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Blade and Bow Bourbon Review & Price Guide (2024 Best Eidtion)

Blade and Bow buying guide

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Lydia Martin

It wouldn’t be surprising for those who appreciate savory spirits if their favorite bourbon is Blade and Bow. However, is this bourbon’s history enough to call it one of the best whiskey brands? Is the whiskey aged to perfection?

Let us find out what this historic whiskey is made of in this Blade and Bow Bourbon review. 

All About Blade & Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Blade and Bow Bourbon Review
Blade and Bow Bourbon Review

Diageo currently produces Blade & Bow Kentucky Straight bourbon, but Stitzel-Weller Distillery initially created this. They are reproducing this bourbon using the Solera aging method (1). The Solera method blends whiskeys aged differently and combines them in a barrel for additional aging. 

They blend the barrels made from the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery with a younger-aged whiskey. The flavors of the original blends from Stitzel-Weller Distillery are still present in the newer releases. The original blends can no longer be duplicated exactly how they did before. Blending it with a newer variety is the only way to ensure continuity and consistency of the same savory taste and delectable smoothness.

Key Facts 

Key Facts 

Brief Distillery History

The story of Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr. and his wheated bourbon all began in 1935 when the Stitzel-Weller distillery opened in Shively, Kentucky. However, the Van Winkle family had to sell Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company in 1972. 

The original distillery continued to produce the same type of whiskeys but eventually closed in 1992. In 2014, Diageo, the company that purchased the original Stitzel-Weller distillate, decided to reopen and reproduce the American whiskey.

How It’s Made

Wheat Grains

Stitzel-Weller made their bourbons using wheat instead of the usual rye. It gives the bourbon a richer taste and a smooth finish. Unlike others who use commercial yeast, they continue to cook sour mash to release the sugars. 

However, the reproduction of Pappy’s bourbon is not the same. Diageo implemented the Solera aging method to ensure that the bourbon produced has the same consistency and flavor the Stitzel-Weller name is known for. 

Mash Bill

Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight bourbon whiskey are made of 51% corn. Stitzel-Weller Distilleries opened on Kentucky Derby Day in 1935 and used the same mash content but only with wheat and barley. 

However, Diageo is no longer following the old bourbon production equation used by Pappy religiously. There are four grains used in the current blends—corn as the main component, rye, wheat, and barley. 

Age Statement

Blade and Bow 22 Year

There is no age statement on one of the two Blade and Bow variants, the Blade & Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey. However, since this is straight bourbon, it should be aged no less than four years. 

The second variant is the 22-Year-Old Limited Release. Both are a blend of different whiskeys. The Solera system blended younger bottles with bourbons made from the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery. 

Flavor Profile

Palate

The younger bourbon whiskey has a slight difference from the older Stitzel-Weller bourbon. This variant has enjoyable fruity tasting notes with strong hints of vanilla and candied cherries. It tastes a bit hot at first but eventually minimizes mid-palate.

The 22-year-old bourbon whiskey is a confectionery treat with woody oak notes, leather, roasted pecan, and caramel. Both possess remarkable complex flavors only a few distilleries were able to achieve.

Aroma

The same scent goes for the two variants. The scent of vanilla is very noticeable to the nose, along with hints of oak, apples, and pears. However, you can smell honey graham cracker and caramel on the 22-year-old bourbon whiskey.

Appearance

The two variants have different distinct colors. The younger drink has a light copper appearance and has the right viscosity. 

On the other hand, the 22-year-old variant has a deeper red that has many legs in it. Due to aging, it has acquired a woody cherry shade with an obvious richness and dense texture. 

Finish

Glass of Bourbon

The younger variant has a smooth and long finish with just the right spice and oak. It does not have that over-oaked palate you taste on most whiskeys. 

A 22-year-old bottle has a more intense finish with notes of walnut and a tad of pleasant bitterness. It is long with clear hints of clove. 

Alcohol Content

The younger variant contains 45.5% alcohol. Even if the brand did not release an age statement, it is safe to assume that it is younger than the second variant.

On the other hand, is the 22-years bourbon that was aged in a single barrel and bottled with 46% ABV. The alcohol content is not cask strength but is high. However, it does not have any harshness when swallowed. 

What’s Blade & Bow Bourbon Five Keys? 

Bourbon Fermentation Process

The five keys of Blade & Bow Bourbon are grains, yeast, fermentation, distilling, and aging. These are what Pappy Van Winkle stood by over the years he was creating great-tasting bourbons. It symbolizes Southern traditions by expressing hospitality and warmth. 

You can find the skeleton key representation at the entrance of the admin building of the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The blade shaft and the ornate bow handle greet everyone who visits. This same image can be seen on all the bourbons released bearing the name Blade and Bow.

Common Blade & Bow Bourbon Price

Bottle Size Alcohol By Volume Average Price
Blade & Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750 ml  45.5% $50.99
Blade & Bow 22-Year-Old 750 ml 46% $449.99

Compared to Other Bourbons

Compared to Other Bourbons

Evan Williams

Evan Williams Bourbon Whiskey is from Heaven Hill Distillery and was introduced in 1957. It is currently ranked as one of the best-selling whiskey brands worldwide. The flavor profile is fruity and floral with sweet vanilla notes. 

However, this brand’s rye content is higher than the Blade and Bow. Price-wise, Evan Williams is cheaper. The 750 ml bottle is sold at around $39.

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark

Jim Beam makes maker’s Mark. It is a small-batch bourbon created by T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr. It is one of the famous premium whiskey brands today. It has a delicious blend with a taste full of vanilla, cornbread, brown sugar, cocoa powder, licorice, and baking spices. 

Like Blade and Bow brand, this is also a wheated bourbon. It is a very affordable drink priced at roughly $30 per 750 ml bottle.

Knob Creek

Knob Creek is from Beam Suntory distilleries, and they introduced the first bottle in 1992. It has big and bold flavors from the nose to the palate. The smell of oak and spice will greet the nose, and the mouth will also enjoy the flavors. 

This bourbon stayed inside new charred oak barrels for nine years originally. However, they removed the age statement. These are sold at around $55. These are in the same price range as the standard Blade and Bow 750 ml bottle.

Related Post: Smoke Wagon Bourbon Guide

Popular Blade & Bow Bourbon Cocktails  

Popular Blade & Bow Bourbon Cocktails  

Blade & Bow Gold Rush

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 ounces Blade & Bow
  • .5 ounce Lemon Juice
  • .75 ounce Orange Blossom Honey Syrup
  • Candied ginger

Instructions:

Place all ingredients inside a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Set the candied ginger aside. Shake well. Place ice on rocks glass and strain over contents. Top with candied ginger. Serve

Serving: 1

Blade & Bow Manhattan

Blade & Bow Manhattan

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Blade & Bow
  • .15 ounce Cherry Heering
  • .15 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • Two dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • One cherry

Instructions: 

Place all ingredients except the cherry in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir. Take a coupe glass and strain over mixed liquid. Place the cherry on top. Serve. 

Serving:1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Blade and Bow bourbon hard to find?

Blade and Bow bourbon can be moderately challenging to find compared to widely available mainstream brands, but it is not as elusive as some highly sought-after bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle.

As a premium bourbon, Blade and Bow is selectively distributed, often found in upscale liquor stores, specialty whiskey shops, and select bars and restaurants that curate a diverse and high-quality spirits selection.

While it may not be as readily available as mass-produced bourbons, diligent enthusiasts can typically locate bottles with persistence and thorough search efforts.

Is Blade and Bow smooth?

Blade and Bow bourbon is celebrated for its smooth and refined character, making it a favorite among bourbon aficionados seeking a sophisticated sipping experience. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail and aged to perfection, Blade and Bow boasts a velvety texture that glides effortlessly across the palate.

Its flavor profile is characterized by a harmonious balance of sweet and savory notes, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak imparting a rich complexity that unfolds with each sip.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation for classic cocktails, Blade and Bow’s smoothness and versatility make it a standout choice for discerning whiskey enthusiasts.

What kind of bourbon is Blade and Bow?

Blade and Bow bourbon is a premium Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey renowned for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Distilled and aged by the award-winning Stitzel-Weller Distillery, Blade and Bow pays homage to the rich heritage and tradition of bourbon-making in Kentucky.

It is crafted using a meticulous process that begins with the selection of the finest grains, followed by fermentation, distillation, and aging in charred oak barrels. The bourbon is aged using the solera aging method, a unique process that blends older and younger bourbons to achieve a depth of flavor and complexity that sets Blade and Bow apart.

The result is a bourbon of unparalleled smoothness and character, cherished by whiskey enthusiasts for its exquisite taste and rich heritage.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Blade and Bow bourbon exemplifies the timeless elegance and craftsmanship of Kentucky’s finest spirits.

Is Blade and Bow the same as Weller?

While both Blade and Bow and Weller bourbons share a connection to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, they are distinct brands with their own unique characteristics and flavor profiles. Blade and Bow bourbon pays homage to the legacy of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, where both brands have roots, but they are produced separately with different mash bills and aging processes.

Weller bourbons are known for their wheated mash bills, emphasizing wheat as a secondary grain alongside corn, while Blade and Bow utilizes a traditional bourbon mash bill.

Additionally, each brand has its own aging process and flavor profile, contributing to their individual identities within the world of bourbon.

How long is Blade and Bow aged for?

Blade and Bow bourbon is aged using the solera aging method, a distinctive process that involves blending older and younger bourbons to achieve a consistent flavor profile over time.

While specific aging statements for Blade and Bow may vary by expression, the solera aging method typically ensures that each bottle contains a blend of bourbons aged for varying lengths of time, resulting in a nuanced and complex flavor profile.

Some components of Blade and Bow may be aged for several years to achieve the desired balance of flavors and smoothness, with older bourbons contributing depth and maturity to the final blend.

Where is Blade and Bow made?

Blade and Bow bourbon is produced at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery, located in Louisville, Kentucky. The distillery holds a significant place in bourbon history, dating back to its founding in the 1930s by Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr. and partners.

Over the years, the Stitzel-Weller Distillery has been renowned for producing some of the most iconic bourbon brands in the industry, including Old Fitzgerald and W.L. Weller.

Today, under the ownership of Diageo, the Stitzel-Weller Distillery continues to uphold its legacy of craftsmanship and innovation, serving as the home of Blade and Bow bourbon and a symbol of Kentucky’s rich bourbon heritage.

What proof is Blade and Bow?

Blade and Bow bourbon is typically bottled at 91 proof (45.5% alcohol by volume), although there may be variations in proof among different expressions or limited releases.

The 91 proof bottling provides a balance of flavor and strength, allowing the nuances of the bourbon’s character to shine while still delivering a satisfying intensity on the palate.

This proof level is often preferred by whiskey enthusiasts for its versatility, suitable for sipping neat, on the rocks, or as a base for cocktails.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

While both whiskey and bourbon fall under the broader category of distilled spirits, there are specific distinctions that differentiate the two. Whiskey is a broad term encompassing various distilled spirits made from fermented grain mash and aged in wooden barrels.

Bourbon, on the other hand, is a specific type of whiskey that must meet certain legal requirements to be labeled as such.

The primary differences between whiskey and bourbon are:
Ingredients: Bourbon is made primarily from corn, with at least 51% of the grain mash bill consisting of corn. Whiskey, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of grains, including barley, rye, and wheat, in addition to corn.

Production: Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume) and aged in new charred oak barrels. Additionally, bourbon must be produced in the United States to be labeled as such. Whiskey production does not have the same legal requirements regarding mash bill composition or aging.

Flavor Profile: Bourbon tends to have a sweeter, fuller-bodied flavor profile compared to other types of whiskey, thanks to its high corn content and aging process in new charred oak barrels. Whiskey flavors can vary widely depending on the grains used and the aging process, ranging from light and floral to rich and smoky.

Is Blade and Bow a blend?

Yes, Blade and Bow bourbon utilizes a unique blending process known as the solera aging method. This method involves continuously blending older and younger bourbons to create a consistent and complex flavor profile over time.

While Blade and Bow may contain components from various aged barrels, it is not considered a traditional blended bourbon in the sense of blending different distillates from multiple sources.

Instead, the solera aging method allows Blade and Bow to achieve a distinctive character that combines the depth and maturity of older bourbons with the vibrancy and freshness of younger spirits, resulting in a nuanced and harmonious final product.

What bourbon is John Wick drinking?

In the John Wick movies, the character John Wick is often depicted enjoying bourbon, but the specific brand he drinks is not explicitly mentioned. Instead, the focus is on his sophisticated and discerning taste, which aligns with his persona as a stylish and refined assassin.

While the exact bourbon brand remains unspecified, John Wick’s choice of bourbon reflects his preference for high-quality spirits that offer a smooth and satisfying drinking experience.

Throughout the films, John Wick is portrayed as a man of few words but refined tastes, often seen indulging in moments of quiet contemplation with a glass of bourbon in hand.

His affinity for bourbon serves as a subtle yet significant aspect of his character, symbolizing his appreciation for the finer things in life amidst the chaos of his underworld existence.

Final Verdict: Blade and Bow Bourbon Review

Blade and Bow bourbons and the Stitzel-Weller Distillery are a huge part of the development of the bourbon industry. Stitzel-Weller broke the ordinary distillation process and created something out of the ordinary when Pappy began using the blended mash he used for his whiskey variants.

Do we believe that the efforts exerted by Diageo in acquiring the remaining barrels from other distilleries are worth the contents? Yes, a barrel of this brand contains one of the best bourbon brands ever created. Stitzel-Weller managed to produce a savory-smooth bourbon for a bourbon enthusiast to enjoy.

Reference:

  1. Solera
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