By April Manning
Opened in March 2012, Batch 206 is a new distillery located ever so slightly northwest of the Kentucky Bourbon rail in the unlikely area of Seattle, Washington. The distillery is a true small batch artisan facility, owned and operated by Jeff Steichen and his wife Daleen.
Batch 206 introduced their version of Old Log Cabin Bourbon this year as a new product, but one with a name carrying a long, fascinating history going back to 1840. In those days an innovative whiskey maker, E.G. Booz (Booz is often mistakenly credited with the origin of the word “booze”, but the term, including the spelling “booze”, existed before Booz distilled his first whiskey), made a whiskey he named “Old Cabin,” sold in a cabin-shaped bottle.
This whiskey was introduced to the public at campaign whistle stops for William Henry Harrison, the “Tippecanoe” who became America’s 9th President. Many distilleries produced this whiskey as time passed, and the brand name transformed into “Old Log Cabin.”
Remember the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929? Al Capone was ticked off that Bugs Malone was hijacking his whiskey, so Capone came up with a plan to lure Malone into a trap. He let it be known to Malone that there would be a shipment of the finest whiskey of the time waiting in a warehouse at a bargain price. When Malone and his gang show up, Capone’s gang came in impersonating police officers in search of a “shakedown.” As this was standard Chicago P.D. practice at the time, Malone’s boys cooperate. Then Capone’s gang commences to brutally gun down the Malone gang.
So what was the finest whiskey of the time that Malone couldn’t resist? You guessed it… Old Log Cabin.
Old Log Cabin Bourbon Whiskey is an 86 proof (43% ABV) youthful bourbon, aged 19 months, and distilled from a mashbill of 51% percent Washington corn and 49% Washington malted barley. No rye or wheat to see here, folks!
What you do see is a spirit that is light amber in color, reminiscent of a glass of ice tea or a bottle of cheap perfume. It has a pleasant sweet, smoky aroma that is tolerant to the nose. Old Log Cabin not only has a tea-like color, it also has the flavor of black tea tat hits the front palette along with a smoky undertone.
It does not have the typical bourbon characteristics due to the lack of rye, and so it would not be the “go-to” drink for me. However, this is a delicate, good sipping whiskey with a dry finish that does not have a lingering burn which makes it ideal for the novice drinker.
In the range of $50-$55