Three Chord Whiskey Drummer 15-Year Bourbon Review
Updated: Sep 25
This is a special occasion type of bourbon, and it lives up to that billing.
Type: Straight Bourbon
Distillery: Undisclosed, distilled in Kentucky
Age: 15 years
Per press release: At Three Chord, we are blenders, first and foremost. However, we came across this small lot of barrels and had to release them, as is, to the public. This is our way of paying homage to the traditions of bourbon, while we aim to shake up the industry with the rest of our lineup.
This is a limited release, with only 2,500 bottles being produced, released in two small batches of 10 barrels each. The bottle reviewed here is Batch 1.
Oh boy. Right off the bat, the nose is impressive. Every note is heavy and well developed and practically bursts out of the glass. It's sweet and bold at the same time. Honey, caramel, and even a little marshmallow kick things off. Behind the sweetness are bolder notes of oak, charcoal and tobacco. There is very little burn here, especially considering the proof, which allows the various elements to stand out even more.
Much like the nose, this is a sip that boldly announces itself as soon as it hits. It's thick and even reminiscent of a fermented honey for a brief second before leather, clove and heat join the party. I didn't pick out any fruit from the nose, but it's definitely present here. It's tough to identify the exact fruit note, but it's giving me a distinct vibe of chocolate covered raisins or even Craisins. At the back end, the oak pulls everything together nicely.
This is definitely a long finish. It's spicy, but never overly hot. The leather comes back but oak is the star at the end and stays with you long after the sip is gone, even after the spice fades.
I've previously tried and reviewed another release from this brand, Twelve Bar Reserve. That release was a solid drinker, but this is on a completely different level. This is one of those bourbons that's tough to accurately describe because it has so many different elements presenting themselves through each taste. Rather than any specific flavor element, I can frequently tell when I really like something just based on how that first sip hits my taste buds. If it explodes and seems to light everything up at once and quickly moves from sweet to bold to spicy, all without any one element being overpowering, it's a winner. This is a winner. There is a ton of great bourbon on the market, so once you get over a price of $100-$150, I find it tough to justify many options. This is the rare exception that I would personally buy if I came across a bottle. This is a special occasion type of release and the bourbon inside absolutely lives up to that billing.
This sample was provided at no cost by Three Chord Bourbon. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a general guide of what I consider each score range
4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.
4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.
3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.
3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.
2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase, but may not buy another.
2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.
1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.
0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away.