Aug 11, 2017

Do Good Distillery California Bourbon...

We lost Jim Harrelson this week... He was the head distiller, operations manager and the head of product development of Do Good Distillery. He was a generous, passionate, innovative and idealistic professional who was loved and respected in his community. Here is one for his memory: California Bourbon from Do Good Distillery...

Do Good Distillery California Bourbon (45.55%): California Bourbon is distilled from the crops of State of California only and labeled with Jim's favorite blue and yellow colors to echo the old California license plates he recalled from his childhood... It is a wheated bourbon distilled from a corn, red wheat and malted barley mash bill and aged for two years in barrels. The label indicates the batch number as #3 and the bottle number as #190.

Color: Medium amber, dark copper.

Nose: Spearmint leaves and vegetable broth. Stewed root vegetables, dandelion greens and bitter greens. Steamed asparagus, sourdough bread and fresh dill. A green, vegetal and tart nose which I didn't expect from a wheated bourbon at all but I am really digging it... A few drops of water improves the nose even more. Chalky and dusty now and less intense in terms of tartness: Clay soil, dried parsley and dill pickles.

Palate: Here is the sweetness... Brioche bread, vanilla ice cream and green malt. Fresh mint, dried apricots and toasted new oak. It still carries those wonderful green and tart notes I very much liked on the nose but more subtle and integrated with all the sweet notes the palate added. Ground ginger and Golden Oreos. Adding water didn't work quite that well on the palate like it did on the nose though. I lost the layering, a little flat now... I might pass the water business next time I sip it.

Finish: Medium with some green banana peppers, malt and oak staves.

Overall: This is a surprisingly good bourbon... It is way more balanced and mature than anybody would expect from a young craft distillery which is not even four years old... I loved the herbal and vegetal qualities and the tartness overall. Perfect to sip neat and would also work great with Manhattans or with any other whisky cocktail. Cannot wait to pop open and taste its sister expression the Nighthawk Bourbon next.

Now it's time to raise a glass to Jim Harrelson... He always loved the Ben Franklin quote saying "Do well by doing good..." and he did nothing but good in this world...

Price: $43

87/100

Jim Harrelson // July 2017