Country: USA
Type: Bourbon
Bottler: Cleveland Whiskey LLC
ABV: 50%
Score: 60 points

This Bourbon uses a proprietary (and secret) process that’s claimed to accelerate the maturation of 6-month-old whiskey to give it the color and flavor of a much older Bourbon by using oxygen and pressure to force the whiskey through charred oak staves. While the process succeeds in giving the young spirit a much darker color, that’s where the similarities to vintage Bourbons ends. The nose is very tannic with caramel, oak, vanilla, and a touch of molasses. The taste is tannic and resinous with a sharp peppery bite and a touch of molasses. The finish is dry and tannic with a molasses aroma and a slight touch of sawdust. Overall, this whiskey is out of balance, and while it possesses the raw elements that wood adds to spirit during maturation, the process ignores the interaction of spirit, wood, air, and time that turns those raw elements into flavors that can be appreciated. Many have tried and failed to find a way to accelerate whiskey maturation, and Cleveland Whiskey is no exception to the rule that one cannot rush a good whiskey. (March, 2013)