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  1. #1
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    MB Roland Distillery

    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/forum...ad.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.

  2. #2
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    He is a top notch guy. One to watch.

  3. #3
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    Quote Originally Posted by tmckenzie View Post
    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...

  4. #4
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    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.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  5. #5
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    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.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    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.

  7. #7
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    They make a damn fine apple pie, best I've ever tasted outside of homemade, for those into that sort of thing.

  8. #8
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    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.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Saline, MI
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    They seem to like dogs and cats and guitars. I like their product just based on that image.
    Craig

  10. #10
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    Re: MB Roland Distillery

    How would you rate the tour? Is it worth stopping by on a day where I'd be seeing MM and IS?

 

 

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