Reviews #144-145: Milam and Greene Triple Cask Bourbon and Port Finished Rye

I was invited the Milam & Greene launch event this week and it was a lot of fun with whiskey, cocktails, charcuterie, a grilled cheese truck and even fireworks. That said I was there for the whiskey so let’s get straight to it! Milam & Greene launched their Triple Cask Bourbon and Port Finished Rye this and I was able to drink them both there and take home a few samples.

Since I received these samples for free I won’t be assigning a value rating to the review as I don’t know how I would have felt if I bought them on my own.

Triple Cask Bourbon

Age: A blend of 2, 3-4 and 11 year old bourbons

Abv: 94 proof

Price: $42.99 for 750ml

Mashbill: 70% corn, 22% malted rye, 8% malted barely for the 2 year old Texas bourbon

Neat

Nose: Sweet with chocolate, vanilla and mineral water notes backed by oak and warm spices.

Taste: Caramel, chocolate, minerality, oak and more spice than the nose. Decent mouthfeel for the proof.

Finish: Medium to long with warm spice, a touch of sweetness and slightly tannic oak.

Port Finished Rye

Age: NAS with a 6 week finish

Abv: 94 proof

Price: $47.99 for 750ml

Neat

Nose: Herbal, earthy and red fruit notes dominate this poignant nose.

Taste: Initially slightly harsh with some grain notes followed by traditional MGP herbal notes balanced by sweet red fruit from the port. Thinner mouthfeel than the bourbon.

Finish: Medium length finish with a touch of sweetness, herbs and rye spice.

Conclusion

The Triple Cask Bourbon is a 94 proof blend of 3 straight bourbon whiskies a 2 year old Texas bourbon distilled and aged by Milam & Greene, a 3-4 year old Tennessee bourbon and an 11 year old Tennessee bourbon. As far as tasting goes, I got a lot of the chocolate and mineral notes I typically associate with Dickel but backed up by more oak and spice presumably from the Texas bourbon. In this case the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and the young Texas whiskey helps cut the mineral/vitamin notes from the Tennessee bourbon while the older Tennessee bourbon adds complexity and smooths out the rough edges of the young Texas bourbon. I’m definitely looking forward to an older version of this when Milam and Greene’s stock age a little more.

Overall this blend reminds me of what Barrell is doing blending Tennessee bourbon with stocks from other locations and what Bardstown and High West are doing blending their own young distillate with older sourced whiskies. I am convinced that this practice is only going to become more common in the craft bourbon world and am excited to see more distillers embracing blending.

The Port Finished Rye is a NAS rye sourced from MGP and then finished in Port casks for 6 weeks here in Texas. It tastes like MGP rye whiskey with the classic spicy and herbaceous notes but decent bit of extra port sweetness and fruitiness to help round it out. It’s got a bit of harshness and grain at the start of the palate which detracted from the rest of whisky for me. I was initially surprised by the short finishing time but they told me that with the Texas heat 6 weeks was plenty and after tasting the whiskey I agree that it has plenty of port influence.

Overall it’s always good to see a craft distillery, especially a Texas one, move away from purely sourcing to using their own distillate especially when that leads to a more unique product than just the sourced juice and a better product than the young craft distillate by itself. I am optimistic that Milam and Greene will get better with future, more aged release and hopefully access to better sourced stocks.

TL;DR: The bourbon is a solid initial offering and a good take on what to do with young craft whiskey. The rye is slightly too young/harsh for me but has a nice balance between the port and MGP nots.

Triple Cask Bourbon

6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink

Port Finished Rye

5 - a whiskey with notable strengths but also held back by some flaws

Scale

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