Noah’s Mill Small Batch 15 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey Review


Editor’s Note: This review is of the original 15 year old version of this bourbon, not the current NAS version.

By Richard Thomas

Rating: A-

Noah's Mill Small Batch 15 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey

Credit: Richard Thomas

Admirers of old fashioned, pre-Prohibition style bourbon love to hear two words in connection with a new bottle of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, namely “cask strength” and “small batch.” Granted, “single barrel” and “cask strength” is even better, but a reasonably priced, no waiting list bottle of cask strength, small batch bourbon is a thing to be prized, and that is what the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers have produced in Noah’s Mill.

Kentucky Bourbon Distillers are a rarity in this modern world of corporate consolidation in the beverage industry, as they are an independent, family-owned and -operated distillery and bottler. They started out as Willett Distilling Company, and have been plying the bourbon trade in Bardstown, Kentucky since 1935. Kentucky Bourbon Distillers often puts out products under fictitious names, however, so don’t be fooled by the “Noah’s Mill Distilling Company” that appears on the label of Noah’s Mill. The bourbon is definitely a product of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers of Bardstown.

The Bourbon
Noah’s Mill Small Batch is aged for 15 years, making it one of the oldest small batch bourbons around, and that serves to mellow what would otherwise be a hefty wallop. It’s mashed with a high proportion of corn, and bottled by hand at 114.3 proof (57.15%). The bottle is a simple, conventional one with an old-timey label that would not go amiss in Oh Brother Where Art Thou? and a black wax-sealed plastic and cork stopper. Wisely, the label was kept modest to show off the dark, heavy amber coloring of the whiskey within.

The long aging period becomes evident in the nose, which is heavy with vanilla, red fruit sweetness and woody old oak. Noah’s Mill doesn’t disguise its alcohol content either, which is quite evident in the scent. It isn’t harsh or unpleasant, but the whiskey’s nose is full-bodied and not subtle. On the palate, that maturity and heft carry through with strong flavors of brown sugar and caramel, bourbon smokiness and dry, leathery wood. The finish is very warm, just barely crossing the line into fiery burning.


Price Tag
Noah’s Mill Small Batch bourbon whiskey can sometimes be found for as little as $45, but a price tag in the mid-$50 range is more common. That is expensive for a premium small batch (clearly well above a standard like Knob Creek, but in the same rage as Booker’s), but few such bourbons are aged for 15 years and bottled at a level approaching cask strength.

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  1. I think Noah’s Mill Bourbon is one of the best bourbons I Have ever drank. Maybe THE Best. Its really quite a wonderful whiskey.

  2. ton kuijpers veldhoven the netherlands

    ths story started 9 years ago,when my mom brought a bottle of bourbon whiskey called noah´s mill,now this year I became 40 on the 20th of august.I´d always said to my mom when I become 40 I´ll open that bottle,so I did.It is heavenly that taste.So now I have a question can someone please help me how to find a new bottle,because my mom brought it from spain and I live in the Netherland´s it is very difficult to find one,or some information about distribution.With kindly regards ton kuijpers.

  3. Drinking my second glass as I type. I’m enjoying this bourbon very much. Took a chance and bought it after reading the label. Noah’s Mill represents all the things I love about real Kentucky bourbon. I’m liking it best with a couple ice cubes and a splash of water, I’m a heathen, apparently, but man it makes it so drinkable. Adding this to the short list of go-to bottles.

    • Is it the discontinued 15 YO or the new NAS version? None of us have gotten around to writing up the new version yet. For my part, that is down to my stash of the old version.

    • Replying to the editor, it wasn’t the 15 year, it was the bottle out now, and while I did enjoy the first impression (and second), and while I did appreciate the flavor and bite… I have to recant my initial review. It’s pretty powerful stuff and frankly it’s the first bourbon of any kind to upset my stomach the next day. Seriously, it’s not typical hangover fare, I suppose the 114.3 proof is just too rich for my blood. That’s just me though, if you have an iron constitution, or are just young, then go for it!

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