Want To Try Whiskey Blending? Timber Creek Can Help You There

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By Elizabeth Emmons

Timber Creek Blending Kit

The whiskeys of Timber Creek’s blending kit
(Credit: Elizabeth Emmons)

Micro-barrels that allow for small experiments in home whiskey aging have been around for a while now, but, for the most part, those who wanted to try their hands at home blending could only improvise and do it themselves. Thanks to a micro-distillery in Florida, however, that is no longer the case.

Timber Creek Distillery, the producers of Florida’s first bourbon, has an especially wide range of offerings for a company founded only three years ago. Along with a variety of rums (white, dark, and coffee), a vodka, apple pie liquor, a Florida Bourbon and a Reserve Florida Bourbon, plus a Black Rye. Drawing on those elements and more, they also offer a Bourbon Blending Kit.

I have never seen a blending kit for sale before, but have done some Scotch blending (more of a gag) during industry events and seminars. A Google search for “Scotch Blending Kit” yielded only a few results that are quite gimmicky, perhaps even suspect, and the origin of the whiskey is not readily available. The second item from my search showed Timber Creek’s Bourbon Blending Kit, a very legitimate and clearly labeled—and might I add—visually attractive item. This kit, packaged in a sturdy gray and burgundy cardboard box, includes:

  • 750ml bottle 100% Florida Corn Whiskey (100 Proof)
  • 375ml bottle 100% Florida Wheat Whiskey (100 Proof)
  • 375ml bottle 100% Florida Black Rye Whiskey (100 Proof)
  • 375ml bottle 100% American Single Malt Whiskey (100 Proof)
  • 150ml Blending Beaker
  • Glass Stir Rod
  • Graduated Pipette for exact measurement
  • Timber Creek Bourbon Blending Guide

* All of the whiskies are aged a minimum of 9 months, as per the back of the bottle.

The kit is a limited edition item at present, but can easily be ordered online for $239.

I had a fun experience trying this kit, as I could really do whatever I pleased in terms of ratios and with such a varying result. It is like having an endless amount of different whiskies, but housed in only 4 bottles. Not to mention trying each of the 4 bottles alone and unblended, which, of course, was the first thing I did.

Below are the tasting notes I made for each bottle:

Florida Wheat Whiskey

Nose: Bitter cooking chocolate

Mouthfeel: Medium viscosity

Taste: Bitter, dark cooking chocolate, peppery. With water, a softer but still bitter taste. Prefer with water. Tasty but on the unpleasantly bitter side, especially since that bitterness is enhanced by the alcohol content/pepper.

Overall: B-

American Single Malt

Nose: Caramel, sweet, slight citrus, lemon juice, hint of cloves or cooking spices

Mouth: Lower viscosity

Taste: Burning, sweet yet with bitterness of citrus rind. Lemon tea or a hot toddy. With water is better; a tastier and longer longer finish.

Overall grade: B

Black Rye Whiskey

Nose: Soapy, dry grains, basement

Mouthfeel: Medium viscosity

Taste: Peppery, minty toothpaste with hints of chocolate. The finish gets drier over time and slightly bitter. With water, taste is more rounded, but bitterness remains. A light rye.

Overall grade: B

Corn Whiskey

Nose: Soft, floral (lily pistons)

Mouthfeel: Medium viscosity

Taste: surprisingly not as corn forward as I expected or what is usually found in corn whiskey. More peppery than expected, and quite hot. Good. Tasty on its own, especially for an all-corn whiskey.

Overall grade: B+

Timber Creek entire blending kit

The Timber Creek kit
(Credit: Timber Creek)

After tasting each bottle individually, I began to blend using the beaker, glass stir rod and pipette. Flashback to 11th Grade chemistry, except much more fun! I started with the recipe in the Bourbon Blending Kit pamphlet that came along with the bottles as I figured that this was a tried and true model recipe and would show what could be done by combining the proper proportions of each whiskey. The following recipe from the pamphlet was blended by friends of Timber Creek’s owners and is:

  • 40 ml of corn whiskey
  • 7 ml of wheat whiskey
  • 4 ml of single malt whiskey

I really liked this blend and I understand why they chose to put it in the pamphlet as a guide. The nose on it is mildly caramel sweet, mouthfeel is medium viscosity with a pleasant lingering oiliness, and taste has elements of apple pie and cinnamon. The most notable observation is that the blend truly enhanced the whiskeys, as well as tamped down any bitterness or hotness. Basically, everything was just better together.

I tried another blend, this one my own. It is clear from the size of the bottles in the kit that the corn whiskey is meant to be the heart of the blends so I used it to supply the greatest amount for my blend as well:

  • 30 ml of corn whiskey
  • 10 ml of wheat
  • 5 ml of rye

I really wanted to test out the rye in this scenario since it had such a distinct taste on its own. The nose on this one was hotter and more alcoholic with a chocolate undertone, while the mouthfeel was medium to low viscosity and taste was peppery, following through with the chocolate. The finish was a long chocolaty one. I noticed in this blend that the bitterness I found from the wheat whiskey was lessened and blended with the soft chocolate of the rye for a nice result.

I tried a few other variations of combinations with varying results of likability. One could play around with this blending kit endlessly, and that’s what makes it so fun. As no two palettes are the same, each buyer can tailor his dram to his taste. I emphasize dram because there are about 50 or so drams to be had in this kit, which means 50 potential variations. The kit also serves as an education of sorts because, in blending different proportions of whiskey, one can begin to learn about what notes are attributed to different grains, as well as how proportions change the taste of a grain. This is an important (and satisfying) skill to have.

Now back to that price tag. The Timber Creek kit is $239, which gets you 1,875 ml of 100 proof booze in total. This is not cheap, if not a bit steep. But price aside, the kit would make a unique and excellent gift for a whiskey lover, and that aspect of the kit is priceless. As mentioned before, the packaging of the kit is also nicely done and that adds to the giftability.

Additionally, there is nothing I found in this category of as high a quality on the market, and Timber Creek’s whiskeys have shown me that the distillery has something going for it. It would be a wonderful and niche gift to receive, especially since the spirits coming out of Florida are few and far between. Also worth noting is not all of the bottles in this kit are available for individual purchase, so it gives you an opportunity to sample other expressions coming out of this distillery.

 

 

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