Whiskey Name: Texas Legation Batch No.1
Distillery: Ironroot Republic
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Release Date: 2016
Age: 12 months
Mashbill: Blended from 3 batches: 95% yellow corn and 5% purple corn, 95% yellow corn and 5% red corn, 95% yellow corn and 5% rye
Introduction/Background: A collaboration between Ironroot Distillery and Wine and Spirits Merchants Berry Bros and Rudd. Intended to celebrate the Texas Legation; Britain’s historical alliance with Texas, based above Berry Bros’ shop on James Street.
My previous exposure to Ironroot Distillery was limited to their Ironroot Hubris, named “Best American Corn Whiskey” at Whisky magazine’s Awards in March. I sampled it amongst rather a large number of others at Whisky Live in London, so my notes are pretty basic, despite my much-lampooned use of spittoons throughout.A couple of BBS members made it to the launch of this bourbon at Berry Bros’ shop last October, and were pleasantly surprised by what they found. Certainly the hot climate of Texas ought to be ideal for quickly extracting cask flavours into young whiskey; the same way that distilleries such as Taiwan’s King Car, and India’s Amrut and Paul John are able to achieve such rapid development. So here goes...
Appearance: Dark for the age. Medium walnut.
Nose: Very upfront. Herbs and cereals. You’d think there was more rye than there is; certainly a ryebread note creeps in. Prominent wood too; pencil shavings. Sweetens to caramel and perhaps banana. Slightly basic in terms of being a big slap of oak and a big slap of grain; not much development perhaps, but clear, well-expressed aromas with a lot of intensity for the proof.
Mouth: Sweetens considerably. Bags and bags of brown sugar. A little salty butter, plus more of that upfront oak and almost botanical herbs keeping things from cloying. Again, you’d be surprised to discover there was such a small percentage of rye in the mash. Certainly feels less one-note than you might expect from a one-year-old bourbon that’s more or less corn-only. Medium body with well-balanced alcohol.
Finish: Gets pretty peppery.
Value for Money: The usual craft whiskey difficulties.
Summary: There are good things happening on the Texas whiskey scene. This is well made, well blended whiskey. Naturally lacks the development, complexity and harmony of flavour that comes with maturity but you get the sense that it’d only need another year or two. As it is, it’s tasty, well-defined and surprisingly intense. I worry I’m becoming a bit of a broken record on craft whiskey pricing, so I’ll simply say that this is definitely worth exploring should you encounter it in a bar, and that Ironroot Republic are absolutely worth keeping an eye on. Anyway, if you’re a regular Berry Bros customer then this is probably a fairly manageable price. In which case give it a whirl.
Overall Verdict: Tasty young stuff from a distilleryto watch.
Words by WhiskyPilgrim