There’s a couple things that really make drinking spirits, especially whiskey, special. A spot outside by the campfire under the stars and good music are probably the two most notable in my mind. Well, this Straight Bourbon Whiskey intends to pay homage to good music, specifically that of the blues and jazz. Now, here at Barrel and Brew, we might not know much about Jazz, but we do appreciate some good music.
In this article, we’re going to review Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey. We’ll look at the history, significance, distillation, tasting notes, price and more. If you’re a fan of music or the blues, this just may be your next favorite bottle.
Blue Note Whiskey History
There’s really not much information out there on Blue Note Whiskey other than that it’s produced by B.R Distilling, located in Memphis, TN. B.R Distilling opened in 2013 and claims to be the oldest licensed distillery in Memphis. B.R They currently produce two brands of whiskey – Blue Note Bourbon and Riverset rye.
Logan Welk started out as CFO of B.R Distilling, but in January of 2022 assumed the role of president and COO. The company, according to McLaughlin, is owned by McCauley Williams. Williams practiced law up until his late 20’s when he decided to begin his journey into craft whiskey.
Blue Note Bourbon Overview
- Whiskey: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Distilled By: Unknown – Distilled in Kentucky
- Bottled By: B.R Distilling Company
- Age: Minimum of 3 years
- ABV: 46.5%, 93 Proof
- Mashbill: 70% corn, 21% rye, 9% malted barley
There are a lot of unknowns out there. B.R Distilling Company is the oldest licensed distillery in Memphis, yet they don’t seem to distill any of there own whiskey. Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey is sourced from a distillery in Kentucky, and their other brand, Riverset Rye, is sourced from an unknown Tennessee distiller.
Any bourbon that displays the ‘straight bourbon’ label must be aged a minimum of two years, but they do include an age statement of a minimum of three years. Even though the whiskey is still youthful, it’s nice to know that they at least let it sit for an extra year.
Blue Note Juke Joint has taken home multiple gold medals at whiskey competitions over the last two years, the most notable being their double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2022.
Blue Note Juke Joint Straight Bourbon Whiskey Tasting Notes
As we mentioned, there are a lot of unknowns surrounding Blue Note Bourbon and B.R Distilling. So, let’s dive into what we do know, or at least can find out. Is Blue Note Bourbon good? What does it taste like? My favorite part…. time to pour myself a glass.
Nose: Lemon icing, maple, brown sugar
Taste: A fairly thick and rich mouthfeel. Warm cinnamon and maple sugar with a lemon undertone. Light notes of oak and fruit.
Finish: Dry finish. Pepper and spice fade into lighter fruit notes. Short-medium in length.
Often times, I find that bourbon will cover up some of its flaws with a creamy and buttery mouthfeel – something I experienced with Penelope Bourbon. That’s not the case for Blue Note Bourbon. It has a much drier finish than anticipated and a very good palate. The flavors are prominent without being overdone, and the finish is just long enough and short enough to leave you wanting another sip.
The nose may be the best part. The nose gives off aromas of a lemon flavored dessert, and while the palate doesn’t quite get to that point, it gets pretty close. Blue Note Juke Joint whiskey isn’t the most complex of pours, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good one.
Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey Price
Alright, so we’ve determined that what comes inside the bottle is a solid whiskey, but that’s not the only factor in our buying decisions. One of the biggest factors is price point. So, how much will a bottle of Blue Note Juke Joint whiskey cost you? We take a look at various prices across Total Wine stores throughout the US to determine a price range.
- Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey 750ml: $28-33
We know the taste, we know the price, now it’s time to talk about value. Unless you’re someone who continually spends $50+ on every bottle, Blue Note Bourbon should be in your wheelhouse. At Barrel and Brew, we think – for most people – the best value to be found is in the $25-40 range. They’re whiskeys that are equally tasteful as your more expensive bottles, but often lack some depth or complexity that comes with age. At the same time, these whiskeys won’t break your pocket book either.
At $30, the lower end of our high value buys, there aren’t many better options out there when it comes to bourbon. Now, I’m partial to rye whiskey, but when it comes to bourbon, Blue Note Juke Joint is nearing the top of the list. Obviously, there are better options out there – this isn’t some super special whiskey – but not many can be found for $30.
Blue Note Bourbon Selection
Our article here is focused on Blue Note’s Juke Joint Whiskey, but we would be remiss if we didn’t briefly mention the other bourbon selections that Blue Note offers. There are 6 selections, 5 others, all of which are bourbon. B.R Distilling’s other brand, Riverset, currently makes only rye whiskey.
Blue Note Juke Joint uncut
Juke Joint Uncut is simply the barrel strength version of their Juke Joint Whiskey we just reviewed. Before whiskey is bottled, it spends time in oak casks. During the aging process, whiskey is usually around the 120 proof mark. Companies then “cut” the whiskey with water to get it to the desired proof or ABV. The term uncut means that this is the whiskey straight out of the barrel, no water was added to dilute it.
However, there is one other thing about this bottle. In 2019, the warehouse in which Blue Note was aged collapsed in a summer storm. The barrels that survived spent month laying in the wreckage, exposed to the elements. These barrels became Juke Joint Uncut. Aged a minimum of 4 years.
Blue Note 17
You may have guessed this one, but the 17 is this whiskeys age statement. Aged 17 years and bottled at barrel proof, each bottle has a different proof – somewhere around the 100-110 proof mark.
Blue Note Premium Small Batch
This Premium Small Batch is much different from the other selections to this point. It’s aged a minimum of 9 years and is a blend of two mashbills. One is 70% corn, 22% rye, 8% malted barley. The other contains 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley. unfiltered and bottled at 93 proof.
Blue Note Single Barrel reserve
The Single Barrel Reserve is aged a minimum of 9 years and bottled at barrel proof. According to their website, they only have approximately 150-180 bottles, so you may have a tough time getting your hands on a bottle of this.
Blue Note Crossroads
The last of the Blue Note Bourbon selection is Crossroads. It’s a 100 proof straight bourbon whiskey that is barrel finished in toasted French oak. This, along with their Juke Joint Whiskey, will be the most widely available bottle. This bottle carries no age statement (NAS), so we know it’s a minimum of 4 years.
Blue Note Bourbon Summary
Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey won’t be the fanciest or most complex bourbon you have in your life. However, at $30, you’ll have a hard time finding many things as good. If you’re someone looking for a more complex pour, Blue Note Bourbon has five other offerings, three of which range from 9 years to 17 years. You should have no trouble finding a Blue Note Bourbon with some more depth than their standard Juke Joint Whiskey.
It’s safe to say we recommend picking up a bottle of Juke Joint whiskey the next time you come across it. Pour yourself a glass, light up the fire pit, and put your favorite music on. Wow, that sounds good. Matter of fact, that’s what I’m planning right now.
Below are frequently asked questions regarding Blue Note Bourbon. Many of these are answered in the article above.
Who Makes Blue Note Bourbon?
Blue Note Bourbon is owned by B.R Distilling, but they source their whiskey from various, unknown distillers. Their Juke Joint Whiskey is sourced from Kentucky while their Crossroads offering is sourced from MGP in Indiana.
Who Owns Blue Note Bourbon?
B.R Distilling is the owner of Blue Note Bourbon and Riverset Rye. B.R Distilling is owned by McCauley Williams.