By Father John Rayls
Bone Spirits, distiller of Bone Bourbon, is located halfway between Austin TX and La Grange TX (“got a lot of nice girls out there”) just off highway 71. It was created in 2010 in Smithville, TX with a Farm to Glass mentality and a Community Sustainability attitude. They purchase their grain as close to the distillery as possible and return the residue to the farms when the distillation process is finished for fertilizer, compost and livestock feed. Additional products distilled include Smiths Premium Vodka, Fitch’s Goat Moonshine, Fitch’s Goat Corn Whiskey, and Moody June American Gin. The Bone Bourbon, a Straight Bourbon Whiskey, is their latest creation bottled at 90 proof. “Made from scratch from rye and Texas corn, distilled 3 times in our Vendome Copper pot still, and aged for over 2 years in new, charred white oak barrels in the Texas climate, it has the spice and sweetness of the finest bourbons.” Jeff Peace, owner and founder, grew up in Texas and was in a unique position in 2009 – 2010 to recognize the tremendous potential of a values driven distillery located in small town Texas producing their own “close to the earth” products. Bringing Joe Alecci, COO and primary distiller, along from the beginning the two found themselves in synch with who they were and what they wanted to do and Bone Spirits is the result.
The bottle has a very simple appearance and the bourbon is easily observed. The color of the bourbon is a solid brown leaning towards mahogany with some red tint in the bottle. In the glass, it is lighter in color with copper and polished brass highlights. The legs are thick and reluctant. The cap for the bottle comes with a raised bone design and adds a humorous note. For some unknown reason, the cork is not made out of cork. It is of very solid construction, but is synthetic instead. The aromas rise easily to greet the consumer. They are filled with sweet corn, oak, caramel and spice. Initially, the impression is of fresh cut lumber with sweet floral notes and can be a little surprising.
The taste is noticeably oak-forward. However, the caramel, vanilla and light nuttiness (walnut?) help balance out the overall flavor very nicely. The pepper spiciness is apparent from the beginning in the midst of a creamy mouthfeel. These flavors don’t give up easily and simply park themselves at mid-mouth. The finish gently but firmly replaces the initial tasting experience with vanilla and oak and with more pepper bringing some heat. It never over-heats, but you know it’s there. The finish is primarily mid-mouth as well, but does lightly expand to a whole mouth experience that becomes a medium to long scenario.
Bone Straight Bourbon Whiskey tastes like a younger whiskey. However, it is one of the best young bourbons I’ve ever tasted. It is simply a very enjoyable pour. I can’t tell you just how surprised I was by this experience. In addition, this juice would make an excellent attention getter for outstanding cocktails. With a little effort, you can find it buried on your local shelves and priced very nicely below $36.00. Put on some ZZ Top La Grange and enjoy a pour.