Stellum Black Bourbon 54.61%

Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee blended Bourbons

Tasted side-by-side with Stellum Black Rye. Rested for 5-15 min in a capped Glencairn. Water added during tasting.

Muscat in color and relatively thin legs.

I thought I screwed up by switching my glens around as I got such a rye forward profile on the nose. Lots of those spices you’d expect in a rye like clove and cinnamon. Some sweetness is there but takes a back seat. Slight brown sugar and dark winter honey. Light floral perfume, like fresh grain fields. With more time rested, some dark chocolate comes through and leans into a more desert profile.

That rather attractive nose falls flat initially on the palate. The clove really rushes over your tongue and mutes everything else. As you get more acclimated to that heavy spice, a really rich burnt sugar and toffee comes out. Air time really helps soften the baking spices. Old leather and dried pipe tobacco bold flavors rounds out the flavors.

The finish is the best part! Some orange zest and floral notes show up on the finish. The citrus element brings a welcoming flavor, balancing the more spicy flavors of the palate. Slightly dry finish with that touch of tannic, barrel char flavor. The citrus doesn’t stop and lasts quite a long time. It’s a bit like drinking an old fashioned. Leather and cigar humidor notes with a small amount of water added.

The whiskey is “chewy”. The inside of your cheeks are coated in those baking spice flavors. It’s as if you’ve been chewing clove gum after dinner. That slight orange oil really coats your tongue and you taste it for an extended length of time as you sip. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised this is a hit for me. I really enjoyed that high rye flavor profile and it gives me Four Roses vibes. The mash bill is not revealed but if I had to guess, this may be over 20% rye content. An enjoyable dram.

I understand why everyone is hung up about the price. $99 is tough to swallow. When you compare older single barrel whiskies from Four Roses or Beam, the value just isn’t there. The whiskey is great, the price is the only thing that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.