Why, it seems like just yesterday I sat down to talk with Dave Willis of Bully Boy Distillers about their new American Straight Whiskey (ASW). Parts one, two, and three of my interview with one half of the Willis brothers certainly flew by. Now, I suppose, is the moment of truth. Does Bully Boy’s American Straight Whiskey walk the walk? Or does it fall short of expectations?
My experience with straight whiskey is limited to the well-known brands, so this one’s going to be an adventure. Bully Boy isn’t sold in the local shops here in Philadelphia, so the guys at the distillery were kind enough to send me a bottle. To cut down on the funny business, I’m tasting this whiskey neat. Wish me luck.
Bully Boy ASW comes in a traditionally-shaped bottle, wrapped in bold blue and white. The whiskey itself is golden and is as clear as a Jamaican bay. The nifty thing about Bully Boy’s spirits are that they’re all hand made. You might ask yourself what “hand made” means when it comes to spirits, so let’s just say that the guys who make this stuff do so in small enough batches to where they can each literally have a hand in the process.
On the nose, the whiskey is supremely oaky, with hints of caramel. The scent is very sweet, and tends to linger. The taste is very similar, with intense oak, caramel, and pepper on the finish. The finish itself is long and satisfying, with a noticeable lack of dryness. You almost feel like the whiskey could quench your thirst.
Upon the subsequent sips, the whiskey maintains its flavor and personality, becoming a warm blanket for the tongue on such a cold winter night. I’d use the central heating, but I find that an ounce or two of whiskey accomplishes the same goal, and tends to be cheaper.
Bully Boy’s spirits are sold all throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Here’s hoping they grow their business smart and expand steadily. If their other spirits are as pleasing as their American Straight Whiskey, they should have no problem.