Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Updated Review of Black Dirt Single Barrel Bourbon Batch #5 - Black Dirt Distilling

So why Black Dirt? The Black Dirt Distillery takes its name from the dark, fertile soil left by an ancient glacial lake that once covered thousands of acres of upstate New York known as the Drowned Lands. Because of these natural occurrence, the perfect condition was developed for growing the main ingredient that all American whiskeys needs, corn. 

The history of Black Dirt Distilling, LLC’s origin is not as short as some may think.  The original distillery goes back to 2002 when the first micro-distillery was formed in New York called Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery.  Founded by Jeremy Kidde and Jason Grizzanti, these two men had a plan to do more then what just one distillery could do.  Jump a few years ahead, in March, 2012 Jason and Jeremy formed the Black Dirt Distilling, LLC.  This addition was birthed out of the recent bourbon boom and the high demand for fine bourbon and whiskey outside the bourbon trail.  In order to meet this demand, the Black Dirt Distillery commissioned a 4,000 square foot distillery along with a 60 foot distillation column which was completed in Pine Island, NY in 2013.  Currently they are producing bourbon, gin, and brandy from these two distilleries.  The current batches of bourbon that can be purchased and what was reviewed was aged and bottled at the Valley Winery & Distillery.

Having the title as the first mirco-distillery in New York State, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery / Black Dirt Distilling is growing by name and volume through their years of experience in both distillation and marketing.  They are making a name for themselves by making and bottling their own product from the beginning unlike many mirco-distilleries who purchase whiskey to help generate revenue.

 Mash Bill of Batch 005:

Aged a minimum of 3 years in new charred American Oak at 45% Alc / vol - 90 proof
Char level 3
Distilled from:
80% Black Dirt grown corn,
12% Malted Barley
8% Rye

Nose: Aroma of sweet caramel, vanilla and honey

Taste: Smooth up front.  Has a oily layer through out your tongue

Finish: Bitter in the back and lingers for a moment.

Final Thoughts:

For such a young bourbon, both in age and in production, I give a lot of credit to a company that is not buying their product from the larger distilleries throughout the United States.  With the sudden boom in the whiskey business in the past couple of years and many mirco distillers opening up, its hard not to buy barrels of whiskey to get cash flowing in.

Featuring a single barrel expression this quickly in one’s business plan is a risky move in the bourbon business. However, being able to say that it's your own gives a distillery more credit than most would think.

Overall, the bourbon is too young to develop much depth of flavor and characteristics you would come across in older whiskeys.  However, that's not the story here.  The heart of this tale is the depth of history which surrounds it.  From their founder, Jason Grizzanti who holds a fruit science degree, to the location of their sweet corn in the unique fertile ground where once stood an ancient glacial lake.  These are the blocks that build a great foundation for what could be an impactful distillery in the North East.  In order to build something that will sustain the sands of time, a good foundation must be laid.  Black Dirt has laid that foundation and we look forward to what the years ahead have to offer. 

Retail Price 750 ml size:

$40 - $47.99

Where to Buy:

Buy online at Astor Wines or Drink Up NY

Website: Black Dirt Distillery

Facebook: Black Dirt