Sacrilege! Blasphemy! Who ever heard of Bourbon being made in Oregon? Everyone knows Bourbon only comes from Kentucky! It’s as if Cognac started to come from Brazil or Tequila was being produced in Canada – it’s just not supposed to happen. Well, it turns out that Bourbon is not quite as heavily regulated as Cognac and Tequila and Bourbon can actually be produced anywhere in the USA and still be called Bourbon. Turns out that before we voted in our current “do nothing congress”, the congress of 1964 actually did something and declared in a resolution, that they actually passed, that Bourbon is a “distinctive product of the United States”. That was also the last time Congress passed any legislation at all!!


Burnside Bourbon is rumored to be 71%-75% corn (20% more than the legal minimum) with 15% barley and 10% rye. Well, let’s see how this Oregon bourbon fares against Kentucky bourbon. It is a pale golden honey color and has a very light nose to match. It does not have a deep oaky nose like most Kentucky bourbons but instead has a light oakiness about it, with accompanying hints of vanilla and cinnamon. It is also light on the palate with the sweetness of the corn coming through first and then gently followed by the oak and vanilla and a hint of citrus. The finish is smooth and short leaving a nice after taste of slightly oaky bourbon. It is a relatively young bourbon at only 4 years, which accounts for its delicate flavor and uncomplicated depth. At $27.99 per 750 ML bottle it is a bit on the high side but worth it. It holds up well on the rocks and does not get lost in mixed drinks.

The Burnside Oregon Oaked Bourbon is first barrel aged for 4 years in new oak barrels and then spends 60 days in heavy-char Oregon oak barrels for that finishing touch. I sure hope those 60 days make a huge difference because this bourbon is almost double the cost ($49.95 per 750 ML bottle) of its sister bourbon.



Oh Yeah, there’s a difference! The nose is deep and smoky and oaky and then sweet with touches of vanilla and cinnamon. The palate presents a bit more complicated and layered, with the sweetness of the corn again stepping forward followed by the vanilla and cinnamon with everything being surrounded by smoky oak. The finish is longer and stronger but still quite smooth and sweet yet smoky. This bourbon definitely has the depth and layers of flavors I prefer but that certainly does not take away anything from the previous bourbon. The flavors here are more concentrated and deeper and the smoky accents really adds a lot. Looks like it just might be worth double the previous Burnside Bourbon but at a price point of $50.00 it begins to go heads up with some of those Kentucky bourbons, but I do believe it can hold its head up high. Go figure, they do make decent Bourbon in Oregon.


By George Brozowski