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Jazzhead

Noah's Creek and Rowan's Mill

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Jazzhead
Posted (edited)

I'd never had either of these before,  and bought them both for my weekend at the beach in OCNJ.     The breeze and sun were perfect yesterday out here on the deck,   and so are these two bourbons.    And  while information about what goes into these brands is scant and inconsistent,   the theme here appears to be excellent blending.  

 

These are balanced,  longer-aged bourbons that emphasize peanut brittle,   and clearly bear a family resemblance.    I'd be curious to know if these are blends of the same mashbill at differing age and proof points,  or if KBD mixes and matches mashbills, or distillers.    They both used to have age statements,  the loss of which is not necessarily a bad thing.   When barrels of different ages are combined and batched, a certain harshness and that over-oaked pine sap can be diminished, in favor of a smooth transition between the start and close of the sip-swallow-finish.    Not smooth whiskey, mind you  - this is robust,  complex whiskey -   but a balanced and satisfying mouthful      

 

Whiskey tasting reviews are,  I think,  deficient in that they grade parts of the tasting experience - nose,  throat, finish - without assessing the thing as a whole.    Balance is that assessment -  and this is where blends of barrels of different ages can make good whiskey great.   

 

The ten buck (or so) price difference between the two is easy to see - the Noah's Mill is older and higher proof,  and is a splendid representation of Heaven Hill (which I think this likely is)  that can't he had any other way:  as much or more average age as the Henry McKenna BIB,  but blended to taste rather than left to the random luck of a single barrel.   And it's got as much proof as a Rare Breed.    Skilled batching at a higher proof is a sweet spot - the balance makes the alcohol go down like silk.   No water needed here (other than the ocean view).  

 

The Rowan's Creek is a younger blend at a lower proof,  but still fully formed and begs comparison with its rivals, not the estimable Noah's Creek.   And it doesn't have that many rivals,  as far as I can see.   WT Kentucky Spirit is at the same proof,  but is a single barrel not a batched blend.    I'd say Bakers comes closest,   and I'm not going to say Rowan's Creek is better than Bakers.   But it's doggone close.    .

 

A Sunday morning rain has passed through, and the sun is out.   Time to stop posting drivel about bourbon and enjoy that "season of clear shining".      

 

 

Edited by Jazzhead

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kevinbrink

A couple points, to my knowledge they are a blend from multiple Mashbills/Distillers, when you have good bottles enjoy them as in recent years they have been to my tastes very inconsistent. 

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CardsandBourbon

Noah's Creek and Rowan's Mill??  Sounds like you had a bit too much of both before naming the thread.  :D

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Richnimrod

Noah's Mill was once (and occasionally a batch may yet be) a fine 'mature pour'; but, I have to agree with Kevin; It's not always what one might wish for.

Batches of this brand have been, on average, a couple steps below the deep, broad, well-balanced, well-aged blend of about 10-different whiskeys it once had been; but those days are several years in the rear-view mirror.   

To me, Rowan's Creek has never been nearly on a par with NM, and wasn't as unique, or as good a value, even at 10-15 bux less, for what it was, therefor I never kept it around much.    I think I've had 3-bottles in my entire life and liked 'em all well enough; but wasn't in any big hurry replace any of 'em.    When I've seen it "on sale" (rarely any more) I've decided based upon price if I would grab on.   The last one I bought was a couple years ago, and it wasn't quite the same as 10-years ago; but close, and even on sale it was over the previous retail rate... but, what isn't, eh?

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Jazzhead
1 hour ago, CardsandBourbon said:

Noah's Creek and Rowan's Mill??  Sounds like you had a bit too much of both before naming the thread.  :D

Holy mackerel you're right!   

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Jazzhead
1 hour ago, Richnimrod said:

Noah's Mill was once (and occasionally a batch may yet be) a fine 'mature pour'; but, I have to agree with Kevin; It's not always what one might wish for.

Batches of this brand have been, on average, a couple steps below the deep, broad, well-balanced, well-aged blend of about 10-different whiskeys it once had been; but those days are several years in the rear-view mirror.   

To me, Rowan's Creek has never been nearly on a par with NM, and wasn't as unique, or as good a value, even at 10-15 bux less, for what it was, therefor I never kept it around much.    I think I've had 3-bottles in my entire life and liked 'em all well enough; but wasn't in any big hurry replace any of 'em.    When I've seen it "on sale" (rarely any more) I've decided based upon price if I would grab on.   The last one I bought was a couple years ago, and it wasn't quite the same as 10-years ago; but close, and even on sale it was over the previous retail rate... but, what isn't, eh?

I will definitely buy the Noah's Mill again;  this is a 2018 batch and I've never had a bottle from the "old days" to compare it with.   But as it is,  I think it is a pip of a sip.

 

I notice that just about every review I pulled up lamented the loss of the age statement.   I guess all subjective experience is colored by knowledge (or the lack thereof).    Or maybe by ocean breezes.   This stuff is going down very well.

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lcpfratn

I’ve got a bottle of Noah’s Mill open that I bought a couple of years ago, and it’s not very good. It’s over-oaked and doesn’t have as much of the caramel/vanilla sweetness that I look for in a good bourbon. It’s destined to be a mixer, and it won’t be replaced.

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Golferpimp1
I’ve got a bottle of Noah’s Mill open that I bought a couple of years ago, and it’s not very good. It’s over-oaked and doesn’t have as much of the caramel/vanilla sweetness that I look for in a good bourbon. It’s destined to be a mixer, and it won’t be replaced.

I had the same experience with both. Will not buy either again. To me the peanut taste was too much.
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afmadd

I had a couple pour sof Noah's Mill from my brother's bottle, and I agree with op that it was exceptional.  I recently bought a bottle of Rowan's Creek, though, and did not like it at all.  Same problem as Johnny Drum, another Willett product I recently purchased - an unpleasant, sharp, herbal taste.  I'll buy Noah's Mill, but other than that I think I'm done with Willett products for a while.

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FasterHorses

I got 4-5 bottles of Rowans Creek that were incredible 3 or 4 years ago. Then when it became easier to find, i got a couple bottles that tasted like peanuts and I havent bought it since. I get that same funky taste from Pure Kentucky and Johnny Drum too. Never had a good bottle of Noahs Mill and was actually surprised it was priced higher than RC when I tasted it. 

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Limegoldconvertible68

It’s funny how different each of our palates are. I’ve had one bottle of Noah’s Mill and it had the old wax seal. Unfortunately, to my palate it was one of the worst bottles I’ve ever experienced.  I’m glad you like it but it’s definitely not for me. 

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