Distractions, Diversions, Books, Wines, Whiskeys and Other Stuff To Think About When You Should Be Doing Something Else.

On the Rocks: Backbone Bourbon

First an editorial digression:

As a purveyor of fine wines, spirits and beers it is not unusual to watch products get on the distribution merry-go-round; moving from one supplier to another. I honestly feel very bad when I see my distributor’s salespeople hustle to get a new product on the shelf and build up a base of sales only to have it jump ship and watch another salesperson reap the long-term commissions on the repeat sales. This is especially true of my smaller, boutique, distributors. These guys don’t put their products in Wal-mart, the grocery store or the corner gas station. They build them in stores like mine, and I am very grateful for that. Unfortunately, they often see their products go to larger distributors once they are established and rarely see established products come back their way.  I couldn’t run my stores without the blue-chip products of the bigger suppliers, but to be honest it is the small distributors that make my stores thrive. They are the guys who bring the newest stuff that nobody has ever heard of. They keep things interesting and for that I thank them.

Remember that when you are shopping in your local mega-mart. The reason they don’t have anything you’ve never seen before is they don’t deal with the small, boutique, suppliers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Kendall Jackson or Jack Daniels. I sell lots of the both of them. But without the small labels and small production offerings of a real fine-bottle retailer who deals with the smallest of distributors, you are missing out on the newest, most exciting and adventurous products on the market.

Backbone Bourbon - Uncut

Backbone Bourbon – Uncut

Batch #01
114°
70% corn, 25% rye, 5% malted barley

Backbone Bourbon is an uncut whiskey aged less than four years, bottled especially for Crossroad Vintners (meaning it will never fly away to another distributor). You may have never heard of it, and you may never see it unless you happen to be in my neck of the woods at a bar, restaurant or store that sells products that are new, different and delicious.

From the label:
“Backbone Bourbon is a true uncut whiskey that is meant to be sipped and savored. The quality of this bourbon comes from its youthful vigor and the purity of tasting a barrel strength whiskey (where no water has been added to dilute the experience). We have left the backbone in this bourbon. The name is also a tribute to the strength of character that is found in the people of Midwest America.”

Backbone’s nose is a nicely balanced citrus/wood collaboration with orange zest and vanilla spicing the aroma of baked pie crust. It has a nice, creamy mouthfeel, rich and earthy with that same ‘crispy edges of the pie-crust’, bread flavor. The citrus and spice hovers, tantalizing and tingling, in the periphery while the edgy, young whiskey, alcohol bite holds center stage through a long finish.

Backbone is a very solid bourbon along the same lines as Knob Creek or Wathen’s Single Barrel, but with a richer mouthfeel. As this is a new product I look forward to seeing longer aged versions and perhaps offerings with different mashbill and special barrel finishes.

These are the kinds of things that make my job so much fun.

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4 responses

  1. Thanks for stopping by PIIYF and commenting on my Backbone review, if you can call it that. It’s not so much the classic review I did. You’re much better at that.

    Glad to see you posting about Backbone, too. Whereabouts is your store? I’m in Indy, and count myself lucky to have found Backbone in a liquor cabinet of a store around the corner.

    02/27/2012 at 2:13 PM

  2. Thanks. I’m also glad to see somebody else spreading the love. If enough people are talking about something, and even better buying something, it tends to get more shelf space. The best thing you can do is let your retailers know what you want and shop at the ones who listen.

    My stores are down in the southwest part of the state.

    02/27/2012 at 3:50 PM

  3. Mark Fleetwood

    A less than 4yr old bourbon “along the same lines as Knob Creek”? Really??

    04/20/2012 at 3:14 PM

  4. Yes. Do you disagree?

    04/20/2012 at 9:21 PM

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