DSR – KY – 017: Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Brough Brothers Bottling
Location: Sparta, Kentucky
Mash Bill: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley; Sourced from MGP of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Age Statement: A Blend of Whiskey with a Minimum Age of 6 Months
Proof/ABV: 82 Proof/41% ABV
Color & Viscosity: In the bottle, this bourbon presents light russet in color with just a soft orange hue. From the glass, Brough Brothers bourbon is light chestnut to golden raisin in color. Tilting the glass to its side, it produces a razor thin viscous line initially. Legs develop rapidly and glide effortlessly down the body of the tasting vessel. The residual whiskey forms droplets along the viscous line and are slow to release.
Purchase Price: $29.99 for 750 ml bottle at the VA ABC Store
Bottle Label Information:
“Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey”
“Hand Bottled Non-Chill Filtered”
“It would only be a matter of time before the Louisville Kentucky-born Yarbrough Brothers would make their mark on the world. Starting from humble beginnings in Louisville’s West End, we learned early about hard work and dedication. We took those lessons and traveled the globe, learning from our life experiences, we wanted to find a way to make a positive and lasting impact on both our local and global communities. So, the Yarbrough Brothers returned home to their roots and decided to create Brough Brothers. Brough Brothers spirits are crafted with love from the finest ingredients. Please join us on this journey!”
“We Are Our Brothers’ Keepers.”
“Enjoy Brough Brothers in mixed drinks and cocktails!”
“A Blend of Bourbon with a Minimum Age of 6 Months in New American White Oak”
“Bottled by Brough Brothers Bottling, Sparta, Kentucky”
“Distilled in Indiana; Hand Bottled in Kentucky”
Brough Brothers Distillery
Brough Brothers Distillery, Kentucky’s first African-American owned distillery, was founded in 2019 by Louisville natives Victor, Bryson, and Christian Yarbrough. The Yarbrough’s grew up in Louisville’s Park Hill neighborhood on the city’s West End. Together, the brothers aim to build a distillery that will give back to their home community’s local economy. Brough Brothers started in 2019 by first sourcing whiskey from Indiana based MGP, bottling, and then distributing Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey mainly in the United Kingdom. Shortly thereafter in 2020, the brand would begin to be distributed in limited quantities in the United States.
Brough Brothers operates using an 8-foot column still and 50-gallon pot still in which they used to distill their own in-house distillate. Whiskey will be aged on site in Louisville, Kentucky using both 25- and 53-gallon new American white oak barrels. Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey is produced with the working and middle class in mind, using a pricing model offering quality bourbon products at $30 or less.
Victor Yarbrough, Chief Executive Officer, founded the Brough Brothers Distillery parent company, Victory Global LLC, in London, England. Victory Global LLC was developed to provide imports and exports to both the United Kingdom and United States markets. Yarbrough’s company specialized in bringing moonshine and bourbon products to the UK while introducing the American drinking population to English Ciders. Victor holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky.
Bryson Yarbrough, Cheif Operating Officer and Master Distiller, is Co-Founder of Victory Global LLC and oversees the production and operation of Brough Brothers Distillery. Bryson has a background in the military, including multiple overseas deployments, and graduated from the University of Indiana and University of the District with specializations in Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Herbs.
Christian Yarbrough, Chief Marketing Officer, currently oversees the day to day marketing and communications for Brough Brothers. Christian holds a degree in Broadcast Communications from the University of Kentucky.
Tasting Date/Vessel: January 2023- Neat in Glencairn Glass, then a second time with an ice cube.
Christian: In the bottle, Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey is very light and delicate on the nose. Not a lot of discernible flavors are present, but I am catching vague nuances of fresh sweet corn, D’Anjou pears (sweet and citrusy pear), and tobacco. In my Glencairn glass, the whiskey is again very light and subtle. Sweet corn pudding – cream, corn, and caramelized sugars, and a light vanilla aroma lay the foundation. A second pass allows the grains to really stand strong. Freshly ground rye grains are accompanied by soft cinnamon spice and green apple notes. Adding a cube really allows the pear notes to intensify. A little more citrus note comes to the forefront as well. The corn is pretty much gone at this point.
Mike: Nosing this bourbon from the bottle, hints of tobacco and sweet corn give way to subtle notes of lightly sweetened applesauce. In the glass, this Brough Brothers bourbon offers a nose of sweet corn and fresh slices of Gala apples. A gentle swirl of the glass releases hints of Juicy Fruit gum and very faint leaf tobacco. A mild tartness lingers on the back-end, reminiscent of diluted malt vinegar. Overall, this pour has a fruitful and pleasant nose.
Christian: Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey is very soft and gentle on my tongue with a creamy quality. Soft flavors of vanilla, corn, butter, and melon quickly come to my mind. A second sip allows a pop of sweet honey and pie crust dough to be enjoyed. The ice cube allows the rye grain to become pronounced. A bitterness of oak moves forward. Adding an ice cube makes this pour not nearly as sweet.
Mike: The first sip of this whiskey is semi-sweet with a thin mouthfeel upfront. There is a faint touch of honey sweetness then it fades quickly to a drier and slightly tart citrus tang. Muted notes of unsweetened applesauce are concealed in the background as corn whiskey flavors overcome the palate.
Christian: Bottled at 82 proof, this bourbon whiskey offers an unassuming finish that is short. A nice ember of warmth wells up late from my chest and teases the senses, reminding you that this is whiskey. Notes of oak, honey, cinnamon, and brown sugar are all present. Surprisingly, I am still getting a very nice, sweet honeydew melon note that I didn’t get the first time we tasted this whiskey. The finish disappears with the ice cube. Pear juice, honey, and vanilla remain behind.
Mike: This Brough Brothers bourbon has a mild finish. A docile warmth lingers in the lower throat and is pleasing. A subdued flavor from biting into a mealy apple lingers on the palate.
Christian: I find this first offering of Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey to be a solid foundation for a new brand. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the whiskey is sourced from MGP. I have no problem with that at all, but I do worry if distilleries will be able to maintain the flavor profiles and consistency when they transition to their own distillate. Tonight I am really digging the sweet honeydew melon I am getting in the pour. I applaud this effort by the Yarbrough brothers. They have given us a very approachable summer worthy sipper that can be enjoyed neat by whiskey drinkers of different preferred palates, budgets, and experience levels.
Rating: 2.75 Rickhouses
Mike: This bourbon starts with an inviting and sweet nose but fails to deliver overall. Excessively muted flavors throughout leave me underwhelmed as a drinker. Not surprising, given the 6-month age statement, or bottle proof, of this whiskey. This is a slight step up from a moonshine, or unaged corn whiskey, obtaining just a touch of spice from the barrel. Brough Brothers Bourbon is not intolerable–I have had bourbon and unaged whiskey that is downright horrendous–this offering is several steps above those whiskeys. Additional time in the barrel would help this bourbon find its identity.
Rating: 2.00 Rickhouses