If you’re a cigar smoker reading this review, you’re probably here because you heard that Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate has gone into the spirits business and you want to know what he’s up to. For non cigar smokers reading this review, Jonathan Drew revolutionized the cigar world in recent decades, first with his Acid infused cigars and later with hugely popular premium blends like Liga Privada, Undercrown, and a host of others. He is a man that knows tobacco, but perhaps most of all knows the art of branding and marketing.
Brixton Mash Destroyer is the first release from John Drew Brands, and it’s everything you would expect from a man who made a name by being a bit of a heretic in the luxury world. It’s a blend of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and Florida rum (hence “Mash Destroyer”). It’s quite an interesting dram, but more on that in the review below.
- Product Reviewed: Brixton Mash Destroyer by John Drew Brands
- Mashbill: undisclosed. Blend of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Florida Rum
- Age: undisclosed
- ABV: 45% / 90 proof
The branding on this bottle has everything you’d expect from anything created by John Drew: vibrant colors, big shapes, and overall ballsy design. For a company that is introducing its first products to market, this is a smart play. In the glass, the liquid is pale gold (a big lighter than what you see in the photo).
One whiff and you can tell this is a mix of rum and bourbon, though I’d say the rum wins out in terms of strength. The nose is a mix of butter, molasses, faint caramel, hay, peanuts, and some very light oak and pepperiness. A lot going on, but it’s pretty muddled.
Again, the mix of bourbon and rum is obvious. It’s also quite enjoyable. The bourbon plays a larger upfront role, with bright caramel, oak, and some butter on entry. As the flavor develops, I pick up some rye spiciness, a touch of mint and a bit of the molasses from the rum.
Brixton Mash Destroyer is almost completely defined by the rum as far as finish is concerned. Long, lingering cane sugar sweetness, banana, and a bit of salty molasses.
Brixton Mash Destroyer by John Drew Brands is not an overly complex drink. It doesn’t weave bourbon and rum together perfectly. At times it’s positively muddled. But I have to say after half a bottle of this and a few cigar pairings, it is an extremely drinkable and pairs well with a number of cigars (the last being the CAO Italia which was a great pairing).
My suspicion is that John Drew Brands has achieved exactly what they wanted to achieve: launch a solid product that elbows into an over saturated market with aggressive branding and a gutsy mix of ingredients. Take our rating on this one with a grain of salt—there isn’t exactly a category for a rum/bourbon combo. But whatever this spirit is, it’s good.
Final Score: 89
Spirits for review were provided by John Drew Brands.