Today’s Craft Corner review brings us to my third review of an O.H. Ingram product. Previously, I checked out their River Aged Rye as well as their Flagship Bourbon. Today I will dive into their straight bourbon offering and see how things are doing down there on the river. If you didn’t catch it before, I will drop the video below for the Weekly Whiskey tasting and review of the O.H. Ingram Flagship Bourbon. Let’s go!
As I mentioned earlier, I reviewed the River Aged Rye from O.H. Ingram and rated that expression to be “almost ready” (meaning that I thought it could use a little more time in the barrel before sitting on the shelf next to the products in its price range). While this isn’t the first bourbon to roll off the barge and hit the bottling line, it is the newest product being offered by Ingram.
Leveraging the perpetually undulating water of the Mississippi River as well as its climate, Ingram is aging their whiskey in a way that is not only unique but also quite interesting in terms of analytics.
The following is from the press release for this new product launch: O.H. Ingram River Aged is the only whiskey in the world aged inside a proprietary floating rickhouse. Moored on the Mississippi River in Ballard County, Kentucky, Ingram River Aged is matured in a way that no landlocked rickhouse can accomplish. The dramatic rise and fall of the Mighty Mississippi, along with intense temperature and humidity swings, provoke an intense interaction between barrel and spirit and a whiskey like no other. The rickhouse is moored at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers where the rushing water ensures this whiskey never stops working, creating a mature taste well beyond its years.
Let’s hear what O.H. Ingram has to say about their new product:
“The release of our much-anticipated wheated Straight Bourbon is the perfect start to what will be a big year for O.H. Ingram. Since launching just over a year ago, it’s been fantastic to see how our story has resonated with folks searching for something unique in a crowded whiskey market. It’s a daily joy to see the enthusiasm grow as folks come back to replenish their shelves. As we hunker down in these colder months, I’m sure people will agree the Straight Bourbon is a needed addition to any bar.”
Let’s take a look at this wheated straight bourbon from O.H. Ingram and see if the river-aged product sets a new high water mark!
Nose – Sticky caramel over oak. There’s a light fruit syrup kinda vibe here. Not incredibly complex, but pleasant.
Taste – Homemade caramel with some vanilla background kinda mix with a ripe fruit that’s almost like a pie filling…something between apple, pear, and cherry. Oddly satisfying, albeit not easy to nail down the particular fruit.
Finish – Shorter to medium on the finish. Rolls off somewhat quickly and shows the faintest hint of youth, but all in all there’s a nice oak backbone that holds the sweet caramels and classic bourbon flavors together.
Craft Corner Evaluation: Ready
While I think the jury is still out on the topic of river-aging whiskey, at least from the standpoint of time. There are no substitutes for time. Whiskey needs time in the barrel to reach peak maturity, which I noted on the review of Ingram’s rye (it just wasn’t quite ready).
I don’t think the folks at O.H. Ingram are counting on the river-aging process to speed their whiskey along–and that’s good. They are sourcing quality liquid and, as long as they’re willing to give it more time on the barge, I’m sure they’ll achieve balance with their offerings. For now the Flagship is certainly appropriately named (as it’s their best offering) but this wheater is a decent addition to the portfolio, and shows that the distillate is mature enough to hit the market. Cheers!
TheBourbonFinder thanks O.H. Ingram Whiskey for graciously providing us a sample of their product. Being able to try new things in the whiskey space, without strings attached, is an opportunity we greatly appreciate. Per our review ethos, we provide objective reviews and commentary on media samples of spirits and products; remember, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!
Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is, so our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible–as such–we decided that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us (and didn’t accurately showcase variability in taste from day to day). We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because we feel it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day, so rather than focusing on a precise score today that may not stand the test of time, we are just sharing our overall grade of that pour for that one tasting. Pour a bit and enjoy, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!
I got into bourbon for the flavor and experiences associated with it. As I found more bourbon I enjoyed, the need to dive deeper into the history, brands, and technical side of things converted me into a total bourbon geek.