It may seem an odd choice, but in an age where single barrels, single distilleries, and transparency rule the bourbon world, Fistful of Bourbon is taking a wholly antithetical approach—and it’s pretty good.
Produced by Scottish whisky house William Grant and Sons (which is known for such brands as Monkey Shoulder, Glenfiddich, and Balvenie), Fistful of Bourbon is a blend of five straight bourbons from five separate distilleries that makes up a final bourbon whiskey.
Five whiskeys, one bottle, two years of age or more. That’s it. That’s all we’ve got.
It’s hard to guess what they might be, which might turn off some of the drinkers out there. Large bourbon producers exist all over the country. Kentucky and Indiana make a ton, sure, but so do Tennessee and some other states that might surprise you. But once they’re blended, it becomes a unique drink. And people who prefer to look at the brown liquid in their glass as an expression of a particular place and time won’t have much to go on: no Kentucky roots, or moonshining legacy, no legendary warehouse or hallowed still.
And you know what? That’s fine with us. We’re all about good blending, and we’re all for people buying whiskey from other distilleries to make their own product—it brought us everything from Kentucky Owl to High West and Smooth Ambler Old Scout. And in Scotland it has brought Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s, Monkey Shoulder, and countless other brands to consumers. But many whiskey drinkers expect to know where the whiskey is being sourced from, and for the most part get an answer.
But perhaps speculation is irrelevant. At $25, the price of this bottle is hardly worth quibbling over, especially if it’s tasty. That’s close to well bourbon for bartenders, and compared with some of the $60 and $100 bourbons on the market today, it’s a lot easier to drop two fingers of this one over some ice or mix it with a few ingredients to make a cocktail on the fly.
And that’s a good thing, because Fistful has a lot of flavor. The nose is corn heavy, with tons of toffee sweetness. Tasting it yields some muted spices, and a long, clove, and rye finish.
At an official mark of two years of age, it’s a surprisingly polished bourbon, showing some finesse and enough heat to make its presence known in a drink. Are there cheaper bottles on the market? Sure. And better-tasting ones. But this one hits a nice sweet spot in between, deserving of some hype.
For the moment, they’ve only rolled out bottles to the (very large) Texas whiskey market, but as more product starts to come out, you may be seeing this one pop up more often. When you do, get your hands on it. It’s worth it.