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timd
07-01-2011, 15:48
These guys are good. Really good. Paul is an a great guy to chat with, and a real artist with spirits. He's hungry, enthusiastic and more than a little personable.

See the site for more details on what they are doing: http://mbrdistillery.com/
And this thread here on the site for Paul's post and an overview of his other offerings: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15434

I've had a couple of chats with him, and finally got an assortment of stuff to try (Note - I haven't tried any of the regular White Dog or Bourbon):

Black Dog - white corn whiskey. Unaged, and a significant portion of the corn is smoked with tobacco leaves. My first thought was Islay Scotch new-make, but the sweetness, and corn cereal flavors really run throughout. It's not burnt popcorn, but more like toasted corn flakes on a campfire. For new make, it's amazingly smooth and tasty. The balance of the smoke and the sweet is outstanding. This is a quality white spirit that is drinkable as-is (and I don't like new make, usually).

TASTE: cereal and grain, a bit farmy and I have to admit I miss the vanilla and spice of oak and rye influences in bourbon, but it's sweet, and the corn-flakes and peaches (!?) are quite appealing in combination. Spirity to be sure, but refreshing. Could make for a fascinating cocktail.

Ultra Black Dog - Paul also keeps some juice on hand that is 100% smoked corn mash bill (the regular black dog is both smoked & portions of the regular White Dog he sells by itself). He worries it's over the top - I, on the other hand, thought it was dynamite. Sure, the faint of heart (and non-smokey whisky lovers) may be turned off... but with Islay malts as popular as they are - this is a keeper. In terms of "smoke" impact, it's not as strong as an Ardbeg or Laphroaig are, but relative to most bourbons (and even rye) it's "in your face" but it's not a novelty, with aging, this will be a remarkable whiskey.

TASTE: the smoke is dominant, especially compared to regular Black Dog. It's got all the same cereal notes, but very much toasted corn (corn nuts?), maybe some too-sweet tea influences, and a solid earthy nose and taste. A tad salty, too. I actually think it's very much like Kilchoman in terms of quality and vibe. A bit more farmy than I'd prefer but it is straight from the still and that's a quality found in all unaged whisk(e)y I've tried. It's not nearly as rough as some other artisan whiskey new make I've tried. Even at 45% ABV, there's very little harshness or burn.

Black Patch - This is Ultra Black Dog aged for a bit less than a year in a small (5 gallon? I can't remember...) barrel. It's a nice brown, and far less farmy on the nose. You can tell it's been small-barrel age, because the tannins and vanilla are out of proportion to it's "smoothness" - some harshness and overly grainy tastes that I associate with new make are still there, but the lots of the edges are smoothed with the wood. I almost think a finish in something like port or a really sweet aged bourbon barrel (Elmer T. Lee?) for a few months would knock this out of the park.

TASTE: Smoke and corn dominate. Sweet, with some tea-grounds aftertaste. Vanilla is strong, and the wood influence is very welcome compared to the new make versions. It's got some of the barnyard vibe of the new make, but very much dialed down. The barrel has mellowed this beast into something immensely sippable with nice white and black pepper spices, a good bit of cinnamon and even some green apples. Doesn't taste like Bourbon - but certainly not Scotch either because the corn aspect dominates. It's a corn whiskey that has suffused the cloying sweetness with smokey flavor and added some nice spice via the time in the barrel.


Again, Kilchoman very much comes to mind in terms of quality and flavor for all three of these bottlings - although I can't stress enough it's NOT peat that is up front, it's smoked corn - you can tell it's corn and that it's tobacco smoke (reminds me of my grandad's pipe).

Honestly, I've never had anything like any of these. They are all consumable as white dog (and lightly aged), and I can only imagine what a few years in the Kentucky weather would do for them in full size barrels.

Paul - you've made some magic in Christian county, and I will be happy to follow along with your efforts. Thanks for sharing what you are doing, and keep up the excellent work.

FWIW: I'll be putting them in small 2 liter barrels and aging them in the Texas sun during the day, and then back inside at night to get some temp. differences. I may use a Tequila finished barrel, or possibly a Rye finished barrel just to help add some "spice" that >to me< is missing. There's no (or very little) Rye in his Corn mashbill... so I may give that a whirl.

tmckenzie
07-02-2011, 04:06
He is a top notch guy. One to watch.

timd
07-03-2011, 12:00
He is a top notch guy. One to watch.
Very much agree. The smoking angle on the corn really differentiates his product(s) from others.

And too, the quality straight off the still is exciting. This stuff is going to age amazingly well...

jburlowski
07-08-2011, 08:47
Paul and his wife are great folks and I hope they can continue and expand their operation. What I like about them (compared to so many other small distillers) is that they are doing diferent things rather than just making vodka and generic white dog. I would love to tatse some of their products when they are properly aged.

Paul has infused some of his white dog with natural spearmint. Makes a dynamite Mint Julep (I mix it about half & half with bourbon.

Ejmharris
11-29-2011, 18:56
I became a fan of the guys last winter after a tasting at the Party Source. I aged a bottle of the black dog myself over the summer and love it. My In-laws are about 20 minutes from their farm distillery in Christian County, so I was able to get a recent tour of the place. Since the PS tasting I have kept their True Kentucky shine and Black Dog (makes a fantastic old fashioned and very nice even on the rocks) in the Liquor cabinet, but after the tour I picked up some of the Black Dog bourbon and aged shine. I love them both. One of these days I will be up to par on providing tasting notes as nice as you gents, but all I can say is I am a fan. I really love supporting these kind of craft distillers and willing to pay the extra they have to charge to pay the bills. I will heading back to the area in a few weeks, but sending my father in-law over early to get the aged shine just to make sure I get some before they run out. I am hoping to try some of the Black Patch at some point.


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timd
11-29-2011, 19:09
Paul has created some of the best distillate I've ever had.

The new Black Dog Bourbon is absolutely sensational. Everybody I've shared it with has gone nuts over it.

I actually took my bottle down to Balcones Distillery in Waco last week, and Chip Tate - the head guy there - stole my bottle! He was quite smitten with it - and this is a guy who knows his whiskey! (yes, I got some nice goodies in trade...)

Smokey, meaty, but sweet and juicy. BBQ and dry tobacco come together with a nice sweet corn finish and some nice vanilla and oak smoothness. The empty glass smells like a rich, spicy BBQ sauce that leaves your mouth watering.

The smoke tends to overpower the corn sweetness a bit, but I like that (I'm not a big fan of the sweeter aspects of some whisk(e)ys). It's just a clean, powerful, smokey drink that you can sip for ages. Still a bit farmy/grassy, but the smoke really rounds that aspect out.

This stuff will be amazing after a year or two in a barrel, but it's better than good right now. If you can find it - buy it.

The Black Dog unaged stuff is great too - I aged mine in a used (Tequila) charred barrel for a few months and it's one of my favorite "event" drinks. It's always the talk of the evening with anybody I share it with.

fivedime
11-30-2011, 18:10
They make a damn fine apple pie, best I've ever tasted outside of homemade, for those into that sort of thing.

Ejmharris
11-30-2011, 19:38
I do like the apple pie as well. I get a little nostalgic when drinking it as my dads family at one time were very good at making "The Pie." My wife also likes the Strawberry flavored shine.


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cas
12-01-2011, 03:57
They seem to like dogs and cats and guitars. I like their product just based on that image.
Craig

Bourbon Boiler
12-28-2011, 17:06
How would you rate the tour? Is it worth stopping by on a day where I'd be seeing MM and IS?

Ejmharris
12-28-2011, 19:36
The tour is not like any of the big boys tours. They are on an old Amish farm that they have updated. The mash and distilling are done in the same room. These guys are a true craft distillery. They only have 4 people working there and that includes Paul (master distiller) and his wife Mary Beth ( reason for MB). You are in and out in about 30 minutes. I would recommend it. Mostly because they sell all their experimentals and low volume stuff there. I have bought a couple bottles of the aged shine, their black dog bourbon and their ultra black (corn whiskey). It has all been top notch stuff. Paul is still tweaking his recipes, but I have no complaints with any of it. To my knowledge none of that is available in stores. Only thing available around here are their white/black dogs and fruity shines. If you are in the area It would be a must see.


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Bourbon Boiler
12-29-2011, 16:22
Thanks. I'll see if I can talk the rest of the group into a slight detour.

Bourbon Boiler
04-12-2012, 17:24
I think I'm going to make it down there next week. Any other thoughts from people who have been there?

Ejmharris
04-12-2012, 18:24
I think I'm going to make it down there next week. Any other thoughts from people who have been there?

I have been. I love their products. Paul bottled a black dog bourbon last year that is what I consider to be my favorite bourbon. I think he got annoyed by me asking if they were ever going to produce it again. It was an experimental. The distillery itself is on an old Amish farm that they have updated. Cool little place in the middle of Christian County KY. Not far off the interstate though, so very easy to get to. Paul and Mary Beth (The MB part of MB Roland) are about as nice as they come. Give them a call and find out if they will be smoking any of the corn for the black dog (white whiskey) and if they will be opening any experimentals around the time you will be there. The tour itself is pretty quick. My father in-law and i were there about about 45 minutes total, but I asked a lot of questions. If you could let me know if they have any new experimentals coming out of the barrel soon, I would appreciate it. I like supporting these guys, because they make great whiskey. A little pricey, but still worth it in my opinion.

If you are heading south down 65, so you should stop by Corsair Artisan as well. They are supposed to have a nice place in Bowling Green, KY. I have not been yet, but plan to stop the next time I am going through the area. They are doing some pretty cool stuff with whiskey as well.

Let me know if you go and how you like it.

Jono
04-15-2012, 10:21
I see a "malt whiskey" and "bourbon whiskey" on their product list but no other name for them. Has anyone tried them? The Black Dog is listed as a corn whiskey. The "malt whiskey" does not show up on the Party Source online purchase list.

Ejmharris
04-16-2012, 19:09
I see a "malt whiskey" and "bourbon whiskey" on their product list but no other name for them. Has anyone tried them? The Black Dog is listed as a corn whiskey. The "malt whiskey" does not show up on the Party Source online purchase list.

I haven't had the malt whiskey but the bourbon is quality stuff. Paul's newsletter came out today and they will have the bourbon available again soon but probably only at the distillery. TPS typically only has the unaged white and black dog in stock. They also have their fruit flavored shines. The newsletter mentioned a wheat whiskey that is at the distillery. It doesn't say for sure but I would assume a majority wheat mash aged in used bourbon barrels. I have had several of their experimentals and have enjoyed all of them. Paul puts out some great stuff but is trying to get ahead of the aging curve. Things go real fast when they available. I will have to schedule a trip to the in laws to get some of these. I do believe he ships to most places if you find something interesting.

Bourbon Boiler
04-25-2012, 19:19
I haven't had the malt whiskey but the bourbon is quality stuff. Paul's newsletter came out today and they will have the bourbon available again soon but probably only at the distillery. TPS typically only has the unaged white and black dog in stock. They also have their fruit flavored shines. The newsletter mentioned a wheat whiskey that is at the distillery. It doesn't say for sure but I would assume a majority wheat mash aged in used bourbon barrels. I have had several of their experimentals and have enjoyed all of them. Paul puts out some great stuff but is trying to get ahead of the aging curve. Things go real fast when they available. I will have to schedule a trip to the in laws to get some of these. I do believe he ships to most places if you find something interesting.

I made it in this afternoon, and was a tour group of one. It still took 40 minutes with all of the questions I was asking.

I tried the white dog, the black dog (excellent, and I'm not a fan of the unaged stuff), 2 rums, a single malt, a wheat whiskey, and all of the flaovred stuff. The flavored stuff was decent, but not my cup of tea. They said they had some of the black dog aging, that would come out of the barrels this summer.

A few other notes:

All products use the same yeast. (not unusual for hte craft guys)
Barrels were very small, most 5-10 gallon
6-7 cats around as a preventive action against mice.
The wheat whiskey was being aged in used barrels.
A very accessable location off of I-24, close to a military base.

Ejmharris
04-25-2012, 19:33
I made it in this afternoon, and was a tour group of one. It still took 40 minutes with all of the questions I was asking.

I tried the white dog, the black dog (excellent, and I'm not a fan of the unaged stuff), 2 rums, a single malt, a wheat whiskey, and all of the flaovred stuff. The flavored stuff was decent, but not my cup of tea. They said they had some of the black dog aging, that would come out of the barrels this summer.

A few other notes:

All products use the same yeast. (not unusual for hte craft guys)
Barrels were very small, most 5-10 gallon
6-7 cats around as a preventive action against mice.
The wheat whiskey was being aged in used barrels.
A very accessable location off of I-24, close to a military base.

How did you like the wheat whiskey? I may have my father in-law swing by and pick some up for me. Sounded interesting from their newsletter. I do like their white and black dogs myself. I tend to keep the black dog stocked at my house. I have found that both drink well on ice and in margaritas (whiskeyritas I guess is more appropriate).

The blackdog bourbon news is fantastic. I will make a special trip for it this year. "honey you know we really haven't seen your parents much lately. Why don't we go this weekend!". It is that good to take THAT plunge.

Bourbon Boiler
04-25-2012, 19:43
How did you like the wheat whiskey? I may have my father in-law swing by and pick some up for me. Sounded interesting from their newsletter. I do like their white and black dogs myself. I tend to keep the black dog stocked at my house. I have found that both drink well on ice and in margaritas (whiskeyritas I guess is more appropriate).

The blackdog bourbon news is fantastic. I will make a special trip for it this year. "honey you know we really haven't seen your parents much lately. Why don't we go this weekend!". It is that good to take THAT plunge.

I remember liking it better than the single malt, the two of which I had consecutively. Tasting 11 different products in a line without notes probably isn't the best way to give a fair review. I remember that I would have guessed the proof about 15 points lower than it actually is.

Bourbon Boiler
07-11-2012, 08:22
To ejmharris and/or anyone else, I spoke with Paul today and the black dog will come out of the barrel this summer. He also said that future barreling instead of being all corn (tobacco aged) will be predominately corn, but also with a rye addition. I can't wait to taste that one as well.

Ejmharris
07-11-2012, 13:48
To ejmharris and/or anyone else, I spoke with Paul today and the black dog will come out of the barrel this summer. He also said that future barreling instead of being all corn (tobacco aged) will be predominately corn, but also with a rye addition. I can't wait to taste that one as well.

Great news. I will buy several this time around. Have you tried the wheat whiskey they bottled earlier this year. I was not able to make it to inlaws yet so never actually picked any up. Let me know if you here when it comes out and I will do ye same.

Bourbon Boiler
07-11-2012, 17:42
I tried the wheater back in April, but I really don't remember much about it. The black dog was the standout to me, and the fruited licquors were of very good quality but not really my cup of tea.

Young Blacksmith
07-11-2012, 19:51
Where does one purchase his products?

Ejmharris
07-11-2012, 20:10
I tried the wheater back in April, but I really don't remember much about it. The black dog was the standout to me, and the fruited licquors were of very good quality but not really my cup of tea.

Agree 100% on the Fruited liquors, but that is what pays the bills for them until the bourbon/whiskey age. The blackdog was a very pleasant surprise today as I thought it was still a while off.

Young Blacksmith,
MB Roland can be purchased at TPS, but it is mostly the white dogs, shines and fruited shines. His bourbon and other aged whiskeys have typically only been available at their gift shop or by calling. You can view their web site at www.mbroland.com. If you are ever in the Clarksville Or Nashville area it is worth the drive to Pembroke to check out their place.

Young Blacksmith
07-12-2012, 06:07
I had a sip of black dog one night after a bit of tasting other whiskeys, and it really knocked me in a good way. Reminded me of smoking my pipe on the porch with a nice pour of something good. It's one I'd gladly pick up.

Bourbon Boiler
07-12-2012, 19:05
Agree 100% on the Fruited liquors, but that is what pays the bills for them until the bourbon/whiskey age. The blackdog was a very pleasant surprise today as I thought it was still a while off.

Young Blacksmith,
MB Roland can be purchased at TPS, but it is mostly the white dogs, shines and fruited shines. His bourbon and other aged whiskeys have typically only been available at their gift shop or by calling. You can view their web site at www.mbroland.com (http://www.mbroland.com). If you are ever in the Clarksville Or Nashville area it is worth the drive to Pembroke to check out their place.

Good timing for this conversation, the newsletter came out today. http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=aa45xyhab&v=001U3o_YTpC7rvkSE_6ir9DWf9DOmM3mziRORVXY44V1v6AF GIks_BOO9eRR3rjOyoox22ACGGut9yuqUM1th_jJyDJ49N9CAL UqsmcWU9Q2RM%3D

Confirms that the barrel aged black dog will be ready in late summer.

timd
07-12-2012, 20:09
I had a sip of black dog one night after a bit of tasting other whiskeys, and it really knocked me in a good way. Reminded me of smoking my pipe on the porch with a nice pour of something good. It's one I'd gladly pick up.

Aaron - I can hook you up. I'll let you know the next time I place an order. From my most recent conversation with Paul, I'd guess sometime late August or early September is when the next batch of the type of stuff I have will be ready, and this time it will have Rye in it, so should be even better!

StraightNoChaser
07-15-2012, 15:40
I'm a fan of the smoked corn whiskeys. Interesting stuff.