Jay Cutler and Brandon Blind Taste Two Bourbons from Castle & Key: The Double

by Clayton Edwards

We’re back with another episode of The Double. This week, Brandon Chesbro leads Jay Cutler into a blind taste test of some small batch Kentucky bourbon. Jay doesn’t know it, but they’re going to be drinking Castle & Key’s 4-year bourbon and their 5-year wheated bourbon.

Before belting the bourbon, the boys have a little banter. Brandon said they were doing something fun this morning. To which Jay replied, “I feel like we should stop saying ‘morning’ because I think we’re giving people the wrong impression.” Brandon didn’t agree, adding that morning bourbon has become somewhat of a staple. Reluctantly agreeing, Jay says, “Had a little coffee, I’ve got a green drink down here, and straight to bourbon.” Then, they floated the idea of renaming the show from The Double to Breakfast Bourbon.

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Then, the guys may have teased some future episodes of The Double. Jay notes that he had a bottle of High West waiting for him when he came back from his Montana hunting trip. Also, he revealed that Old Elk has been in touch with him and Brandon. “I want to go back in time to taste those again,” Brandon said of the three Old Elk bottles they sampled in last week’s episode. “Well, I mean, I’ve got more at the house. So, we can probably do another one,” Jay told him. So, keep your eyes peeled for that.

Jay and Brandon Get a Double Dose of Kentucky Bourbon

Before they try the Castle & Key, Brandon explains to Jay why they’re going in blind on this episode. “I’ve never tried this bourbon before. This is fresh. I’ve had these bottles sitting on the shelf.” He decided that they would make a good blind taste test for The Double.

About Castle & Key, Brandon said, “Crazy-old very well-known distillery. During prohibition, it got shut down and basically fell apart. These two guys came in, fell in love with the place, completely restored it, and wanted to start making their own bourbon. These are the first reflection that they’ve come out with.” He notes that the bourbon they’re starting with was Castle & Key’s first batch and it just hit shelves in May of this year.

Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon

  • Mash Bill: 73% White Corn, 10% Rye, 17% Malted Barley
  • Aged: 4 Years
  • Tasting Notes: Toffee, Bread Dough, Dates, Baking Spice, Toasted Almonds, Cinnamon, and Allspice
  • Proof: 98 Proof or 49% ABV
  • MSRP: Around $50

The first thing that Brandon and Jay comment on is the heavy cinnamon note in the bourbon. Jay says it’s like they dropped a Red Hot in it before adding, “This reminds me of Christmas.”

However, Jay isn’t mad about this bottle. “For four years old, that thing’s got a lot to it…There’s a lot going on.” The guys agree that this isn’t the smoothest bourbon they’ve tried on The Double. However, it’s not one they’d call rough. For a four-year-old bourbon, it’s doing better than most.

Castle & Key Small Batch Wheated Bourbon

  • Mash Bill: 73% White Corn, 10% Wheat, 17% Malted Barley
  • Aged: 5 Years
  • Tasting Notes: Shortbread, Light Allspice, Leather, and Herbal
  • Proof: 98 Proof or 49% ABV

With the wheated small batch, Brandon and Jay didn’t taste much of a difference. The biggest change for them was that the cinnamon note was lighter than in the other bottle.

After the big reveal, Brandon said that he was expecting this to be sweeter. However, the wheat’s sweetness didn’t present itself as he had hoped.

The hosts of The Double agree that these offerings from Castle & Key are well worth checking out. If you want to learn more about the historic distillery where they craft their spirits and where you can find them, go check their website.