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independant
11-04-2009, 03:42
I was reviewing the Va ABC stores website as I always do at the beginning of the month and I am seeing two new bourbons that I have never seen before.
The first is John J Bowman. It is listed at 100 proof and sells for 49.95. I looked around but all I could Find was a reference to John Jacob Bowman a early Kentuckian from the late 1700's.
The second bottle was Bowman Brothers. It is a 90 proof selling for 29.95.
I looked on A Smith Bowman's Website figuring that these were their products but did not see them listed.
Anyone know anything about these?

barturtle
11-04-2009, 07:20
Bowman's is a Sazerac brand. You'll also see the name under the Vodka, rum, tequila and gin listings.

John J Bowman is a new Single Barrel 100 proof bottling, also owned by Sazerac.

9859

funknik
11-04-2009, 07:41
More importantly, has anyone tried it? I would imagine it's from the same mashbill as VG and at 100 proof, being a single barrel, it might be similar to RHF?

StraightBoston
11-04-2009, 10:08
Based on the label Timothy posted, I think we can now officially put to rest the theory that Kentucky is the only state legally allowed to put its name next to "Straight Bourbon Whiskey"!

cowdery
11-04-2009, 10:42
Based on the label Timothy posted, I think we can now officially put to rest the theory that Kentucky is the only state legally allowed to put its name next to "Straight Bourbon Whiskey"!

That myth dies hard. I saw a TV show where a bunch of bartenders were asked that question. They all got it right which was, of course, wrong.

Josh
11-04-2009, 11:51
More importantly, has anyone tried it? I would imagine it's from the same mashbill as VG and at 100 proof, being a single barrel, it might be similar to RHF?

What mashbill is VG from anyway? The AA/RHF/ETL one or the Benchmark/BT/ER one? I'm not sure if I've ever seen anybody comment on that. And I'm not sure if my tastebuds can really tell either. Both mashbills are pretty sweet.

I noticed that the label Timothy posted claims the product is triple distilled. There was a lot of speculation on how many times VG was distilled at BT before going to Bowman in this thread: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11939&highlight=Virginia

Could we now have our answer?

funknik
11-04-2009, 12:13
What mashbill is VG from anyway? The AA/RHF/ETL one or the Benchmark/BT/ER one? I'm not sure if I've ever seen anybody comment on that. And I'm not sure if my tastebuds can really tell either. Both mashbills are pretty sweet.

I noticed that the label Timothy posted claims the product is triple distilled. There was a lot of speculation on how many times VG was distilled at BT before going to Bowman in this thread: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11939&highlight=Virginia

Could we now have our answer?

According to Jeff Mo:


BT Mashbill #1: Benchmark, ER, OC, BT and Stagg

Mashbill #2: AA/AAA, RHF, HPR, Blantons, ETL, Virginia Gent.

Having had some RHF last night, I think that the high rye content in the mashbill #2 is very prevalent at 100 proof, but I agree that the lines get blurred between the two in the lesser proof offerings -- I think that the BT flagship has a pretty spicy, leathery character & that AAA 10yr is very, very sweet like a Charter.


Based on the label Timothy posted, I think we can now officially put to rest the theory that Kentucky is the only state legally allowed to put its name next to "Straight Bourbon Whiskey"!

I was thinking of that same "triple distilled" & "Virginia" aspect when I was reading this label -- mysteries being solved all over the place.

Josh
11-04-2009, 12:23
Having had some RHF last night, I think that the high rye content in the mashbill #2 is very prevalent at 100 proof, but I agree that the lines get blurred between the two in the lesser proof offerings -- I think that the BT flagship has a pretty spicy, leathery character & that AAA 10yr is very, very sweet like a Charter.

Thanks for the info. In which thread did the dearly departed Jeff Mo post that? Anyway, it just goes to show how important barrel selection is.

funknik
11-04-2009, 12:34
Thanks for the info. In which thread did the dearly departed Jeff Mo post that? Anyway, it just goes to show how important barrel selection is.
If you click on the blue arrow to the right of "Mozilla" you will be magically transported there, but it's Ben's "Bottom Shelf Head to Head" thread.

Josh
11-04-2009, 13:18
If you click on the blue arrow to the right of "Mozilla" you will be magically transported there, but it's Ben's "Bottom Shelf Head to Head" thread.

Wow, I had never noticed that before. Ya' learns somethin new every day!

independant
11-04-2009, 13:28
So they are from Sazerac/Smith Bowman.
There will also be a rye whiskey, Abraham Bowman listed for 69.95

loose proton
11-04-2009, 15:20
...I think we can now officially put to rest the theory that Kentucky is the only state legally allowed to put its name next to "Straight Bourbon Whiskey"!
You mean bourbon can come from more than just a few counties in KY :bigeyes:
Virginia is a budding distiller state with some new entries into the proof world. A Richmond company is producing a potato vodka that receives accolades. Some new companies are starting whiskey production but age is not there.

ggilbertva
11-04-2009, 15:52
John J. Bowman Bourbon is from Bowman Distillery. It's a 12 year old, 100 proof bourbon from barrels listing DSP-VA-25. When I visited Bowman earlier this year, the barrels were sitting out and Joe Dangler indicated the bottling would happen sometime in the fall.

Joe has indicated that it's a really great bourbon. For the time being, it will only be sold in VA and 200 of the 300 ABC stores will carry it. It will be available within 2 weeks.

cowdery
11-04-2009, 16:09
Joe may have understated it. There is currently no plan to sell these new products outside of Virginia.

About the mash bill, we recently had a situation in which Mark Brown declined to characterize the two recipes as "low rye" and "high rye," preferring just to refer to them by number. It occurs to me that, really, those are misnomers. Recipe #1 is unusually low in rye content, but recipe #2 isn't really high, except in relationship to #1. It's more like standard, around 15%. A true high rye recipe would be like Old Grand-Dad or Bulleit, at about 30% rye.

independant
11-04-2009, 16:39
Joe may have understated it. There is currently no plan to sell these new products outside of Virginia.

I find it a little odd that these three products would only be sold in Va. I have long said that even for a control state we do get a good selection of bourbon but why not also send it to a few other markets like Kentucky.

barturtle
11-04-2009, 16:46
I find it a little odd that these three products would only be sold in Va. I have long said that even for a control state we do get a good selection of bourbon but why not also send it to a few other markets like Kentucky.

Perhaps the Virginia Dept of Tourism and Travel is giving them some kickbacks and hoping this will enoucourage more people to travel and shop in VA.

Who in VA has got a guest room? I need to come get me some rye!:grin:

funknik
11-04-2009, 17:50
Joe may have understated it. There is currently no plan to sell these new products outside of Virginia.

About the mash bill, we recently had a situation in which Mark Brown declined to characterize the two recipes as "low rye" and "high rye," preferring just to refer to them by number. It occurs to me that, really, those are misnomers. Recipe #1 is unusually low in rye content, but recipe #2 isn't really high, except in relationship to #1. It's more like standard, around 15%. A true high rye recipe would be like Old Grand-Dad or Bulleit, at about 30% rye.
I didn't mean to suggest that the recipe #2 was "high rye" but like you said, Chuck, just a relative high -- it's obvious that neither of the BT mashbills have a high rye content -- but just like Barton's 1792 recipe has a high rye content compared to their other offerings. Sorry for the confusion.

ggilbertva
11-04-2009, 18:00
As soon as it shows up, I'll grab a bottle and give my impressions.

cowdery
11-04-2009, 20:55
I didn't mean to suggest that the recipe #2 was "high rye" but like you said, Chuck, just a relative high -- it's obvious that neither of the BT mashbills have a high rye content -- but just like Barton's 1792 recipe has a high rye content compared to their other offerings. Sorry for the confusion.

Nothing aimed at you, Andy, we all tend to refer to the two Buffalo Trace rye-recipe bourbon mashes that way.

cowdery
11-04-2009, 20:57
I don't think Sazerac will hesitate to expand distribution of the Bowman products if they think the demand is there, but at the moment there is no plan to do that.

cowdery
11-05-2009, 09:41
I can confirm that all of the new Bowman whiskeys were distilled at Buffalo Trace twice, then A. Smith Bowman distilled them a third time using their unique still. The barrels were filled and aged in Virginia. Everything was bottled at Buffalo Trace.

mgilbertva
11-06-2009, 20:09
They aged the barrels at Bowman in Fredericksburg, VA. I'm not sure what the reasoning is for distilling in KY, shipping to VA for one more distillation and aging, then shipping back to KY for bottling, then shipping back to VA for sale, especially when Bowman has a perfectly serviceable bottling line.

barturtle
11-06-2009, 20:15
Their line may not be able to handle whatever bottle shape they used, or maybe they're not set up for single barrel bottling.

cigarnv
11-07-2009, 04:09
For the # of bottles they are doing it would be cheaper to do it with a pitcher and funnel than shipping barrels and bottles...IMO..

spun_cookie
11-07-2009, 07:12
For the # of bottles they are doing it would be cheaper to do it with a pitcher and funnel than shipping barrels and bottles...IMO..

Well, we know why the cost is so high now... there must be some regulation or license that drives them to bottle in KY... especially if this is only a Virginia release

The capital required to add in the small bottling line would be small… almost free if they used some recycled equipment from a defunct distillery.

mgilbertva
11-07-2009, 07:24
You're probably right. Given the bizarro world of regulations controlling the liquor industry I wouldn't be surprised.

loose proton
11-13-2009, 18:45
I sampled the John J. single barrel and the Bowman Brothers small batch. Tastey.

My single barrel is smooth with very distinct wood. Not very complex, but enjoyable.

Josh
11-13-2009, 18:52
I sampled the John J. single barrel and the Bowman Brothers small batch. Tastey.

My single barrel is smooth with very distinct wood. Not very complex, but enjoyable.

would your recommend one over the other? And, more importantly, are they on the shelves yet?

loose proton
11-13-2009, 18:58
Based on the bottles I have, I'd recommend the single barrel way over the small batch. I've not sampled the rye and not sure if it is on the shelves yet. The other two should be in your local Va ABC store (as of today) or will turn up next week.

cigarnv
11-14-2009, 06:38
Well, we know why the cost is so high now... there must be some regulation or license that drives them to bottle in KY... especially if this is only a Virginia release

The capital required to add in the small bottling line would be small… almost free if they used some recycled equipment from a defunct distillery.

Em, Bowman has a full bottling line in place that is used for all their products including Virginia Gent......

cowdery
11-14-2009, 14:59
Em, Bowman has a full bottling line in place that is used for all their products including Virginia Gent......

I know they have had a bottling line, but do they still? How current is your information?

Bowman has historically sold a lot of commodity products--gin, rum, vodka--and I assume they still do. They've also done contract bottling, so they probably do still have bottling there.

Are the new products cork-finished? If so, that would explain why they were bottled in Frankfort, not Fredericksburg.

loose proton
11-14-2009, 15:54
They are wide mouth top of bottle like Elijah Craig jug; cork with large wood knob on top like some WT.

spun_cookie
11-14-2009, 16:08
I know they have had a bottling line, but do they still? How current is your information?

Bowman has historically sold a lot of commodity products--gin, rum, vodka--and I assume they still do. They've also done contract bottling, so they probably do still have bottling there.

Are the new products cork-finished? If so, that would explain why they were bottled in Frankfort, not Fredericksburg.

Less than a year. We tookj a nive VIP tour thanbks to Reid.

cowdery
11-14-2009, 22:43
Based on the photo Proton posted it's a hand bottling job, which must be why they did it in Frankfort.

cigarnv
11-15-2009, 04:33
Based on the photo Proton posted it's a hand bottling job, which must be why they did it in Frankfort.

If the bottling is by hand one would think it could be done anywhere?

barturtle
11-15-2009, 06:39
If the bottling is by hand one would think it could be done anywhere?


Everyone seems to be pretty insistant that this should have been done in VA. In reality setting up a single barrel line, like the one in Frankfort, would require significant investment, both in equipment and training of personnel. Fuel continues to be dirt-cheap, meaning that they can load up a truck load of full barrels (enough for several days production) and run them to KY for nearly nothing.

cigarnv
11-15-2009, 07:37
In all honesty I think some of us who are not as well versed in distillery operations tend to view it from a common sense perspective. Moving barrels would seem to incur a fair amount of expense with fuel being the least of it.

On a side note the Deep Run Vodka and Colonial Era Rum which are in the same style bottle and part of the same "Pioneer Spirit" offering are bottled at the Bowman facility in Virginia... same bottle, same cork finish.

OscarV
11-15-2009, 15:00
tookj
nive
thanbks



Uh? :grin:

...

Josh
11-15-2009, 15:10
Based on the photo Proton posted it's a hand bottling job, which must be why they did it in Frankfort.


If the bottling is by hand one would think it could be done anywhere?

Fighting...temptation...to...make...off-color...pun...:banghead:

cowdery
11-15-2009, 15:49
There are many other possible reasons for it being done in Frankfort instead of Fredericksburg, including simple scheduling issues. It's hardly important.

OscarV
11-15-2009, 15:56
Fighting...temptation...to...make...off-color...pun...:banghead:

Josh you are a very bad boy.:cool:

Josh
11-15-2009, 17:51
Josh you are a very bad boy.:cool:

I am, I am. I may have to confess to the Rev. Elijah Craig tonight.:pope:

cigarnv
11-16-2009, 10:05
There are many other possible reasons for it being done in Frankfort instead of Fredericksburg, including simple scheduling issues. It's hardly important.

Charles, Joe Dangler confirmed with me this morning that all the barrels were bottled in Virginia, not Kentucky.

Best we keep the data points correct rather than to take an Obamanesque approach to what is important at any moment..... LOL!!!!

cowdery
11-16-2009, 14:26
The official statement I received from Buffalo Trace is as follows:


These whiskies are distilled at Buffalo Trace twice and then A.Smith Bowman distilled them a third time using their unique still. The barrels are filled and aged in Virginia. Everything is bottled here at BTD.

I have asked for a further clarification in light of cigarnv's post, especially since he apparently believes the President of the United States is involved in this massive coverup.

spun_cookie
11-16-2009, 15:18
... the United States is involved in this massive coverup.

Now we have Bourbon Gate. Didn't take long to raise the tax on it then confuse the situation with reterick... Yup... Sounds like a politician may be in the mix.

Speak easy, Drink hard, and leave nothing behind :D

cowdery
11-17-2009, 08:41
Joe is right, my source at BT was wrong. Misunderstanding, I'm told. Apologies all the way around. Everything was bottled at Bowman.

cigarnv
11-17-2009, 11:43
Thanks Chuck, appreciate the follow up with BT!!

loose proton
11-18-2009, 15:53
I'm now sampling the Abraham Bowman Rye. Nice! I didn't expect to enjoy it this much because I don't normally like the very high rye such as WTRR-rye. But this isn't super heavy rye. Very flavorful, good wood, nice earthy aftertaste. Definitely recommend, especially if you like rye.

mgilbertva
11-19-2009, 16:54
Good to hear, although ggilbertva reports the bottles cigarnv opened was not so great; at least, not given how much they cost. Care to weigh in guys?

cowdery
11-19-2009, 18:57
I wonder how the new rye compares to, say, Baby Saz? It just occurred to me that perhaps this is BT's first attempt to use some of the rye they found aging at Tom Moore.

barturtle
11-19-2009, 19:01
I wonder how the new rye compares to, say, Baby Saz? It just occurred to me that perhaps this is BT's first attempt to use some of the rye they found aging at Tom Moore.

Damn you, Chuck. Now I want some more than I did before...:smiley_acbt:

spun_cookie
11-19-2009, 20:06
Damn you, Chuck. Now I want some more than I did before...:smiley_acbt:

ahhh.... does the turtle need a little drinkey :D

cowdery
11-20-2009, 08:37
Never mind. I've confirmed that it's BT rye, not Tom Moore. Not that that's a bad thing.

barturtle
11-20-2009, 08:57
Never mind. I've confirmed that it's BT rye, not Tom Moore. Not that that's a bad thing.

Oh, good. Now I just want it as much as before...I do like me some BT Rye.:slappin:

CygnusX-1
11-21-2009, 15:48
Was out shopping with my mom and I made her stop at the local ABC to see if there was anything new and they had all three of these whiskies in! i wanted to walk out with all of them but that would have been too expensive, plus my mom reminded me x-mas is around the corner so i just picked up the small batch. I was suprised she said that because usually she thinks im crazy for spending more than 20-25 bucks on a bottle of whiskey, and even more strange she accually listened and seemed intrigued when i explaned the difference between the bottles and why i have to have all of them.:cool:

So hopefully for x-mas i will have the other 2, the manager said i was the first to buy one of these so they should have plenty.

independant
11-21-2009, 16:45
Was out shopping with my mom and I made her stop at the local ABC to see if there was anything new and they had all three of these whiskies in! i wanted to walk out with all of them but that would have been too expensive, plus my mom reminded me x-mas is around the corner so i just picked up the small batch. I was suprised she said that because usually she thinks im crazy for spending more than 20-25 bucks on a bottle of whiskey, and even more strange she accually listened and seemed intrigued when i explaned the difference between the bottles and why i have to have all of them.:cool:

So hopefully for x-mas i will have the other 2, the manager said i was the first to buy one of these so they should have plenty.

I will be in Va Beach next week for Thanksgiving what ABC store did you see these. We have yet to get any in.

CygnusX-1
11-21-2009, 16:51
Dan,
Its the ABC in redmill commons and they also have the new WT Tradition 14yr, but hands off thats mine! (just kidding its yours if you want unless i breakdown and buy it before you get to it:cool: )

loose proton
11-21-2009, 17:18
...We have yet to get any in.
Ask, at present most stores are keeping it in the back until a display comes in. They will sell if you ask for it.

loose proton
11-21-2009, 17:38
...was not so great; at least, not given how much they cost...
Is it "worth the cost" comes down to what one values. I value sampling a variety, so cost isn't so important on the first bottle. Others balance quality versus $$, but what determines quality is different for each individual. If one wants a flavor sort of like WT101 or Bulleitt but with more age, range, wood, and willing to pay triple the $$ for it, then Bowman rye may be a consideration for sampling. If one likes the wood of Pappy 20yo but willing to sacrifice roundness/complexity for price, then the Bowman single barrel is a consideration. Several of my friends have bought multiple bottles and they're happy with the purchase. I enjoyed all three. I'll pick up a couple more bottles.

cowdery
11-21-2009, 21:46
Was out shopping with my mom and I made her stop at the local ABC to see if there was anything new and they had all three of these whiskies in! i wanted to walk out with all of them but that would have been too expensive, plus my mom reminded me x-mas is around the corner so i just picked up the small batch. I was suprised she said that because usually she thinks im crazy for spending more than 20-25 bucks on a bottle of whiskey, and even more strange she accually listened and seemed intrigued when i explaned the difference between the bottles and why i have to have all of them.:cool:

So hopefully for x-mas i will have the other 2, the manager said i was the first to buy one of these so they should have plenty.

I'm sure your Mom is making calls now to arrange the intervention. :)

CygnusX-1
11-22-2009, 05:51
I'm sure your Mom is making calls now to arrange the intervention. :)

Lets just hope she never finds out how much i paid for my bottlte of Pappy 23

loose proton
01-09-2010, 16:04
I wonder how the new rye compares to, say, Baby Saz?...
Very different. I finally picked up a baby Saz to compare side by side. The Saz is thicker/heavier. The Bowman Rye is lighter and much more earthy, like a Bulleitt vatted with Pappy.

arrScott
01-31-2010, 22:03
Picked up a bottle of the Bowman Brothers Small Batch on Thursday; drank some over the weekend. First impression was not positive; I was getting an unsophisticated burn before and after a mid-mouth taste of wet oak. It felt like lighting a piece of wood on fire and then chewing on it. This was in a bourbon tasting glass with a little shaved ice.

Second and third tastings were in Manhattans, dry and sweet, and here the bourbon started to shine. The Vermouth really smoothed off the alcohol heat for me, and previously too-strong wood taste resolved into currents of black pepper, leather, and something kind of fruity that I can't quite put my finger on. Possibly the Vermouth itself coming through there. Anyway, score one for Bowman; these were two very tasty Manhattans, and the first bourbon I've tried in a while that performed equally well with both dry and sweet Vermouth.

Today I spent some time tasting it neat, no ice. Still a bit too strong on the alcohol burn for my taste. But at room temp, more of the flavor profile I was tasting in the Manhattans could linger than in the first tasting over ice. More of the leathery notes and black pepper, with the latter lingering as the alcohol heat faded. Again, something fruity, though somewhere between cherry or currant and vanilla. Much tamer oakiness. Tasted great alongside a little dark chocolate and salt. Not a particularly deep or complex bourbon, but not a one-note either.

Bottom line: One of the worst first impressions I've had in a long time, but worth sticking with it on further tasting. Ultimately a very good mixing bourbon, and an acceptable sipping whiskey. A little overpriced for my taste at $30; I'd find it a much better value at $23. Good enough to make me very curious about the John Bowman Single Barrel and the Abraham Bowman Rye. I like to have a Virginia spirit on hand for guests, and the Bowman Brothers Small Batch is certainly more than adequate to fill that niche in my bar.

Josh
07-04-2010, 15:12
Any news on a 2010 release of the Bowman Single Barrel and/or Rye?