Whiskey Review: Off Hours Straight Bourbon

Editor’s note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Off Hours. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link at the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Off-peak master blender, Ashley Barnes, knows a thing or two about rye-based bourbon, having cut his teeth at Buffalo Trace before joining Four Roses. Today, she is Master Blender for The Spirits Group, which she co-founded. To formulate the Off Hours Straight Bourbon Whiskey blend, Barnes sourced whiskey from the Midwest Grain Products distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, aka MGP.

It is well known today that MGP sells basic whiskeys at many brands and artisanal producers around the country, whether they admit it or not. If a whiskey is well made and tastes great, I have no problem, for the record, with the source being MGP or other major distilleries. It is easy to ridicule spirits if they are not bottled by the distiller. But when we do, the producers feel compelled to obfuscate, and only the drinkers lose out. Sourcing from a large, established distillery with a massive stock of aged spirits is a great way to make affordable whiskey, launch a brand without waiting for liquor to age, and/or increase self-produced capital. distilled, if that were the case. goal.

Fortunately, Off Hours takes a refreshing perspective on the use of sourced whisky. There is no attempt to conceal the origin of the spirit: it’s just on the label. Sourcing from MGP enabled Off Hours founder, James Irelandto release a whiskey with character intended for a market (young and/or female) which is ignored at best and ridiculed at worst. A bit like MGP. I applaud the opening of Ireland, like we all should.

So what has Barnes selected from MGP’s massive catalog to bottle for off-peak hours? She went with their 21% rye bourbon. It is a mash bill made mainly from corn with rye and a pinch of malted barley. This has been aged for at least five years in new charred oak barrels. According to the MGP website, their 21% rye beak bourbon offers notes of caramel, vanilla, fruit and cream with rye spice on the finish. The rendering of Off Hours certainly lives up to what is promised.

Off Hours Straight Bourbon Whiskey (image via Suzanne Bayard/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Out of Hours Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged a minimum of five years in new charred oak barrels, 47.5% alcohol, mash bill: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley, SRP $46.99/bottle of 750 ml.

Appearance: Off Hours Straight Bourbon whiskey is moderate amber in color.

Nose: The nose is moderately powerful with hints of sweet pastry. I pick up aromas of maple and butter on the pancakes, homemade vanilla buttercream frosting and vanilla extract. The vanilla note seems to gain strength over time. It’s rather bewitching.

Palace: The palate is viscous and thick with a sweet peppery sensation. The sweet vanilla lingers on the palate, becoming somehow more intense. It’s tangy, like freshly baked frosted sugar cookies with French vanilla ice cream. I take notes of freshly baked white bread, angel food cake, sliced ​​yellow apples, homemade marshmallows and cloves. There are layers of vanilla and baked goods on the finish. The very soft sweetness and mild astringency of the finish keep it from becoming cloying. I would pair it with white chocolate, pastries, dried dates or coconut desserts. This would be interesting with heavily spiced or white chicken or vegetarian based stews.

Freeda S. Scott