Seven Jars Distillery
ABV: 40 percent
About the bourbon:
We discovered Seven Jars Distillery while trying out their pickle-flavored vodka, a truly unique taste (review here). But Seven Jars Distillery, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is also a maker of rum, wine, beer, and a particularly scrumptious bourbon called Preamble. It’s a straight bourbon whiskey aged for over two years in American oak barrels. What’s interesting about this bourbon is that it’s the forerunner of what will eventually be their Premium Aged Bourbon Whiskey. It’s only been aging for two years out of the proposed seven, but while we patiently awaited its arrival, Seven Jars wanted to release an equally fantastic bourbon that “will be a fitting precursor to better things to come.”
Upon uncorking the bottle, I get pleasant aromas of spicy caramel, cinnamon, and oak. It looks slightly cloudy, like honey. The first sips reveal flavors of caramel, and I’m picking up a bit of malt as well. It goes down smooth and lingers with some subtle cinnamon flavors on the sides of the tongue.
Next, I put a few drops of water in. Now I’m loving this. The water helped mellow out the flavors and smooth it even more. It doesn’t linger quite as long now on the tongue and that is to the bourbon’s benefit. The predominant flavor is definitely oak, with the cinnamon and caramel taking a backseat. I highly recommend enjoying the Preamble on the rocks or with a few drops of water.
Now it’s time to mix this bad boy. I’ve been particularly taken with Manhattans recently, so I decided to try the Preamble in a classic Manhattan recipe:
2 ounces Preamble Bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1–2 dashes Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry and orange twist for garnish
The smooth, aged bourbon married spectacularly with the vermouth and bitters. I’ve had cheap bourbon Manhattans and expensive bourbon Manhattans, and this affordably priced bourbon tasted just as good as an Old Forester or Jefferson’s would have.
Joya Silver Toro by Joya de Nicaragua Cigars. The flavor profile of this medium to full cigar is predominantly rye, cinnamon, and oak, so it perfectly meshes with the bourbon. As the cigar progresses, it features less rye and more oak and spices, pairing wonderfully with the aged, smoky bourbon.
For more on the Silver Toro, check out our review.
This affordable mid-level bourbon was a joy to sample, and it certainly holds its own among many top-shelf bourbons. It’s smooth, oaky, excellent served neat, even better served on the rocks, perfect with a medium to full cigar, and equally delicious as a mixer. You can’t go wrong with the Preamble Bourbon, and it would make for an excellent, affordable Christmas gift to the bourbon lover in your life.
Retail prices may vary, but in North Carolina it’s $34.95.
For more info and where to purchase, visit sevenjarsdistillery.com.