Maker: Tom’s Foolery, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA
Age: NAS (at least 4 y/o)
Distilled 2012, barrel 99
Proof: 100 (50% ABV)
Purchased for $42 (forgotten Toledo liquor store)
Appearance: Light copper.
Nose: Spiced caramel corn, sawdust.
Palate: Sweet, full-bodied. Cinnamon, habanero chilies.
Finish: Hot and sharp. Woody.
Mixed: Very good in an Old Fashioned. The sharp wood pokes through the vermouth in a Manhattan and even the amaro in a Boulevardier. I didn’t try it with cola or ginger ale.
Parting words: I reviewed Tom’s Foolery’s apple brandy early in the history of the blog and I looked forward to trying their bourbon some sweet day. Now, that day is here.
When I first tried this bourbon, I really didn’t like it. It had the classic splinter-up-the-nose micro-distilled bourbon aroma. Not as bad as Hudson Baby Bourbon, but present. This sharpness serves well in cocktails with sweet or strongly flavored mixers.
To get a better handle on this whiskey, I included it in a casual BiB bourbon tasting with friends. The tasting also included Old Bardstown, Early Times, Old Grand-dad, Heaven Hill white label and Very Old Barton in a cameo at the end. Tom’s Foolery stood out in this line up. I still wasn’t sure but everybody else really enjoyed it.
Maybe it’s peer pressure, but Tom’s Foolery is growing on me. I doubt it will ever be a favorite, but it’s not as bad as I feared it would be. At $44, it was the most expensive in the tasting, but factoring in micro-distillery inflation, it’s not too bad. It is 4 y/o and bonded, which is more than you can say about most micro bourbons in this price rant. I guess Tom’s Foolery Bonded Bourbon is recommended.