Today we’re going to be looking at a sourced bourbon that’s growing in popularity. From the same company that brings us Josh Cellars Wine and Redemption Whiskey, we have Bib & Tucker Bourbon, a 6-year-old small batch whiskey.
We’re going to cover some of the basics behind Bib & Tucker Bourbon, like who distills it, the distillation process, small-batch classifications, and more. After that, we’ll touch upon the profile and compare it to a similar whiskey.
Bib & Tucker History
There’s really not much history behind the brand of Bib & Tucker Bourbon. It was released in 2014, originally owned by 3 Badge Beverage Corporation. In 2017, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits purchased the small batch bourbon brand to add to their line of spirits.
Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits originally set out to import wine to the US but has recently expanded into the world of spirits. They’ve diversified by buying a tequila brand, gin, vodka, a rye-forward whiskey in Redemption, Masterson’s Rye, and Bib & Tucker – a small batch bourbon and, really, a Tennessee Whiskey. We’ll touch on that shortly.
Bib & Tucker markets itself as a high class 19th-20th century bourbon. From the antique styled glass bottle, to the real cork, to their website, and to their name, Bib & Tucker fashions itself after the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The name Bib & Tucker was originally a phrase used in the 1800’s to describe your finest clothing.
Bib & Tucker Bourbon Overview
- Spirit: Small Batch Bourbon / Tennessee Whiskey
- Owned By: Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
- Distilled By: Unknown (a TN distillery, believed to be George Dickel)
- Aged: 6 years
- ABV: 92 proof, 46%
- Mashbill: Unknown – at least 51% corn + rye and barley
- Price: $50
Let’s just discuss some of the basics first. Bib & Tucker Bourbon is bottled at 92 proof and dons a 6 year age statement. 92 proof is a good bit above the minimum 80 proof that is required for a bourbon, but low enough to not be too strong for less experienced drinkers.
2 years is the minimum age statement for straight bourbon and 4 years is the minimum for a NAS bourbon. Bib & Tucker goes above that with a 6 year age statement. They also offer a 10 year small- batch bourbon and a 12 year single barrel.
What is Small Batch Bourbon?
Large distilleries make tens-of-thousands, even hundreds-of-thousands, of barrels per year. A typical bottle of bourbon or whiskey may contain a blend of some 200+ barrels of whiskey. a large number of barrels are blended together to create a uniform and consistent profile.
Small batch bourbon blends together a couple high quality barrels. There is no set number of barrels that qualifies a bourbon as small batch – it’s at least 2 barrels, but usually around 10. It can be more depending upon the size of the distillery, though.
With a smaller sample size of barrels and the use of higher quality barrels, small batch bourbon is meant to be better as well as more diverse and unique from bottle to bottle.
Who Distills Bib & Tucker Bourbon?
We don’t know. However, Bib & Tucker is suspected to be distilled by George Dickel, a Tennessee Whiskey distillery.
Bib & Tucker does not promote or brand themselves as a Tennessee Whiskey, but make no mistake about it, it’s very much a Tennessee Whiskey.
Tennessee Whiskey is a bourbon that’s made in Tennessee and undergoes the Lincoln County Process – a process where the whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal.
All of which applies to Bib & Tucker Bourbon – they simply choose to be labeled as a bourbon.
Bib & Tucker 6 Year Small Batch Bourbon Tasting Notes
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the important information. Is Bib & Tucker Bourbon good? What does it taste like? Is it worth the money?
Nose: Caramel and honey, banana and apple are present throughout. It opened up with a little bit of copper, but after sitting for a minute or two it disappeared. Instead, I’m getting more brown sugar and a very faint nutty note. Going back for a 2nd a third sip brings in some of those dried fruits and toasted corn.
Palate: A little more spice on the palate than the nose. Honey, apple, some darker, dried fruits work their way in. A touch of the banana and brown sugar towards the back end. Felt a little thin at first, but becomes more oily as it goes on. I get some butterscotch notes as well.
Finish: There’s a nice charred oak, caramel, and black pepper on the finish. It’s a fairly basic finish but it transitions well from the banana and brown sugar. medium in length.
I’ll tell you what I like about Bib & Tucker Bourbon. There’s a lot of Tennessee Whiskey that is obviously Tennessee Whiskey. This, while branded bourbon, is a very subtle Tennessee Whiskey. Without the banana note that’s common among Tennessee Whiskey, you’d have a hard time blindly classifying it.
The banana notes aren’t completely front and center either. It was more apparent on the nose, but blended in with the apple, caramel, and honey. On the palate, I got more dark, dried fruits and the banana snuck its way in at the end.
The finish was nice. I mean, it was a fairly typical finish with nothing too special, but good nonetheless.
Bib & Tucker Bourbon costs about $50 for a 750ml bottle. Of course, this is subject to location and individual store.
I’d say the quality and price match pretty well. It’s a good $50 bottle of whiskey – perhaps not one that blows you away for the price, but it certainly holds a fair market value.
Bib & Tucker Bourbon vs George Dickel Small Batch
Bib & Tucker is thought to be sourced from the George Dickel Distillery. Just based on quality, age, and timing of Bib & Tucker’s initial release, it makes sense that the whiskey comes from George Dickel.
That’s precisely why I’m doing a quick comparison between my favorite Tennessee Whiskey, George Dickel Small Batch Barrel Select, and Bib & Tucker Bourbon. Check out our full review on GD below.
Just to quickly introduce the whiskey, George Dickel Small Batch is ~$45, 86 proof, and contains no age statement but is reported to be aged 9-12 years. So, it’s aged a bit longer and a bit cheaper, but it’s proofed down a bit, too.
Which is Better? Bib & Tucker Small Batch or George Dickel Small Batch?
Tasting these two side by side will surely convince you that they are produced at the same distillery. They are so similar with some slight differences.
First, Bib & Tucker is a little bit darker, from a color, nose, and palate perspective. George Dickel shows a bit more of the banana, and the spice is more of a sizzling pepper. Bib & Tucker, on the other hand, brings out those darker fruits and the spice is a bit more baking spice with pepper still present.
Now, which is better? That’s a very subjective question when it comes to any whiskey, let alone two as similar as these. Bib & Tucker might be a tad more rich on the palate with the dark fruits, but I like the finish of George Dickel better. There’s more banana, cocoa, and toasted corn.
Personally, I prefer George Dickel Barrel Select, but it’s by a very, very small margin. I don’t think you can go wrong with either of these.
Summary of Bib & Tucker Bourbon Review
Sure, Bib & Tucker Bourbon has been around for less than 10 years, and they’re sourcing whiskey, but as long as it’s good, fair priced whiskey, who cares?
I’m a little biased because I love George Dickel and Bib & Tucker is quite similar, but I think $50 is a fair deal for what is a good bourbon (Tennessee Whiskey). The only downside is that I’d rather spend ~$5 less to get George Dickel Barrel Select.
I, also, don’t think there’s anything wrong with Bib & Tucker branding as a Bourbon when they pass all the qualifications to be a Tennessee Whiskey. The whiskey itself has subtle notes of banana and a lot more dried, red fruit than I typically get with Tennessee Whiskey. Furthermore, Bourbon has much stronger branding than Tennessee Whiskey.
If you like George Dickel, you’ll like Bib & Tucker. If not, then proceed with caution. If you’ve never had either, try one or try both. Neither will disappoint.