When I was a kid, I hated Willie Nelson, and all of the country singers of the day. I was too caught up in the excitement of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to really care about other great performers. So if they weren’t what I liked , they sucked. I think that is the view of most of the youth in America. But as time has progressed I have found myself moderating quite a bit on my musical point of view. I still think most of the Indie crap my brother listens to is unlistenable swill for yuppies, but I am man enough to admit that Johnny Cash was a musical genius, Randy Travis has an incredible voice (I could listen to that man read the phone book) and Willie Nelson is a pioneer in today’s country music scene. That, and if you’re perchance reading this Willie, I’d love to party on your bus sometime!
That said, there has been a plethora of musicians getting into the alcohol game recently. Whether it is Kid Rock endorsing Jim Beam, or Sammy Hagar starting his own tequila (Cabo Wabo, Supposed to be great stuff) one thing is for sure the line between performer and their drink of choice is becoming blurred. So I thought I would actually give the Old Whiskey River a shot…
I have to start by saying that the packaging on this bottle was kind of hokey, but I actually liked it. There is an autographed guitar pick that has Willie’s signature on it attached to the neck of the bottle with a piece of brass wire. It is hokey but what the heck, now I have a Willie Nelson guitar pick and a fifth of whiskey!
I actually had this whiskey once before. I was visiting a friend in Alaska and wanted to pick up something to share, so I got a case of Pilsner Urquell and a fifth of Old Whiskey river and we had a great evening. But I didn’t remember the whiskey, other than I thought it was pretty good. There was no guitar pick back then either. So when I heard they had this in a liquor store close by I made a special trip and picked it up.
OWR is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that is 86 proof or 43% ABV, and it is aged a full six years in oak. So it starts out well. As I swirl it around in the glass it is pretty leggy which is good too. I take a sniff, and it is a nice sweet cherry and pear smell with a touch of vanilla and caramel.
The flavor follows the smell, I get a good sweet mouth, it is a little oily so it coats the palate nicely and then it has a short and mellow finish. This might be a good whiskey for a noob. Nice and simple. This whiskey got all bitter and even a little sour when I put ice in it, and even worse with water. Keep those away. Drink this one neat, or mix it in a cocktail. It’s a fun little whiskey that you should try if you have the chance…plus you get that great guitar pick thing!