James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Bourbon

"Typical bourbon with all the expected feature, albeit slightly simple and maybe prices slightly highe compared to its competitors"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Colonel James E. Pepper was got the state of Kentucky to change the law so that distilleries could sell their own bottles whisky, and he introduced a signature seal over the cork to ensure costumers that got the real James E. Pepper bourbon. Later on this formed part of the bottle-in-bond regulations of 1897. The restored distillery has returned to its former charm and still resembles the old style of the original building. You can already get a tour and see for yourself if you are in the neighbourhood. Let’s have a taste of their sourced bourbon, also from the MGP of Indiana.


The first impression is that of a typical bourbon with spicy caramel, wood spices, lovely pine resin, and winter spices including aniseed and pepper. A good balance with a clear spicy side. I also get burned caramel, liquorice, and a hint of blackberries after giving some time to ope. Maybe slightly simple.


The spices rule the palate. Aniseed, liquorice, and it becomes more balance between the sweet and spicy counterweights. Not too much wood on the palate, which is good, and sweet corn and pepper. A rather short aftertaste with caramel, cinnamon, pine trees and black berries.


I think this is a good example of an old-fashioned bourbon. I presume that, because I never really had old bourbons, but it just has most of the features you would expect from a bourbon. It might be slightly overpriced, compared to others with a similar profile.

What others say

Whiskybase: 83.86 (61 votes) * @TheWhiskeyWash: 85/100 * @TheWhiskeyJug: 84/100 * @ScotchNoob: Must try
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!


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

Cask influence
Nose 84%
Taste 83.5%
Balance 85%
Depth 83%
Finish 82%