Rowan’s Creek is the little brother of Noah’s Mill, and after enjoying quite a few drinks of Noah’s I felt it was about time I got to Rowan’s. Also from KBD ( the Willet Distillery), Rowan’s Creek is a 12 year aged bourbon that is bottled at 100.1 proof. The bottle design is quite similar to the Noah’s bottle with its hand scrawl on the labels and plain paper. Both bottles are corked but have different bottle shapes themselves.
The brand is the highest selling bourbon from KBD, which is quite impressive as a bottle will run you around $40, depending on where you are located. The spirit is, imagine this, named after a creek that runs through the distillery grounds. Also you wouldn’t believe it but it is named after a Mr. Rowan, John Rowan to be exact! Enough with the semantics though, lets get to the bourbon!
On the nose Rowan’s Creek is not overpowering sweet like some bourbons, although from a 12 year I would expect more muted sweetness as well. There is a lot of vanilla oak that you get up front with some spicy fruit notes in there as well. The alcohol is very pronounced and will give you a strong burn if you smell too deeply.
The mouth on this one is not much of a surprise after the nose. Right up front you get the smooth oak with notes of vanilla and the spice from the rye. There are definite caramel sweetness notes as well, that get rounded out by almost a cinnamon spice. The aftertaste is long and enjoyable as the oak just coats your mouth all around. It isn’t extremely complex, but is also not one sided, balanced would be a perfect word here
Overall I honestly can say that I prefer this over Noah’s Mill, and it may be one of my favorite sipping bourbons that I have on the shelf. The almost cheap looking bottle is very inviting and the flavor will make it a mainstay on any good bourbon bar. Also at 12 years it is one of the older bourbons that you will find regularly, for a reasonable price, although older isn’t necessarily better in all cases. For Rowan’s Creek though, I would say the age makes this a great bourbon with lots of oak aging.