DSR – KY – 008: Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Silver Screen Bottling Co./Green River Distilling
Location: Owensboro, Kentucky
Mash Bill: 70% Corn, 21% Rye, 9% Malted Barley
Age Statement: Aged a minimum of 2 Years
Proof/ABV: 103.8 Proof/51.9% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is russet in color. The whiskey has a medium bodied appearance in the glass and produces a medium to thick viscous line. Legs develop rather quickly and slide hastily down the sides into the belly of the tasting vessel.
Purchase Price: $39.99 from Fine Wine & Spirits, Lititz, PA – July 2021
Bottle Label Information:
“Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Crafted in the Heart of Kentucky Bourbon Country”
“4X Four Time Champion | IX, X, XIII, XIV”
Right Side Label
“Batch No. 0002”
“1974 | 1975 | 1978 | 1979”
“Bourbon Born in Owensboro Kentucky | DSP-KY-10”
“4X Four Time Champion”
Left Side Label
“Aged a Minimum of 2 Years”
“Produced by Silver Screen Bottling Co. Owensboro, KY”
Silver Screen Bottling Company & Green River Distilling Co.
Bradshaw Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a collaboration between longtime Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback and Fox NFL Sunday co-host Terry Bradshaw, Silver Screen Bottling Company, and Green River Distilling Company. Silver Screen Bottling Company (which specializes in the distribution, bottling, and licensing of sports, film, television, gaming, and music) joined the team to oversee the branding and distribution of Bradshaw Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Green River Distilling Company (formally known as OZ Taylor) of Owensboro, Kentucky, handles the distillation and production of all the whiskey.
Green River Distilling has a storied history of distilling whiskey, dating back as far as 1885, when J.W. McCulloch began producing Green River Whiskey in Owensboro, KY. The distillery would find great success until a fire in 1918 would destroy most of the facility ultimately ending distillation on the property until Post-Prohibition Era in 1936. In 1936, the distillery land was purchased by Kentucky Sour Mash Distilling, who would try and rebuild the distillery before coming upon hard financial times and eventually filing for bankruptcy. In 1939, the Medley family would purchase the property and open Medley Distilling Company. Many changes in ownership would occur over the years. In 2014, Terressentia Corporation, known widely for their quick aging technology called TerrePURE, would take over the distillery operations under the name OZ Taylor Distillery.
In 2020, J.W. McCulloch’s great-grandson would assist the distillery in turning back the clock and re-launching Green River Distilling Company. Green River Distilling is overseen by father and son duo Ron and Jacob Call; Ron acting as the Distilling Advisor and Jacob taking on the role of Master Distiller. The Calls bring with them a legacy of distilling experience with Ron and his father spending many years working at Jim Beam, some of which were under the tutelage of Booker Noe. (source: Green River Distilling)
Bradshaw Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Terry Bradshaw is a four-time Super Bowl Champion and 1989 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Outside of football, Bradshaw enjoys sipping on a glass of bourbon whiskey, eventually developing a desire for starting his own brand. As a result, in 2020, Bradshaw would launch Bradshaw Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey in collaboration with Green River Distilling. Bradshaw Bourbon uses a mash bill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley. The whiskey is aged in new American oak barrels for a minimum of two years before being bottled at 51.9% (103.8 proof), a nod to Bradshaw’s career passer completion percentage in the NFL. Our bottle for this review comes from batch number 0002.
Tasting Date/Vessel: July 20, 2021 – Neat in Glencairn Glass; Then with a few added drops of distilled water.
Christian: In the bottle, Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey produces a quick punch of robust tobacco and just a smidge of leather. In my Glencairn glass, the freshly poured bourbon is sweet and inviting. A quick swirl and return to the nose brings forth a quick hit of black pepper and ethanol, however, this quickly disappears as the glass begins to open. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, and buttery pastry all permeate from the glass. Perhaps the most noticeable aroma in the forefront of this pour is a nice creamy vanilla. The addition of distilled water ramps up the buttery component to this nose. Vanilla aromas are still very strong and join a sweetness from caramel. A very light touch of floral seems to pop up as well.
Mike: Nosing this bourbon from the bottle, I’m hit with a quick whiff of dried dill weed, which was unusual, but not exactly off-putting as I rather enjoy the smell of dried dill. Soft leather tones begin to permeate through the dill aroma. Note: Upon further investigation, it appears the smell of the dill was coming from the neck label strip…interesting to say the least.
After pouring this into my glass, baking spices like brown sugar and allspice are initially detected. Black pepper spice and cinnamon come in a second wave as I slightly swirl the glass under and away from the nose. A sting of ethanol can be found upon nosing in deeper. I can detect a light fragrance of caramel as I swirl the whiskey in my glass. Letting the whiskey settle down from the gentle swirl, I’m able to identify oatmeal cookie batter with a heavy pinch of cinnamon. This one is hard to nose deep with as the ethanol aroma becomes overpowering.
Christian: The mouthfeel of the Bradshaw Kentucky Straight bourbon is thin yet creamy. The very first sip of this screams out sweet fresh corn. As I return for another sip of the whiskey, I begin to discover additional notes of golden graham crackers, vanilla pudding, just a touch cinnamon and some other baking spice that I can’t quite nail down. All of the flavors in this pour are delicate and light; you really have to concentrate to pick up some of the subtleties. With the added distilled water, the mouth feel really becomes silky smooth, not as creamy. The corn component remains strong, but takes on a bit more of a creamed corn flavor profile. Baking spice and vanilla are still present but muted.
Mike: Bradshaw Bourbon hits the middle of my palate first. I really get nothing on the front of the tongue. It has a soft to medium bodied mouthfeel and is semi-dry on the overall palate. Corn whiskey flavors tend to dominant with caramelized brown sugar lingering at the back of the tongue and throat. .
Christian: This bourbon offers a medium finish that comes with a nice pop of black pepper and a warm Kentucky hug that starts early in the throat and slowly warms through the chest. The black pepper kick quickly transitions to the bitterness of the oak barrel and an earthiness similar to dried grass and roasted peanuts. There is a very slight smokiness to this pour that is present, but, not heavy or obnoxious. Very late, I notice a touch of green apple, honey, and a splash of ground cinnamon. Water doesn’t tone down the finish much, which I think is a good thing. Oak remains the main note here, with a late arriving burst of roasted peanut flavor, particular the skin of the peanut. The oak takes on a more green flavor like it is lacking seasoning and char.
Mike: This bourbon has a medium finish with a gentle sweetness that lingers. Mild apple flavors are present in the finish and again, the sweetness of brown sugar is ever so soft. If you’ve ever made a homemade simple syrup at a ratio of 1:1 with brown sugar and water, this is a similar sweetness but considerably subdued. You get a courteous burn in your throat that lets you know it’s there before departing.
Christian: This offering of Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, as distilled by Green River Distilling, is a solid foundation for the brand. At just over 2 years of age, the whiskey is smooth and offers a pleasant nose with solid developing flavors on the palate and finish. It is already a decent sipper as it is, but added age could really ramp up the flavors and make for a very sweet and dessert friendly pour. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the pour in its current state and feel that it is reasonably priced – I just see a lot of potential if they ever decide to take it to the next level. Although the proof point of 51.9% seems a little gimmicky, I think they have actually found the sweet spot for this whiskey offering! It is still an approachable pour but you also know you are drinking whiskey. There’s just enough punch but you don’t feel like you’re being crushed by a rushing linebacker on 3rd down. This is one of the better celebrity whiskies on the market that we have tried. I really hope Terry Bradshaw and his team continue to develop this product to help it reach its full potential.
Rating: 3.00 Rickhouses
Mike: Initially, I wasn’t very impressed with this whiskey. It’s a good thing we taste together and taste again individually while we draft our review with notes from the first tasting. Maybe it was the infamous “neck pour” or perhaps I was just having an off night. Whatever the reason was for my initial disdain, I’m pleased to have had another opportunity with this bourbon. With all that said, there is nothing particularly stellar about Bradshaw Bourbon. It is undeniably young in age and this is very noticeable from nose to finish. It has flavor but that flavor is fairly uniform throughout and understated. One thing I rather enjoy is the 103 proof on this bottling. It provides just enough bravado to really stand out for me. The biggest improvement this whiskey needs is just a little more time in the barrel to develop those flavors. An extra year or two and this could be a homerun, err touchdown.
Rating: 2.88 Rickhouses