Rowan’s Creek Bourbon Review

By: Fork & Stave

Proof:  100.1 Proof (50.05% ABV)

Rating: 5 Barrels (5 out of 5)

I’ve been enjoying bottles of Rowan’s Creek since I first discovered it in a small store in Tennessee.  The flavor profile is outstanding with a finish that makes it a wonderful sipping whiskey.  The product, produced by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd., gets it’s name from John Rowan, a Kentucky statesman during the late 1700s.  Rowan’s Creek actually runs through the property of the Willett Distillery.  Rowan’s Creek is one of four small batch bourbon offerings from KBD.  It is matured in charred white oak for 12 years and was the winner of the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2005 and 2011.

Tasting Notes: After letting it breathe for 10 minutes, I tasted this bourbon neat.

Nose: Rowan’s Creek opens up with some holiday appropriate flavors of caramel, maple syrup, green apples, vanilla cream, cinnamon, and rye.  This is a fantastic smelling whiskey.

First Sip: I like how this whiskey makes an entrance.  It’s sweet, without being overpowering, and smooth with overtones of honey and corn paired with molasses and caramel.  The vanilla notes were more pronounced as I let the whiskey breathe and even stronger with a few drops of water.   You start to get some of the brightness from the rye and cinnamon notes before the finish.

Mouth Feel: Washing over the tongue, Rowan’s Creek has a coating feel.  I would characterize the mouth feel as smooth with no unpleasant astringency or drying tannic notes.

Finish: The finish is long and rewarding, with a character that builds with time.  The warm spice and cinnamon notes do well to hide some of the oak, which is subdued.

Summary: Probably one of my favorite bourbons, Rowan’s Creek is a steal at the low-to-mid thirty dollar price point.  It offers those new to bourbon a whiskey that is unpretentious, but extremely fulfilling.  It’s  a whiskey that can mature with you as you expand your palate and taste preferences without ever being one that you will truly outgrow.  For seasoned bourbon drinkers, this product will deliver on the taste, body, and finish that is sure to keep it around your liquor cabinet for years to come.  The Kuslveen family and the KBD/Willett staff definitely have a winner on their hands with Rowan’s Creek.