Fistful of Bourbon Review

Fistful of Bourbon Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

William Grant & Sons has been a prominent producer of Scotch and Irish Whiskey for over a century. Their notable brands include Balvenie, Grant’s, Glenfiddich, Monkey Shoulder, Tullamore Dew, Hendrick’s Gin, and Sailor Jerry. Well, recently they’ve moved into the bourbon market with Fistful of Bourbon.

I have written a couple reviews of William Grant & Sons’ products, so when I saw Fistful of Bourbon in the store, I figured a review was due.

Fistful of Bourbon Review

Fistful of Bourbon Overview

There’s not much history here to discuss. In 2018, William Grant & Sons launched Fistful of Bourbon. It came right after they bought Tuthilltown Spirits, the distillery of Hudson Whiskey.

Fistful of Bourbon is a blend of 5 straight bourbon whiskeys. Each bourbon represents a finger, 5 making a full fist. Each is also meant to provide a specific flavor that balances sweet and spice. Kelsey McKechnie, a 2013 West Scotland grad oversees the bourbon as Master Blender.

William Grant & Sons is protective of their products, as is quite common in the scotch business. They haven’t released the mash bill, nor the distilleries the bourbon was sourced from. I presume they use whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits in New York, and then the usual suspects of MGP in Indiana, Heaven Hill in Kentucky, but we really don’t know.

Here’s what we do know. The mash bill is at least 51% corn, and each bourbon in the blend has been aged a minimum of two years. These are simply requirements to be labeled a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys. Fistful of Bourbon is bottled at 90 proof, 45% ABV.

Fistful of Bourbon Marketing

Blended whiskeys aren’t usually a big selling point. I mean, a large portion of whiskeys are blended, but companies don’t market it the way Fistful of Bourbon does. They really lean into the idea of being a blended bourbon.

The bottle makes it abundantly clear it’s a blended bourbon. The back of the bottle has the five intended flavor profiles of each of the bourbons lined up with each finger on a hand.

Fistful of Bourbon Flavor Profile

As mentioned, each bourbon, or finger, is meant to provide a unique flavor. As per the bottle, the profile is as follows:

  1. Balanced & Sweet
  2. Leafy, Floral
  3. Soft Spices, Hints of Nutmeg
  4. Buttery Toffee
  5. Cinnamon, Licorice

Well, this is just how Fistful of Bourbon markets itself. So, what does it really taste like? Is Fistful of Bourbon a good whiskey? Let’s find out for ourselves.

Fistful of Bourbon Tasting Notes

Nose: Sweet & light. Initial hints of fruit. Apple, pear, dried fig. There’s a prominent aroma of cinnamon and hints of licorice.

Palate: An initial rye spice is a little sharp but is ultimately overcome by a sweeter profile. Flavors of licorice, corn, and fruit sit over a citrus background. The flavors are distinct yet mild.

Finish: I didn’t taste much buttery toffee on the palate, but I feel it with the finish. I wouldn’t describe it as toffee, but certainly buttery or creamy.

Fistful of Bourbon Taste Summary

If you’re an experienced whiskey drinker, you’ll likely find this to be boring. It’s a flavorful bourbon, but not entirely complex and lacks some depth. This isn’t surprising, or off-par, from a young blend.

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If you’re more of a novice or just looking for something to sip on, I think Fistful of Bourbon is a great choice. As I mentioned, it’s quite flavorful. In addition, it’s light and fairly smooth. Not a bourbon to really sit down and study. Pour a glass and enjoy. It also doubles down as a decent mixing whiskey as well.

In reference to Fistful of Bourbon’s flavor profile, I would say they are fairly accurate in their assessment. Fruit, cinnamon, and licorice are the predominant flavors and aromas found in this bourbon. There’s also some light nutmeg and floral notes as well. I don’t get much of the toffee notes, though but more of a creamy and buttery mouthfeel.

Fistful of Bourbon Price & Value

Price is also a very important piece of information. So, how much does a bottle of Fistful of Bourbon cost? A 750ml bottle will run you just around $25. This puts it on the lower end of the price spectrum, especially when it comes to whiskey you can sip.

The value of Fistful of Bourbon changes based on who you are and what you’re looking for. A novice drinker may use it as a good sipping whiskey. It’s flavorful and fairly smooth, so it’s an easy drink. Furthermore, it’s cheap. A more experienced drinker may prefer to use it as a mixing whiskey. It’s flavorful enough to shine through mixers, and it’s cheap enough to where you don’t feel bad mixing it.

Fistful of Bourbon Mixed Drinks

As a $25 bourbon, you can choose to sip it or mix it. If you buy a bottle and don’t like it as much as we do, simply add a couple ingredients to spice it up. Below is a list of a couple drinks you can try. Or visit their website for a list of cocktails to make.

  1. Old Fashioned: Crush up a sugar cube, add a couple dashes of bitters, and pour 2oz of bourbon into a glass over ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
  2. Gold Rush: 2 parts bourbon, 1 part lemon juice, 1/2 part honey syrup.

There are obviously plenty of mixed drinks you can make with bourbon, but these are two of my favorite options in general. It’s a bonus that they go so well with Fistful of Bourbon.

Fistful of Bourbon Review

Summary of Fistful of Bourbon Review

Fistful of Bourbon is a flavorful blend of 5 different straight bourbons from 5 different distilleries. Whereas most whiskeys won’t use being a blend as a selling point, Fistful of Bourbon broadcasts that its a blend of 5 bourbons. For a brand to use this as a large part of their marketing, it’s funny that they give you zero hints on what exactly goes into this blend, though.

Many people want to know what they’re drinking and where it’s sourced from. I mean, I like to know, but I’m really more interested in drinking good whiskey, and for $25, that’s what Fistful of Bourbon is.

I feel confident in recommending Fistful of Bourbon to anyone, although it may be more a mixing bourbon to the more experienced drinker. At the end of the day, the only way to know if you would like this bourbon is to go out and pick up a bottle!

Fistful of Bourbon FAQ

Below are frequently asked question regarding Fistful of Bourbon. Many of these are answered in the article above.

What Is In a Fistful of Bourbon?

We don’t really know. William Grant & Sons hasn’t released the mash bill or the source of the bourbon. We do know it contains 5 different bourbons from 5 different distilleries. We also know the mash bill is at least 51% corn.

Who Makes Fistful of Bourbon?

William Grant & Sons founded this Bourbon in 2018 as their intro into the bourbon market.

Is Fistful of Bourbon a Good Whiskey?

Yes, I think so. A more refined drinker may find it to be a boring whiskey, though. I think it’s flavorful, easy to drink, and cheap, so I’ll continue to buy it. If you don’t like it on the rocks or neat, it’s also a fairly good mixing whiskey.

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