With its eye-catching blue label and gold-leaf accent “notes,” Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey Uncut beckons to be plucked from the shelf for purchase (and that’s exactly what we did). The whiskey is one of seven expressions produced by B.R. Distilling out of Memphis, Tennessee, from juice sourced in Kentucky and Tennessee.
As the story goes, Blue Note Juke Joint Uncut was born from catastrophe. In June 2019, the six-story Kentucky rickhouse where the barrels were stored collapsed after a storm. The barrels that survived were exposed to the elements for four months, until they could be accessed. The surviving barrels were bottled as Blue Note Uncut. Going forward, not every barrel of Uncut will be a survivor barrel, but this 2022 store pick is.
Let’s get sipping to find out if Blue Note Uncut makes our cut.
At a Glance
- Company: B.R. Distilling Company
- Location: Memphis, TN
- Distillery: Undisclosed in Kentucky
- Style: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Mash Bill: 70% corn, 21% rye, 9% malted barley
- Age: 4 years
- Proof: 120.2 (varies)
- MSRP: $42
- Website | Instagram
Blue Note Uncut: What We Say
|Nose||light ethanol, oak, lemon pepper, sweet clove, brown sugar|
|Palate||oak, brown sugar, apple-cherry tart, lemon butter, sassafras root|
|Finish||fleeting citrus, cinnamon heat, medium|
|What You Can Expect to Pay||$40-$50|
|Buy It: Now, Soon, Later, Never||Soon (get a bottle before all the “survivors” are all gone)|
The nose on this bottle of Blue Joint Uncut opens with light ethanol and fresh oak. After a three-minute breather, there’s a subtle waft of lemon-pepper and a whisper of sweet clove and brown sugar. The first sip delivers more oakiness and brown sugar with a bit of enjoyable proof heat. After chewing on it, light fruit emerges middle tongue, evoking an apple-cherry tart with a hint of cinnamon. It’s also a little lemon-buttery, both in terms of taste and mouthfeel, and has the slightest zing of sassafras root. The finish is medium with fleeting citrus and a touch of delightful cinnamon heat. Very tasty. And damn affordable.
If your go-to whiskeys are in the 97-107 proof range, don’t let the Uncut proof scare you. Even at 120.2 proof, this whiskey drinks easy when neat. The addition of an ice cube provides a little more herbal citrus on the palate but doesn’t buoy the experience in my opinion.
What Blue Note Says About Uncut
In June of 2019, the rickhouse that stored much of Blue Note’s inventory collapsed in a terrible summer storm, spilling thousands of barrels and millions of dollars into the muck and mud. Most of the barrels were destroyed by the incredible force of nearly 10 million pounds crumbling six stories to the ground. We thought all was lost, but a special few somehow survived the disaster. Surviving the collapse, however, turned out to be only the beginning of the barrels’ journey. All Blue Note Uncut barrels in the market to date are survivor barrels of the June 2019 summer storm that caused one of our storage facilities in Owensboro, KY, to collapse. We encourage you to try a bottle of this year’s 2022 survivor barrel release.
Neat, but let it breathe for a few minutes before you dive in.
If You Like Blue Note Uncut, Try
- Ezra Brooks Cask Strength
- Distillery: Lux Row Distillers
- Location: Bardstown, KY
- Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Proof: 120
- MSRP: $55
Ezra Brooks Cask Strength is worth the extra sawbuck if you’re looking for a bourbon in the 120-proof range with warmer notes of cinnamon, baking spices, and cocoa.