Bourbon: Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey. 88 Proof; NAS.
Distillery: Who knows? The label states “Corner Creek Distilling Co.,” but that’s just one of the many assumed names of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd. Worse, this assumed name has been inactive since 2003. Does KBD have so many assumed names that it can’t keep track of them and renew the certificates as needed?
Not complex. Soft nut and vanilla flavors. It lost any discernable nose with a splash of water.
No heat or bite, which I missed. Smooth and sweet, and no complexity. The lower proof was noticeable. Definitely drink Corner Creek neat; it’s already watered-down enough.
A dry finish that was only slightly warm and pretty short. Oak flavors dominated, with a little medicinal flavors at the very end.
While bourbon hunting I struck up a conversation with the owner of a small liquor store in LaGrange, Kentucky. Of course he didn’t have what I was looking for, but he went on and on about Corner Creek. He has family in from Pennsylvania every Thanksgiving and they make special requests for him to be sure to have Corner Creek. Then he told me a story about how Corner Creek was started by guys from the wine business who are now distilling in Bardstown. I hoped that he was just misinformed instead of lying to me, because I knew that Corner Creek was part of the KBD portfolio.
Maybe he was just relying on the label, which claims Corner Creek is produced “in the tradition of the great wine importers,” or maybe it was the wine-styled bottle (with the Bob Ross landscape art). Or maybe it was just a sales pitch. But he was extremely friendly so I didn’t challenge him. Not only that, I decided to buy a bottle.
My final recommendation is that Corner Creek is fine, but it’s under-powered and it left me wishing for more complexity and bite. Additionally, there are so many other options in this crowded price range (or lower) that you should try first, like Four Roses “Yellow Label” and Small Batch, Elijah Craig 12, anything in the Weller lineup, Maker’s Mark or Bulleit. As a bonus, we know where each of those are distilled and aged (even Bulleit, at least for the time being). I would prefer all of these over Corner Creek.
Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale: 2.5
The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Wouldn’t even accept a free drink of it.
2 – Would gladly drink it if someone else was buying.
3 – Glad to include this in my bar.
4 – Excellent bourbon. Worth the price and I’m sure to always have it in my bar.
5 – Wow. I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.