Tom’s Foolery Bonded Bourbon

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.

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The bonded tasting line up.

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.

 

Debonné Vineyards Riesling Reserve

Maker:  Chalet Debonné, Madison, Ohio

Grape: Riesling

Vintage: 2008

Region: Grand River Valley AVA

ABV: 11%

Appearance: Gold with good legs.

Nose: peach, orange blossom

On the palate: medium bodied, sweet and lightly fruity. Easy going, pairs well with a light supper and does fine on its own on a hot humid night.

Finish: Not much in the way of a finish, but pleasant enough. A bit of sweetness then a slow fade.

Parting words: This is a standard Midwestern Riesling. It’s sort of the Kyle Orton of wine. It might not win the game for you, but it won’t lose it for you either. Refreshing and eminently poundable…err…quaffable. Recommended if the price is right.