Sonoma Distilling Company Cherrywood Smoked Bourbon
Bourbon — California, USA
Reviewed July 6, 2021 (edited September 7, 2021)
Nose: Plenty of oak, tannin included - almost reminding me of spirits aged in Texas. Vanilla, molasses, dusty corn. Plums and figs, but with the sweetness pulled back. Smoke character definitely present, though not dominating. Lemon peel and pith, wintergreen. Some subtle floral quality over the top. Nutmeg and burning cinnamon stick. Cherry, though not in the syrupy sweet way you might find in some other bourbons. Floating in between pine and thyme. Palate: Oak, smoke, ash, brown sugar. Prickly feeling. Some ripe naval orange is coming through, alongside banana and berry. Cream, bitter burnt coffee. Tart cherry. Anise and clove. Dry. Mids and highs are balanced, but there's not much foundation or depth for them to stack onto. Largely presents on the mid palate. Medium light mouthfeel, medium low oil content. Finish: Oak, coffee, smoke, ash. Bitter orange peel, vanilla, cream, and brown sugar. Things eventually settle down into angel food cake topped with lightly sweetened homemade whipped cream served next to an fire with a mismanaged flue. Medium length. Other notes: Unique. So much of the smoke character here reminds me of Garrison Bros. or Balcones, just without the tannins. This explores a niche you see a certain drinker ask about in various Facebook groups and forums. While this certainly isn't the idea perfected, I think it proves that there's some more discovery to be made. If the label "smoked bourbon" is of serious interest to you, go ahead and give this a quaff. If there's any reticence on your part, I might save your cash for something else. Likely not a re-buy unless I want something way off the beaten path for an event!