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Newest Bourbon Review: Rowan’s Creek Single Barrel Bourbon

February 24, 2012

 Rowan’s Creek Single Barrel Bourbon

Not, just another Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Bourbon! Look, they make great Bourbon and I might as well keep on reviewing them. Rowan’s Creek Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey is hand made in the heart of bourbon country, Bardstown Kentucky. This is a part of their Small Batch collection. This bourbon is a beautiful Single Barrel that is made in very small batches and then bottled with the least amount of filtering possible. Rowan’s Creek is the younger brother of Noah’s Mill, 15 year old Single Barrel Bourbon. They both seem to be a part of the same Mash Bill but, I do not know for sure. Yet, this expression is easily in my top ten of standard production bourbons.

The distiller says: Rowan’s Creek takes its namesake from the creek that still runs through their little distillery. Back in the late 1700’s when John Rowan, a judge and a statesman first settled about these parts, whiskey makin’ was the order of the day.  The judge is  long since gone but, the creek that still bears his name is still carrying the best limestone spring water that Kentucky has to offer.

To the bourbon:

100.1 Proof Single Barrel

Age: 12 years

Bottle Statements:

Distilled, Aged and Bottled in Kentucky

2011 Gold Medal from San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Batch QBC No. 11-176

First notes:

The label and the wax upon the topper matches the hue of the stunning liquescent substance from within. They both have a blushing maroon tint to them. The presentation of the bottle is rather simple yet, unique and it even comes with a nice cork topper.


The color is a little darker amber than most bourbons and has just a hint of rosy hue to it.

First nose:

The first nose right out of the bottle is of oak, light char and corn.

Nose in a glass:

There is nothing more to say other than wonderful! But, I will say that there is some light caramel corn, oak with hints of rye and yeast.  Only a hint of the proof comes through with this well-aged expression. The nose is nicely complex and is something that I could simply immerse myself into all day but, the taste is still to come!


Now this is Bourbon! Oily loveliness, this is. The first taste coats your palate with oak (but, not overly so), char, vanilla, rye spice, hint of floral and hidden notes of mint. Second sip has a bit more corn and gives just a slight bit of intensity on the roof of your mouth. The flavors stay on our tongue for a very long time and continue to evolve well after you have swallowed. It is nicely balanced but, not overly complex with unwanted notes. You could enjoy a glass for an hour and not have to refill. That means you could save a bit for me! He He


After a poor showing from Mr. Willett’s Pot Still, Rowan’s Creek revitalizes the title of the best bourbon maker in Kentucky, in my eyes, to Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. This is a fantastic bourbon for the price and just comes in an overall second to its older brother, Noah’s Mill. It is best served neat but, has enough spice that a spot of spring water could open it up a bit. Well, there is not much more to say but, that this is a bourbon that you will just have to try for yourself. But, wives beware, you may just fall in love!

Outsider review:

Rowan’s Creek Single Barrel is incredibly balanced with zesty aromatics of honeysuckle and jasmine notes. The mouth-feel is supple but not thick; there’s also a subdued sweetness with just a touch of pepper and no detectable heat. Attractively packaged and reasonably priced.

There will be a new review about every week. Stay tuned in for future reviews. Please write if you have a specific bourbon you would like a review on next!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Garret permalink
    February 18, 2013 4:56 pm

    I was wondering what light tasting bourbon you would recommend angel’s envy or rowan’s creek. I have heard great things about both and am torn since I can only get one.

    • February 19, 2013 1:32 pm


      Thank you for your interest. I wanted to make a quick comment about your “Light” description and the two products you are interested in.

      A bourbon that I would designate as “Light but, Good” would be something like Elmer T. Lee (ETL) Single Barrel. This bourbon is produced by Sazerac, within the Buffalo Trace Distillery. ETL has a very low intensity, flavor and pallet presence. I would not recommend mixing it with anything (ice/water included). If you like your bourbon cold (as I do), keep the bottle in the freezer.

      Something that is “Light and Not So Great” is something like Maker’s Mark. Low age and lots of water. Water is not a wheated bourbons friend.

      Back to the libations you asked about.

      Angel’s Envy is actual not bourbon. This is a product that was once bourbon that has been finished in Port Barrels. This changes the flavor of the product and thus taking the lustrous status of “Bourbon” away. Also, it has a rather low proof. This means that a lot of the natural bourbon flavors have been taken away and now substituted with the Port.

      Rowan’s Creek (RC) is a bourbon and is a very good one at that. It is a 101 Proof that is light enough to be enjoyed with most food items and/or sipped anytime of the day. It is comprised of 8, 12 and 18 year old bourbon. Most of the volume is made up of the 8 yr, then the 12yr and then the 18yr. It is one of my favorite bourbons (in my top 15) and it should be your too.

      RC’s big brother is Noah’s Mill(NM) (in my top 5). It is made up of the exact same bourbon but, the volume ratios are flipped. Now the 18year old bourbon makes up the majority of the batch.

      So to hopefully answer your question, “to which product I would choose (between the two)”; it would be Rowan’s Creek, hands down.

      Thank you for your interest and keep the questions coming.

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