Distillery: Tom’s Foolery. ABV: 45%. Age: 2 years. Mashbill: 70% corn, 15% rye, 15% malted barley. Price: $40.
I’ve been hearing interesting whispers for a while now about a small distillery out of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Farm to bottle. Distilling just one barrel’s worth of spirits at a time. Aging in 53-gallon barrels until ready–and ready may take some time depending on the temperature in their unheated rickhouse. In sum, I heard that Tom’s Foolery was distilling craft bourbon and rye in an appealingly old-fashioned way. And the fact that they distill exclusively on a copper pot still–a big rarity in the bourbon world–made them even more interesting.
All of which is to say, I was very excited to try Tom Foolery’s bourbon and rye. A review of the rye–which is pretty damn great–is forthcoming. But today I want to rave a bit about the bourbon.
The Ohio Straight Bourbon is a classically well made bourbon. The nose doesn’t jump out with the potency you’d expect from an older Kentucky bourbon, but you do get oak and a hint of hickory. The palate is where they show their stuff. It’s a very clean bourbon, with notes of honey, vanilla, citrus, mint, and tobacco. The finish is a touch underwhelming–lovely at first, but peters out very quickly, and I’m a guy who likes a lingering finish.
But nevermind that bollocks. I’m very happy I sought out Lianne and Tom, the husband-wife team behind the distillery. I’m fond of most folks who are making an honest go at whiskey distilling, but I have a special soft spot in my heart for those who are doing it one barrel at a time. This 2-year-old offering is one of the better craft bourbons I’ve tasted, and they’ve got a 4-year-old bottled-in-bond release that’s just hitting the market now, and is likely to be even better.
Cheers, friends! – TM
Tom’s Foolery graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.