By Father John Rayls
Two Stars Kentucky Straight Bourbon seems like an unfortunate name, what with it’s two out of five, mediocre connotation. However, has nothing to do with a star-rating and is instead named after the flag of Louisville, Kentucky. If that doesn’t persuade you, know that it was made at Sazerac’s other Kentucky distillery, Barton 1792. Clear Springs Distilling Co is the distillery listed on the bottle, but it is simply the name used by Sazerac to produce their house brands.
This is an no age statement (NAS) straight Bourbon, and unofficially it’s said to be approximately four years old. Two Stars is bottled at 86 proof.
The color is in the glass with polished brass and gold highlights, and the legs appear immediately and are thin in appearance. The nose is light- to medium-bodied with no alcohol burn. It’s filled with aromas of oak and new leather with light caramel, vanilla and just a faint touch of cinnamon honey.
The mouthfeel is lightly creamy. The experience begins at mid-mouth with light caramel on the palette and is accompanied by a light spiciness with cinnamon and cloves. The warm medium finish quickly appears and remains fairly steady with a light spiciness and firm presence of oak from the back of the mouth up to the sides of the tongue and even onto the lips.
This is not a great bourbon, but stands up well as an easy sipper. Newbies will find it as a great intro, and it will also demonstrate itself as a real contender used as a mixer for cocktails. It’s certainly not a mere two-star Bourbon!
Two Stars is priced at well under $20.00, putting t well within reach of all those interested in saving money and enjoying Bourbon. These days, those two things don’t necessarily go together.