For all you Bourbon fans out there Long Island Spirits Distillers has created a Bourbon that gives a nod to the spirit of former President and L.I. resident Theodore Roosevelt and his band of Rough Riders. Rough Rider Straight Bourbon is the latest creation from the company with its release of their Small Batch No.1. Long Island Spirits which is best known for LiV Vodka began their foray into the darker spirits with their award winning Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky. There is also a Brandy out there that is extremely limited which I’m hoping to provide more info on in the future. All of these are small batch and adhere to the highest quality standards. Here is some info from Long Island Spirits with my review to follow:
Teddy Roosevelt, a native Long Islander, organized the United States First Voluntary Cavalry, commonly known as the Rough Riders, in 1898. Composed of 2,350 men from across the country, including cowboys, Native Americans and other Wild West types, as well as Ivy League athletes and aristocratic sportsmen from the East.
This disparate group shared a common purpose: the pursuit of adventure, independence and excellence. Despite winning the Battle of San Juan hill, the Rough Riders disbanded on Montauk Point after only 137 days of service.
Rough Rider Straight Bourbon Batch #1 is inspired by the uncommon virtues of those men.
Each limited batch of Rough Rider Straight Bourbon is meticulously handcrafted at a distillery just miles from where the Roosevelt’s Rough Riders departed, in Montauk Long Island. The whiskey is a high-rye, straight bourbon that starts out as a highly refined mash bill, consisting of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley, and is then aged for several years in charred new American white oak barrels.
Rough Rider is then finished in hand selected American oak barrels, which once held some of Long Island’s finest wines. The wine casks that are selected for the second maturation, described by Long Island Spirits owner Richard Stabile as its exclusive method of “Reserve Aged,” are chosen from the finest wineries on Long Island and are an exquisite balanced blend of award winning Merlot and Chardonnay barrels.
These casks undergo a “cask finishing wash”, with a very unique 180-proof brandy distilled from local Long Island Chardonnay, that tempers each wine barrel prior to filling it with the bourbon. Rough Rider mellows while acquiring its distinctive character during this delicate second maturation period, adding a layer of dark red fruit and honey notes to the small batch straight bourbon.
Rough Rider Straight Bourbon
Producer– Long Island Spirits
Appearance: Dark amber in appearance this bourbon shows modest thin legs as it slides down the glass when swirled.
Nose: Initial nose of sweet vanilla, caramel and toasted oak.
Taste: This bourbon hits you up front with spice, caramel and maple wood. Midway there’s a butteriness that seems to coat the sides and top of the mouth along with touches of candied spice, oak and vanilla. Lastly you are hit with spice and a lot of “bourbon heat” going down. The finish is long with a lingering buttery texture and residue spice leftover. Also to note on the 2nd nosing I picked up a lot of heavy caramel and maple syrup in the glass. This bourbon took me for a ride from start to finish that left me feeling like I was sipping spirits down Kentucky way.
Conclusion: In speaking with L.I. Spirits founder Richard Stabile I appreciate the fact they finish their bourbon using old Long Island wine barrels for a “Reserve Aging” in their distillery as well as following traditional whisky practice. This keeps the “Spirit” within the Island as well as keeping roots with Kentucky bourbon proper. I love experimentation in spirits from utilizing different malts, wheat, barrels, as it opens up a world of new tastes and textures. I am already looking forward to seeing what their game plan is for Small Batch No.2. So if you like your Bourbon sweet and toasty to start with a lengthy finish that “Makes no apologies” at the end in the heat department, then try and get your hands on this bourbon before it “Rides” out the door.
Long Island Spirits Website: www.lispirits.com
Long Island Spirits Tasting and Distillery:
2182 Sound Ave.
Baiting Hollow, New York 11933