Veteran master blender John Rhea presents a finely crafted whiskey packed with character and nuance. A core of soft, sweet wheated bourbon is balanced with spicier rye-forward whiskies from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. The result is an aromatic bourbon with a pronounced fruitiness that develops as it opens up in the glass.
While The Wiseman shines when served neat or with a little water, its complex profile makes it a gift to classic cocktails. Keep scrolling for tasting notes, recipes, and the story of the Kentucky Owl.
Joe Rogers – The Whisky Exchange
Peanut butter, caramel popcorn, halva and toasted coconut.
French toast with vanilla sugar and cinnamon, then almonds, new oak, pepper and dark chocolate. Water brings out a fruity side showing red berries, cloudy lemonade apple crumble and cornbread with honey.
Medium-length with cocoa power and Christmassy spices.
- Black Pepper
This riff on the eternally popular Espresso Martini subs the traditional vodka for a large measure of fruity, spicy Wiseman Bourbon.
- 50ml Wiseman Bourbon
- 25ml Fresh espresso
- 15ml Coffee liqueur
- 2 dashes chocolate bitters
- Coffee beans for garnish
Put your preferred cocktail glass in the freezer to chill it down. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with plenty of ice – and a dash of sugar syrup if you have a sweet tooth – and shake until its good and frosty. Double strain into your frozen cocktail glass and garnish with coffee beans.
A refreshing Collins that amplifies the Wiseman’s fruity side with fresh lemon and blackberries.
- 50ml Wiseman Bourbon
- 25ml Fresh lemon juice
- 15ml 1:1 sugar syrup
- Soda water
Muddle three raspberries in a cocktail shaker and then add your bourbon, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Shake with ice to chill and combine and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with fresh berries and rosemary.
One of the great old names in bourbon, Kentucky Owl distillery was closed – like so many others – by the advent of prohibition. For almost 100 years the owl was absent from the world of whiskey, but in 2014 it was revived by Dixon Dedman, the great-grandson of the original distillery’s founder C.M. Dedman.
In its current incarnation, Kentucky Owl has earned renown for its sourced straight bourbons. But plans are in place to break ground on a new distillery in Bardstown where this storied brand can cement its place in the 21st century.