Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
A recent New Yorker daily shout about a woman ordering whiskey neat in a bar comes to mind when reading the descriptors the Boss Molly founders give of themselves. Tough, experienced, and Annie Oakley herself was invoked. The very idea of this brand emerged from a poker game.The motto “Boots Down. Bottom’s Up” adorns the label, and very much the ethos these ladies are putting out.
The name itself is a reference to mules. The boss mollies are the trailblazing (literally) female mules that work on ranches. And I have to think that invoking the animal most associated with stubbornness was an appeal. The name being particularly female is also the extension of the founders discussion about the general theme of names in the bourbon industry – a lot of old dead white men (it’s great to be able to cite the naming and creation of the Uncle Nearest product as an excellent exception to the rule).
Though this does all risk bordering on the “whiskey woman” stereotype, these women do seem genuine, in both their intent and execution. While women in whiskey has always been a thing (though some opt to believe otherwise) female creation and ownership of spirit brands is still among the vast minority. Boss Molly is helping to change that.
Down to the technicalities – while not a Kentucky bourbon, this is a Southern one. The bourbon is distilled in North Carolina and bottled in Tennessee. After distillation, the whiskey is aged in the standard new American oak for four years. Without providing a specific mash bill, the whiskey is notably heavily wheated.
Less traditional is the addition of brandy barrel staves – charred and toasted immediately after being emptied. Specifically, Boss Molly is using brandy barrels from Copper & Kings in Louisville. Their brandies are made from grapes in an “American style,” specifically not on any sort of European model. It’s well-fitting for what seems to be a very American attitude around this bourbon.
And after all, bourbon is as American as it gets.
Tasting Notes: Boss Molly Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Vital Stats: 45%ABV, high wheat bourbon finished with brandy staves
Appearance: Pale, slightly opaque amber. Scattered legs.
Nose: Very strong and fragrant, right off the bat. A cloying sweetness similar to butterscotch, both musky and rummy, presents the prominent notes. A touch of high acrid gasoline is undeniably present, lingering but blowing off towards the end. A touch of grassiness, unexpected from the composition, takes over.
Palate: Lighter than the nose for certain, in both flavor and texture. A strong vegetal bitterness forms the mid-palate, which becomes a long finish of burnt popcorn. A touch of marshmallow sweetness pops up alongside the popcorn note.
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