DSR – SC – 006: Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon
Company/Distillery: Striped Pig Distillery
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Mash Bill: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Barley
Age Statement: Aged a minimum of 6 months
Proof/ABV: 117 Proof/58.5% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon is light golden sherry in color. It appears thin in the glass. This whiskey produces a thin and sharp viscous line that transitions to small perforated beads. The beads coagulate to form a thick lip with no real legs that develop.
Purchase Price: $36.99 from Total Wine & More, Myrtle Beach, SC – April 2021
Bottle Label Information:
“Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon”
“American White Oak Barrel Aged | American Bourbon Whiskey”
“American singer/songwriter Tyler Boone is proud to give you his personal take on American Bourbon Whiskey while striking a claim to help preserve the rich history of small distillery business all across the country. We pride ourselves in our unique process to bring you a crafted sweet smoky spirit distilled with the true essence of corn, rye & barley. We then age our bourbon to perfection in American White Oak charred barrels to give you that true and tasteful spirit we all know and love. Please enjoy our bottle and drink responsible.”
“Produced & Bottled by Striped Pig Distillery in Charleston, SC”
“Aged A Minimum of Six Months in American White Oak Charred Barrels”
Tyler Boone is an American singer/songwriter from Charleston, South Carolina. Boone started his music career around 2012 and is associated with the musical genres of Blues, Alt Rock, and a touch of Southern Rock. In his career, Boone has had the opportunity to open for artists such as Cheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, Hootie & The Blowfish, and Old Crow Medicine Show. In 2018, Tyler Boone and Striped Pig Distillery in Charleston, South Carolina, would collaborate on the mash bill for Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon Whiskey. Boone’s father, Michael, would join the team shortly thereafter. Boone would partner with Local Choice Spirits in Charleston, South Carolina in order to help take Boone’s Bourbon Whiskey to a larger geographical distribution.
Local Choice Spirits
Local Choice Spirits was founded in 2011 by Paula Dezzutti in Charleston, SC as a boutique/celebrity brand spirit. Local Choice Spirits is a brand incubator specializing in the development and launch of new spiritous liquor brands. On their website, Local Choice Spirits explains its business model:
Our family business creates award-winning boutique spirits and celebrity brands, whilst operating a give back business model. Our commitment to quality and community has allowed us to expand into an innovative, premium brand building platform, providing creators and consumers alike the opportunity to enjoy exceptional spirits and #PourItForward to community causes.https://www.localchoicespirits.com/about/
Local Choice Spirits currently manufactures over 20 different brands of spirits. These include Kurt Thomas Pecan Pie Moonshine, Boone’s Bourbon, The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Family Brand Whiskey, Local Choice Black Cherry Bourbon Whiskey, and multiple offerings from the Striped Pig Distillery. You can find a full listing of their offerings, here.
Homegrown Boone’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Homegrown Boone’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey uses a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. When first released, Homegrown Boone’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey was a 5-year old whiskey produced by Striped Pig Distillery (now owned by Local Choice Spirits) in Charleston, South Carolina. That batch of barrels was quickly used, leaving the brand in a situation where they needed to quickly fulfill a growing demand. As a result, Boone decided to transition the product to its 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% malted barley mash bill. In order to meet demand, Homegrown Boone Bourbon Whiskey would source their distillate from MGP in Indiana. Once the whiskey was sourced MGP, Boone and business partner Pixie Paula of Local Sources Spirits, would send the distillate to Terressentia (also majority owned by Paula and Local Source Spirits) where it then undergoes the rapid aging process known as TerrePURE. As a result, the age statement on this whiskey had to be taken from 5-years down to at least 6 months, a major reduction. The final proof point of 117 was selected by Tyler Boone for the product as a way to set Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon Whiskey apart from the rest of the field.
Additional information regarding the TerrePure process and how it works can be found in our previous review of Local Choice Spirits, Gentry Bourbon Whiskey.
Tasting Date/Vessel: July 20, 2021 – Neat in Glencairn Glass; Then with a few added drops of distilled water.
Christian: Nosing the freshly corked bottle of Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon produces an opening salvo of sweet kettle corn. This quickly transitions to a robust tobacco with just a touch of sweet tea. After pouring a generous amount of the whiskey into my Glencairn glass and taking a quick nose, the first thing that is noticeable is a punch of ethanol. The alcohol content creates a significant tingling sensation in my nose. A quick swirl and return to the glass allows corn to begin to show up, along with a touch of caramel. A second swirl brings aromas similar to vanilla buttercream and a kick of cloves or cinnamon baking spice. The addition of distilled water considerably mutes the ethanol in this pour. Gentle hints of tobacco, brown sugar, and caramel sneak their way into the picture. The overall nose of this whiskey becomes more approachable with some flavors that are able to finally overcome the ethanol.
Mike: Nosing this bourbon from the bottle offers soft notes of cinnamon, fresh cut tobacco, and very light fragrances of mint infused tea. As I nose into the tasting vessel, I am initially hit with a sharp rubbing alcohol aroma as corn pushes through late. A second pass produces subtle aromas of vanilla wafers and ground cinnamon. The addition of water subdues the rubbing alcohol tones and a delicate banana pudding flavor develops.
Christian: On my tongue, Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon has a thin but oily mouth feel. A thin coating is left on my tongue and roof of my mouth after sipping. This whiskey is semi-sweet on the palate with green corn dominating. A second sip is taken, this time producing very slight hints of cloves or cinnamon and plain Corn Flakes cereal. The flavor profile is a bit one dimensional and masked greatly by the heat of this whiskey. The distilled water really softens the mouthfeel, taking away some of the oiliness. Corn is still dominant, but it is joined by a taste of toasted brown sugar or caramel and vanilla.
Mike: Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon starts sweet on the tongue. It has a thin mouthfeel and is semi-dry on the palate. Corn whiskey flavors are dominant front to mid palate, with a spicy cinnamon candy flavor blistering the back of the tongue and throat. This is a very young bourbon and it shows. Water softens and sweetens the overall mouthfeel, with a hint of stone fruit arriving late.
Christian: I have no doubt that this whiskey is way over 100 proof. It is so hot and slightly rough around the edges. There were a few sips that gave me a sensation similar to breathing fire through my nose, accompanied by a very strong burn on the tongue and down to the throat and chest. The finish flavors remind me of seasoned grilled corn on the cob. A bit of smokiness is present and pronounced. Appearing late is a bitterness from the oak, in this case it’s young and lightly charred oak. Again, there may be a touch of vanilla and peach at the end, but it is masked by the overall heat in this whiskey. The addition of distilled water seems to slightly subdue the high octane finish. However, the finish is still long and pronounced. The bitterness from the green oak (maybe even a taste similar to what sawdust smells like) is still present but joined more by vanilla, graham cracker, dried stone fruit, and well-done toast.
Mike: As this whiskey is imbibed, a smoky finish develops. The smokiness offers some bitterness, but the abrasive burn in the back of the throat is what takes prominence. The overall finish is long. Lingering in the mouth is an essence of an overdone pie crust–very well done, but not quite burnt. Adding water brings out a fruitiness to the finish and polishes the harsher edges. The finish is still lengthy with loads of heat.
Christian: Homegrown Boone’s Bourbon Whiskey offers an improvement on other products we have reviewed under Local Choice Spirits umbrella, however, still proves that attempting to “quick age” whiskey products just doesn’t achieve the intended end product. There is no substitute for maturation in the barrel. At 117 proof and a minimum of 6 months aging, this whiskey feels immature and rough around the edges. Watering this spirit down seems to be the way to go – it allows the nose and palate to open up some. This speaks volumes, as I consider myself a lover of barrel proof bourbons and whiskeys. I would like to see a little more transparency from Local Choice Spirits on where their products are distilled (especially on the bottle label) and how they aged their products. It’s also interesting to note that there are several high quality bottled-in-bond (4 year and 100 proof) or 10-year old bourbon offerings within $10 of this particular bourbon. To me, it makes this extremely young and hot spirit, a tough sell. Our hunt continues! Cheers!
Rating: 2.00 Rickhouses
Mike: For me, this bourbon misses the mark in a lot of areas. This whiskey is aged a minimum of 6 months, which isn’t enough time to develop and cultivate enough flavor from the barrel. For its young age, I will say it does have more bourbon characteristics, albeit extremely muted, than some others we’ve reviewed in the same approximate age range. Overall, this is lacking any real depth and drinks like Mellow Corn. It gets a small bump in score for me for its high proof because, when using it as a mixer, you’ll definitely know it’s in there. Perhaps with some additional age, my palate would more readily receive this offering.
Rating: 2.25 Rickhouses