Thursday, March 25, 2010

Issue 2: Kentucky Gentleman "Bourbon"


Kentucky Gentleman is not bourbon, and fuck it for calling itself that.

Okay, it technically is. You can call something bourbon as long as at least 51% of it is pure bourbon spirits. Kentucky Gentleman is 51% pure bourbon, and 49% "neutral grain spirits," meaning pretty much straight alcohol and water. As a bonus, it's actually made by Barton Brands, the same people who make Riva vodka! According to their website, Kentucky Gentleman has "authentic bourbon flavor."

God, I hate them.

(At right: Kentucky Gentlemen)

As mentioned in the review of Riva, I think Kentucky has fairly low standards in regards to rank. They made the last pope a Colonel, after all, and somehow seem to think that Riva is drinkable. That's the only logical way I can picture this ever being called a "Gentlemanly" drink, as opposed to a "Vardaman Bundren" drink (yes, As I Lay Dying is set in Mississippi. But I imagine Kentucky Gentleman as a fumbling swamp child who doesn't understand death).

Anyway, let's dive right in here. Much like any sensible human being, I don't want to spend any more time in Kentucky than I have to.

LOOK
Deep, rich mahogany hue. A faint tinge of red. Very dark, and-- oh wait. Sorry. That was the bottle of Maker's Mark I bought to remind myself that Kentucky should not be (let me check my notes here after sampling The Gentleman) "burned, salted, burned again, and somehow fucked to death."

Kentucky Gentleman looks vaguely like dark piss. Sort of a sickly amber. Not too pale compared to other whiskies, but bourbon should really have more color than this. I've had Islay Scotch darker than this, and they brew that in used bourbon casks. How, Kentucky Gentleman? Logically, there is no way for this to even-- oh, right. 49% neutral grain spirits.

I get the feeling I'm going to use that excuse a lot. It's kinda hard to get too angry at a whiskey that's barely actually whiskey. It's kind of like a pitiful man-child that's only a member of the family by name (can I make another Faulkner joke here? I am drinking his chosen poison).
My man William's too drunk to give a shit.

NOSE
Very little smell here-- I can definitely whiff out the alcohol, but the bourbon smell is really subdued. It smells about half as strongly of whisky as the Maker's Mark. I wonder why that is. There's not that much complexity or woodiness to The Gentleman's odor. It mostly smells like pancake syrup and alcohol.

TASTE (STRAIGHT)
I take back what I said earlier. If this bourbon was my retarded child, I would still beat it. It barely tastes like bourbon or whisky (bourbon can be -ky or -key, but since Maker's Mark is -ky and it's pretty much shining like a Heart of Gold for me right now I'm rolling with that). There's a hint of the wood flavor, but not much of one-- mostly it tastes like I took a shot of Everclear out of a pinewood shot glass.

There's a sweetness there too, but not a really natural smooth sweetness. More a sort of processed-candy sweetness. The kind that makes your mouth feel a little chalky and lingers a long time after the other favors fade.

Pretty much like if you wrapped a drunk in Fruit Roll-Ups and then rolled them through cedar chips, is what I'm saying.

Amazingly enough, this was the most relevant image I could find of the Good Lady. I was sure she'd done that.

TASTE (MIXED)
Amazingly enough, not especially terrible. I mean, it's not good-- and it still tastes worse than just a glass of Coke --but it's actually vaguely drinkable. There's the same problem Riva had, where subduing the burn heightens the vaguely chemical flavor and makes the bad sweetness linger, but whereas Riva tasted like industrial waste this just tastes like tree sap.

TASTE (ON ICE)
You know what? Fuck it. Just fuck it. The organic foods place within walking distance from my house was out of ice (how does that even happen? I thought environmentalists were supposed to be all about long-term planning), and I'm not driving to buy some for this.

Bourbon is supposed to be sipped over ice, I know. But this ain't real bourbon.

FINAL THOUGHTS
It's not honestly as terrible as Riva-- don't get me wrong, though, it's still terrible. I guess if you're desperate to get smashed (like seriously, hobo-level desperate) I could vaguely recommend it. But if you want bourbon, just a few dollars more will get you Wild Turkey.

That's right. I am actually going to recommend Wild Turkey. And it will murder your family.

Hey, it worked for Hunter!

2 comments:

  1. My own experience with Kentucky Gentleman was similar to yours, in that I mixed it with Coke and found it drinkable enough. I mean, I knew that it was cheap and that I would likely regret it in the morning.

    But FUCK, it was more regret than I could handle. Not only did I have a world-class headache a mere 5 hours after my last drink, but I had the shits for three days. THREE DAYS. The Kentucky Gentleman is no such thing, and overstays his welcome. By how long? I think you know.

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  2. Kentucky gentlemen is all I ever drink I'm 22 years old and that's the first whisky I started on I've drank others like jack Daniels and Jim beam but they aren't strong enough for me and as far as having the shits it's never caused me to have the shits I live here in ky linclon co ky to be exact but anyway I like it not many people like it because the name is right for it. It takes a kentucky gentlemen to drink it as a matter of fact I have a half a pint besides my bed rn but that's my opinion on kyg.

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