischief Bourbon.
Level 3 are the bourbons that were ok but not something I would have in my liquor cabinet. Chamber’s Bay Straight Bourbon was a bit off in my opinion. Both of Heritage Distilling’s BSB and BSB 103 would be up to your preferences, it’s not something I would drink on a regular basis.
The 3 products in level 4 just didn’t sit well with me. Black Ring and Heritage Elk Rider bourbons had a bit of an unrefined taste. Blue Spirits Cherry Bourbon was overly sweet and is something younger folks might like.