Kings County Straight Bourbon

We’re driving through Maryland on our way to King George, Virginia, and stop for a stretch. There’s a great shop in La Plata called Lady’s Liquors. Lots of variety on the shelves here. We’re surprised to see a bottle of bourbon from “Kings County Distillery.” With King George County in mind, we buy the bottle, surprised to learn that there’s a craft bourbon distillery in the small town around here.

Well, there isn’t. It’s Kings County as in Brooklyn, of course, which we’d have realized if we’d stopped to think about it for a second (or read the back label). The distillery, founded in 2010, took license to name itself after the county in which it’s based because it’s the first distillery based in New York City since prohibition. (It’s now located at the Navy Yard, to be precise.) That’s 77 years without a distillery,,. Way to go, NYC.

So the little hamlet in northeastern Virginia will have to wait a bit longer for its own craft distillery, but nonetheless we’re curious to try this 45 percent ABV straight bourbon. (And by coincidence, I’ve long proclaimed that “Lady’s Liquors is the best liquor store south of New York City.”)

This review at The Whiskey Wash says there’s a “flat 5th bottle” available for around $24. We haven’t seen that; our bottle is just like the one shown in the photo in the review—half a fifth (375 ml) for $43.99. That’s pricey for a half-bottle, but if we want small, craft distilleries to be successful (and we do), we should support them.

It’s aged for at least two years. The color is a deep amber and, unsurprisingly at this ABV, the nose is strong, astringent. The taste is stronger—medicinal—and there’s a smokiness to it that we weren’t expecting. Also a “dessertiness”… toffee and nutmeg. It’s got a smoky, intense finish. All in all, it’s a big, mouth-filling bourbon with enough complexity and uniqueness to recommend it.

As for cocktails, we typically prefer to enjoy something at this price point unblended, la chose même. Or garnished with orange rind, at most.

Review at Dads Drinking Bourbon. They didn’t like it as much as we did but make some good observations.

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