Bird Dog Small Batch

"A decent bourbon that is slightly overpriced and needs a bit more oomph and depth"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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The Kentucky spirits company Western Spirit is home to the Bird Dog series (great looking labels, but no idea what it has to do with their spirit), Calumet Farm, Sam Houston and Lexington. Bird Dog is mostly known for its flavoured whiskey currently consisting of 12 flavours (think of grapefruit, jalapeño honey or praline), but also release sourced bourbon. Except that it is from Kentucky, the origin remains unknown. So to quote from their homepage: “These products are crafted in the traditional bourbon processes with extreme care for quality and consistency. All of the Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon products have won multiple awards at bourbon competitions around the USA“. Would that reassure us of the expected quality? Not sure. We also have no clue about the age. It is nog a straight bourbon, so it could be very young.

Nose

Full on caramel at first before the toasted wood makes its entry and takes over the tongue. There are plenty of spices, mostly cinnamon and cardamon, accompanied by a hint of orange, then more caramel and more toast. It gets slightly sour, even bitter, one moment, before it feels overly sweet at another. There is a distant fresh touch of fruitiness, but it is too much in the back. Not too balanced.

Taste

After the fairly busy nose, the palate is surprisingly quiet at first. Some caramel fudge and marshmallow. Very smooth, fairly sweet, but there is a sharp edge of wood spices. Drying and much wood in the aftertaste, which is on the short side. There is a rather pleasant hint of orange-y chocolate in the aftertaste, but arrives a bit too late to save the palate.

Overall

Overall, this is a decent bourbon if you do not expect too much character or depth. Albeit an open door, the ABV could use a percent extra and a few more straight rye spices would add more balance to the sweetness. I would recommend it as a start to a tasting, but the price tag is just a tad too high for the quality delivered. I would even say that the nice label deserves a better content.

What others say

Whiskybase: 81.50 (10 votes) * @TheWhiskeyWash: 70/100 * @Distiller: 82/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
50%
Sweet <-> Spicy
30%
Nose 82%
Taste 80%
Balance 79%
Depth 80%
Finish 81%
Score