Blue Run 14yr Kentucky Whiskey $50

According to the company’s press release, Blue Run Spirits was started in 2019 by a group of friends and bourbon lovers – a Nike designer, Facebook’s first director-level employee, a hospitality executive, a political advisor, and a philanthropist – that wanted to evolve the bourbon industry, creating fine products for the modern whiskey fan. The five founders teamed up with Jim Rutledge, a 50+ year whiskey veteran and former master distiller at Four Roses, who serves as what they refer to as the brand’s “liquid director.”

The company also states, “The bottle was designed by Devon McKinney, the creative mind behind some of the world’s most sought after sneakers. The weighty, hand-numbered bottle is perfectly proportioned, featuring the brand’s signature gold butterfly medallion which symbolizes the metamorphosis of the bourbon industry as it reaches a broader audience which appreciates fine bourbon through Blue Run.”

This inaugural small batch release consists of 2,600 bottles. It contains bourbon sourced from an undisclosed distillery(ies) in Kentucky, and the company notes future releases will also be selected or distilled by Rutledge.

Traditional scents of vanilla, caramel, and aged oak are met with a custard-like aroma that provides for a distinctive introduction. The intensity is ample, yet quite manageable considering the proof. It’s an enjoyable introduction to the sip.

Baking spices combine with brown sugar and caramel sweetness to form an elegant balance of spicy and sweet notes. Trace amounts of leather and aged oak add a layer of depth, giving way to a developing spice on the backend. The mouthfeel is satisfying, and the overall potency is on point – not too little, not too much. Overall this makes for a very traditional yet subtly refined experience that will reward those who take their time with it.

The developing spice on the palate crescendos in the finish with a surge of baking spices and ever-so-slight hint of cinnamon. Dark cherry sweetness develops alongside the tapering spice and developing dryness. Long and delicious, the finish succeeds at provoking another sip.