One of our go-to whiskeys is Clyde May’s Rye, which I reviewed over a year ago now. It also made our list of our 8 Best Whiskeys to use for an Old Fashioned. It’s safe to say that we really enjoy Clyde May’s. Well, now that we have our hands on a bottle of their single barrel bourbon, we’re going to see if this expression is even better.
- Spirit: Single Barrel Bourbon
- Owned By: Conecuh Brands LLC
- Distilled By: MGP
- Aged: 5 Years
- Proof: 105, 52.5% ABV
- Mashbill: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley
- Price: $50-60
Clyde May’s is distilled at MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Their bourbon uses MGP’s 75/21/4 mashbill, and the single barrel bourbon is aged 5 years.
Our specific bottle, from Barrel #346, is 105 proof and was hand selected by our local liquor store.
Alright, let’s jump into the important piece of information. Is Clyde May’s Single Barrel Bourbon good? What does it taste like? Time to pour myself a glass and find out!
Nose: Standard bourbon aroma but very nice and rich. Sweet vanilla, leather, dark cherries, brown sugar, and some lemon zest. I really like this nose. After sitting for 10 minutes, I get a slight nuttiness on the nose as well.
Palate: Vanilla, brown sugar, and lemon but a touch of rye spice and cinnamon makes its way in. The back end of the palate brings out those cherries as well as a lot of barrel char. At 105 proof, this is a surprisingly easy sip. Fairly viscous as well. After 10 minutes, the cherry is a more dried cherry/raisin.
Finish: As with most MGP offerings, I get citrus and mint on the finish. Oak, barrel char, and a touch of pepper sit in the background. Not super long, medium in length.
Taste Summary – Is Clyde May’s Single Barrel Bourbon Good?
As a single barrel whiskey, my bottle may be slightly different from yours, or even vastly different – unless of course you have a bottle from Barrel #346. However, the quality of the whiskey should be fairly similar for the most part.
This is a fairly standard bourbon profile but done right and done a bit better. All the aromas and flavors were pleasant, but the leather on the nose and barrel char on the palate stood out. It was rich with a lot of flavor, but minimal heat.
Perhaps the best part is the 105 bottling proof. Perhaps this is subjective as my favorite bottling proof is usually between 94-110, but I think the 105 proof for Clyde May’s Single Barrel Bourbon is perfect.
For those used to drinking slightly stronger whiskey – more than your typical 80 proof – you may be surprised at how pleasant of a sipper this is at 105 proof. If you wish to proof it down, a couple drops of water isn’t going to kill all the flavor.
On the flip side, for those that really like 110-120+ proof whiskey, this has the flavor and richness to match those.
Overall, Clyde May’s offers a lot of good whiskey, and their Single Barrel Bourbon is no exception to that. In fact, this may be my favorite expression of Clyde May’s I’ve had. Of course, you may have a slightly different experience with a different barrel, but in my experience, this is a good purchase at a good price point.
Getting a single barrel whiskey @ ~105 proof for ~$50 is already a pretty good find. For it to be as good as this…? that’s a steal. (You can even find it for ~$45 at Total Wine).
Some people may be tired of MGP sourced whiskey, but there’s a reason it’s so popular – it’s really good. Clyde May’s Single Barrel Bourbon didn’t reinvent the wheel. They simply made a really good wheel, at a good price.
Conecuh Ridge, the producer of Clyde May’s, is in the process of building their own distillery down in Troy, Alabama. Soon enough (a couple years) we’ll get the opportunity to see what kind of whiskey they make all on their own.