Review: Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey

DSR – AR – 001: Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Company/Distillery: Brother’s Bond Distilling Company, LLC

Location: Fort Mill, Arkansas; Distilled in Indiana

Mash Bill: 65% Corn, 22% Rye, Wheat, and Barley

Age Statement: No Age Statement

Proof/ABV: 40 Proof/80% ABV

Color & Viscosity: Viewing this bourbon in the bottle, it presents light chestnut in color. From the tasting vessel, Brother’s Bond has a golden straw appearance. Tipping the glass to the side, the whiskey leaves behind a thin viscous line. The viscous line develops to a medium bodied lip. A second tilt of the glass produces thick legs that are swift to slide down the sides of the glass.

Purchase Price: $44.00 for 750 ml bottle.

Bottle Label Information:

Front Label

“Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey”

“Hand Selected Batch”

“Distilled & Crafted In The Tradition Of All Great Bourbon”

Back Label

“Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey”

“Our brotherhood has led us right here, with all of you. Honoring the distilling traditions of classic American bourbon, we carefully selected a four-grain mash bill of corn, rye, wheat, and barley. Our spirit is then skillfully cut into perfectly-charred virgin white oak barrels, aged slowly and well, creating the flavors and aromas that make our bourbon a perfectly balanced expression. Life is about experiences. We crafted this hand-selected bourbon in hopes that you may strengthen bonds both new and old. Reminisce, share, and enjoy all that it has to offer.”

“Cheers, Ian & Paul”

“Bottled and Distributed by Brother’s Bond Distilling Company, LLC, Fort Smith, Arkansas”

“Distilled in Indiana”

“Product of the USA”

Distillery Background

Brother’s Bond Distilling Company, LLC

Brother’s Bond Distilling Company was co-founded in 2020 by Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, co-stars of The Vampire Diaries, a vampire drama on the CW channel. It was during their 8+ years of working together on the show, that the two bonded over their shared passion for bourbon. After wrapping up the final season of The Vampire Diaries, the duo sat down to decide the next move in their career path. The actors decided that the timing was perfect for them to put into action what had been previously only a dream–they started their own bourbon company.

While dealing with the worldwide lock-down of COVID-19, Ian and Paul began to work feverishly to find their idea of a perfect blend of bourbon. They were searching for a bourbon that would meet the desires of not only a beginning bourbon drinker but also the most seasoned connoisseur. They sought after something with a sophisticated palate while maintaining a level of drink ability and versatility.

Ian and Paul have no intentions on stopping with the currently available Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Rather, the two hope to soon release Brother’s Bond in a Cask Strength and Bottled-in-Bond bottling. In addition, Ian and Paul hope to release a Straight Rye Whiskey. Currently, Brother’s Bond Whiskey is sourced from Lawrenceberg, Indiana’s MGP Ingredients, Inc.

Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a blend of three different mash bills, currently sourced from MGP Ingredients of Indiana, that meld together in an ending ratio of 65% corn, 22% Rye, and an undisclosed portion of wheat and barley. A copper column still with a copper pot doubler and condenser is used to distill the mash. Off the still, the whiskey is cut to 120 proof and then aged in #4 char new American white oak barrel with a #2 char barrel head for a minimum of 4 years. A portion of each bottle sold is given back in efforts to reduce climate change through regenerative farming – an approach used to “restore soil and ecosystem health, address inequity, and leave our land, waters, and climate in better shape for future generations” (National Resource Defense Council).

Tasting Notes

Tasting Date/Vessel: April 5, 2022 – Neat in a Glencairn glass; Then with a few drops of distilled water.


Christian: In the bottle, Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey exudes a soft sweetness that quickly transitions to traditional aromas of tobacco leaves and brown sugar. After being poured in my Glencairn glass and allowed to rest briefly, a quick sniff hits with a punch of rye grain and baking spice. A gentle swirl allows some of the spice to subside as warm vanilla and clover honey. Cereal grains dominate the nose with loads of rye spiciness, joined by a hint of sweet corn and a smidgen of barley. The addition of distilled water honestly makes this nose a bit unappealing. It becomes very acidic and peppery in nature.

Mike: From the bottle, I detect aromas of sweet tobacco and golden raisins. Nosing this Brother’s Bond bourbon from the glass, soft notes of pears and vanilla emerge. A swirl of the glass produces faint hints of bubble gum followed by a burst of ethanol.

Third Wheel Phil: From the bottle, Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon has a sweet nose of mostly brown sugar. In my Glencairn glass, this bourbon is gentle and unassuming with vanilla bean leading the way. A brief swirl and return to my nose allows an artificial sweetness, much like that of the orange circus peanuts from my childhood, to permeate my senses. Long after I had finished the pour, I returned to the glass out of curiosity and the remnant smelled of super sweet Log Cabin Maple Syrup.


Christian: This bourbon is soft, delicate, and thin feeling on my tongue. My first taste hits with the sweetness of corn on the cob. A second pass is much more traditional in nature with warm brown sugar, vanilla, and a dash of clove and cinnamon. There is a small hint of leather here, but it comes and goes quickly. Adding the distilled water really allows the sweet flavors to shine. Sweet vanilla, raw honey, and nice robust oak flavor really stand strong here.

Mike: Initially, Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon hits dry and smoky. Stone fruit flavors surface mid-palate and this whiskey becomes exceedingly dry on the tongue. A second pass is sweeter and fruit forward as the smokiness settles on the back end.

Third Wheel Phil: The taste profile of this whiskey is lacking in complexity or any really distinguishable flavors that stand out to me. After several tastes, I mostly pick up a suggestion of smokiness and the baking spice clove.


Christian: The finish is short to medium in length and has a very light hug. I notice a little bit of smokiness at this point. Sweet yellow corn, toasted oak barrel, and allspice are present. Long after the spirit has been enjoyed, a slight hint of stone fruit, leaning more mango than peach, pops on the palate. The addition of water really dampens the finish of the whiskey, which is expected when adding water to an 80 proof pour. Stone fruit reigns supreme now, sweet ripe mango is strong in the back end.

Mike: This bourbon has a medium finish overall. Sharp heat trounces the back of the throat then dissipates quickly. Lingering on the palate is a dry cereal like quality, reminiscent of unsweetened Cheerios.  

Third Wheel Phil: The finish of this bourbon is short to medium in length. A noticeable hug was present, but it diminished quickly. A light tinge of black pepper spice and bitterness of oak barrel char stand out to me the most.

Our Rating

Final Thoughts

Christian: Overall, celebrity whiskies seem to be a mixed bag. I really appreciate that Somerhalder and Wesley took an active role in the creation of this whiskey and are trying to put their own personal love of whiskey and their stamp on the product. To me, this whiskey is weakest in the nose – it is a lot of spice and alcohol aromas that just over power much in the way of sweet attractive flavors. Things progress in the mouth and the sweet taste profile and traditional flavors are one that, although a little muted, will satisfy many different types of bourbon fans. Finally, the finish is adequate offering a nice oak and smoke pairing that brings on a late flair of stone fruit. It appears that the whiskey accomplishes exactly what it set out to do, a whiskey that can be enjoyed by mass audiences. For me, it is just a little underwhelming and lacking the deep rich flavors I really enjoy.

Rating: 2.25 Rickhouses

Mike: Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. A flat and understated flavor profile is what this offers. It’s an inconspicuous pour exhibiting a quick punch of octane and fleeting taste. This is a young whiskey with underdeveloped flavors. 

Rating: 2.125 Rickhouses

Third Wheel Phil: My daughter first told me about this bourbon and its famous creators from The Vampire Diaries. As a fan of the show, she had requested we get a bottle for her to keep as a novelty item. After a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia, we stopped by Covington, Georgia, location for the filming of the show. After a quick tour around the town, we had lunch at Mystic Grill (which I highly recommend if you decide to visit). I decided to order a pour and give this a try before buying. Seeing the price of $44.00 at the Nitro 2 Go local liquor store, my daughter’s interest, and my overall first impression I decided to buy a bottle.

Rating: 2.50 Rickhouses


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