John Myer Bourbon Whiskey – Distiller: Myer Farm Distillers. No age statement. Mashbill: 60% corn, 40% spring wheat, rye & unmalted barley. ABV 45%. Price: $35.
Road trips are an American institution. I can still dimly recall sitting in the back of my parents’ Volvo station wagon, staring out at the ever-expanding American landscape. But what I know now that I didn’t know then is that zipping along America’s backroads can lead to some superb distilleries–especially amid the current U.S. microdistiller boom.
Last summer, the McDram clan met some friends in New York’s Finger Lakes region. They mentioned they’d passed what appeared to be a distillery and asked if I wanted to check it out. Professional responsibility, I said, and off we went to the Myer Farm Distillers in Ovid, New York.
This farm-to-bottle outfit has some lovely offerings, including a wheated whiskey that was out of this world. But the one that stuck with me the most was their John Myer Bourbon Whiskey.
The mash bill is about 60% corn, with spring wheat, rye, and unmalted barley making up the balance. It’s fun to trace how those elements wind their way through the experience. The nose has a fair amount of bakery in it, from corn bread, to fresh made ciabatta, but there’s also a faint whiff of the rye, along with a lovely ginger note that’s well complemented by a dash of vanilla extract.
The palate was the standout aspect for me. It’s damn good. Layers of vanilla cream and toffee are interwoven with layers of rye spice and an earthy oak that cuts the sweetness in just the right way.
The finish was a bit too abrupt for my taste, but I loved the peach that came through. Combined with a resurgence of the vanilla, it brought to mind a peach pie you just set on the counter to cool.
Whiskey should be about conversation, experience, and new discoveries. I have a feeling that in the Myer Farm family, I’ve found a line that will provide all three for years and road trips to come.
Cheers, friends, and enjoy the weekend! – TM