DSR – NC – 005: The Clover Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: The Bobby Jones Collection (Piedmont Distillers)/Sourced from Tennessee
Location: Madison, North Carolina
Mash Bill: High-corn, Rye and Malted Barley
Age Statement: Aged 10 Years
Proof/ABV: 90 Proof/45% ABV
Color: Golden Honey
Purchase Price: $69.95 from the Mocksville NC ABC store; 750 ml
Bottle Label Information:
Neck Label: “Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Shamrock – Faith, Love, Hope, Luck”
Front Label: “The Clover Single Barrel”
“Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Robert Jones Signature”
Back Label: “Bobby Jones, Gentleman & Champion, 1902-1971”
“The Bobby Jones Collection sustains the legacy of golf’s greatest gentleman and champion. Known for his honor as well as his mastery, Jones was the only player to achieve the original “Grand Slam.” After Competition, it was his custom to enjoy three fingers of the finest local whiskey. “
“‘The Clover’ refers to the four-leaf medallion Bobby’s mother gave him for food fortune and which he wore in every match. Each leaf of a four-leaf clover is said to hold a different meaning: Hope, Faith, Love, Luck. All of which are helpful in golf, life and the making of whiskey.”
“Bottled by the Bobby Jones Collection; Madison, North Carolina”
“Distilled in Tennessee”
“Barrel No. A-035”
Piedmont Distillers is located roughly 25 miles north of Greensboro, North Carolina in the town of Madison. Founded by Joe Michalek in 2005, the company became North Carolina’s first legal distillery since prohibition. Piedmont Distillers, according to Triad Business Journal, is one of the largest distillers in the Triad distilling approximately 150,000 proof gallons of spirits in 2018.
The product line at Piedmont Distillers includes Method & Standard Vodkas, Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon Moonshines, Catdaddy Spiced Moonshine, and most recently, The Clover Collection.
The Clover Collection
Piedmont Distillers currently offers three different whiskey selections within The Clover Collection. These include a 4-year-old single-barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a 4-year-old single-barrel Straight Rye Whiskey, and a 10-year-old single-barrel Straight Tennessee Bourbon. When this collection was first released, it honored the grand slam winning golfer, Bobby Jones. It was mainly available at select golf clubs and resorts around the world. In 2019, Piedmont Distillers secured funding that allowed for an expansion into a more diverse market, reaching more bourbon enthusiasts.
Additional details: The Clover Collection
Tasting Date/Vessel: May 17, 2020 – Neat in Glencairn Glass
Christian: Oak forward. Very delicate aroma of vanilla bean, tobacco, and clove honey are present. Profoundly satisfying nose. Adding water allowed the brown sugar and sweetness to really pop in the nose.
Mike: Rich butterscotch and honey with vanilla undertones that yield to a light oak essence. Nosing in deeper and giving the whiskey a swirl, I pick up slight ethanol and straw notes as it becomes more oak forward.
Christian: Mouth feel was light and thin. Observed hints of allspice, baking spices, and tobacco on the palate. Very slight taste of oatmeal as the whiskey made its way towards the back of the mouth. A few drops of water had little influence on the mouth feel, however, allows the oatmeal taste to intensify with vanilla bean and honey also coming forward.
Mike: Very thin and light in the mouth on first sip. The sweetness of dried fruit is predominant then surrenders to rich tobacco flavors and a crisp bite of coriander spice. Holding a sip on the tongue brings about a pronounced and rewarding hint of leather.
Christian: Medium finish. This bourbon drinks smoothly. As the flavors linger in the finish, I notice a familiar peaches and cream or apricot aftertaste. Nice, refreshing, and clean finish. Water sweetens the finish but doesn’t change much in the flavor profile.
Mike: Immediately short as the flavors expire quickly then a rush of warmth in the lower throat. Leather and tobacco linger in the mouth.
Christian: As a golfer, my eye is really drawn to the bottle with Bobby Jones’ picture. The overview of his love for whiskey and spectacular golf career are a superb added touch. On the bottle, etched wording about the four leaf clover and its meanings, really bring a rich and classy addition. I definitely want at least one of these bottles for my shelf.
My issue here comes down to the flavors and price. To be completely honest, this felt like a duplicate pour to the Uncle Nearest 1856 bottle. Both whiskeys are similar in age and appear to have come from the same source. This is not a fact that is officially confirmed, as neither distillery is allowed to disclose this information. This is all just speculation and rumor that can be found in several places on the Internet. Since the tastes are almost identical, I don’t see the value in spending the additional $10.00 on this bottle. A price of $69.95 is steep for this bottle and would likely become a hindrance for the average consumer. All in all, it is an enjoyable, smooth, and pretty bottle. Yes, I will have one on my shelf to show and share with friends, but I don’t see myself keeping a steady supply available on the home bar.
Rating: 2.75 Rickhouses
Mike: This is an adequate whiskey that I assume is sourced from George Dickel. I rather enjoy sipping it neat but nothing stands out to me that makes this a truly stellar pour. This carries a 10-year age statement and is a single barrel offering at 90 proof. However, their $70 MSRP in North Carolina ABC stores, really concerns me. If this was barrel proof, the $70 price might be a bargain, but I could not justify having this as a regular bottle on the bar.
Rating: 2.25 Rickhouses
Conclusion: I think it is important to provide the readers with a reminder that Rickhouse Ramblings purchases all of its bottles for review. As such, a reasonable amount of weight is given in the scoring to perceived value at the sales price in the North Carolina ABC system. At $69, this bottle seems to miss the mark.
The Clover is a decent pour. It does not separate itself from other sourced Straight Tennessee whiskey products on the market. Approachable when neat, with a sophisticated appearance and 10 year age statement, we were looking forward to this standing out a bit more. Unfortunately, The Clover just didn’t live up to our expectations. Golfers in Pinehurst are likely to enjoy this at the nineteenth hole bar, but the consumer at home is likely to pass at such a substantial price point.