Bourbon Review: Corner Creek Reserve

Here is a guest bourbon review, written by Martin from Enjoy!

Corner Creek is a small Kentucky-based distillery that makes only the one expression: Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey. Unfortunately I couldn’t find much information on the distillery itself, which means we will just have to jump straight into the tasting. Well, I say straight, but before we move on to contents of the bottle I’d like to say a quick word about the bottle itself: I’m not a fan. It has deeply sloped shoulders and were it not for the label telling you that it’s bourbon, I would’ve thought it was a bottle of white wine I was holding in my hands. The label does save it a bit, though, as it’s a really nice design.

I won’t go on about the bottle any more, though. The nose is quite sweet and presents vanilla along with caramel and honey. There’s also a spicy rye note, and perhaps a touch of dried fruits? No great complexity to be found here, and the wheat that is supposed to be present in the mix isn’t very convincing, I caught an occasional whiff but I couldn’t swear that this wasn’t simply down to knowing that it was supposed to be there.

The palate once again starts out sweet with caramel and a fair bit of vanilla, the fruit is a bit more pronounced here than on the nose and brings to mind fried plantain, which is nice, and there’s a bit of oak in there as well. The spicy rye note from the nose is also considerably more pronounced on the palate, and any hope the wheat stood of making an entrance is firmly rejected by its dominance.

By no means a bad drink, and at around £20-25 quid I suppose it offers fair value – especially if you take into account the fact that it’s fairly unusual, at least in the UK – but there are far better, more balanced and more interesting whiskeys around in the same price range. It sort of feels like it’s about to get started, accelerating towards something, but fails to get there on account of a lack of horsepower.

Colour: Light honey.

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, honey, faint wheat (perhaps?), rye spiciness.

Palate: Caramel, vanilla, fried plantain, some oak, a good ole serving of spicy rye.

10 thoughts on “Bourbon Review: Corner Creek Reserve

  1. I love pairing cigars with port, scotch, aged rum, and some beer styles – but I rarely have paired them with bourbon. No reason in particular, I just haven’t. Well I tried this tonight with a Davidoff Colorado Claro and woo! what a pair! The woodiness of both the cigar and bourbon paired perfectly. Also towards the end of the cigar, the cocoa and anise flavors were really intensified by the bourbon.

  2. Thanks, Woodford is next to try. Makers is pretty good, not great.

  3. Regarding water, there have been a few where I thought a little water (and it only takes a few DROPS) helped it to open up. But mostly I prefer them neat. Try it with/without, decide for yourself. And again, just a few drops is usually sufficient. Jmorena, you might also try Maker’s Mark or my favorite, Woodford Reserve. Both pair well with medium-bodied cigars like CAO La Traviata. I found the Booker’s paired really well with a Brickhouse churchill, while the Ashton VSG I enjoyed immensely with Eagle Rare. YMMV.

  4. I’ve done the splash of water thing… I taste a watered down whiskey. That’s just me. Basil Hayden is only 80 proof… it’s pretty good. Thanks for the response.

  5. I know it’s considered heresy by many, but adding a little water to your bourbon/scotch tones down or eliminates that hotness & (IMO) opens the flavor of the spirit.
    As for what goes with Corner Creek, I smoked many a cigar with it, and they all paired well. I’d say a medium body, medium flavor stick would probably pair the best though.

  6. Nice job sharing this bourbon review site! I only smoke Cuban cigars and find that my favorite single malt scotches overwhelm most of my favorite smokes. Bourbon, on the other hand, matches best with more delicate and complex Cuban offerings. However, the high alcohol content in most fine bourbons can leave your mouth “hot” ( not a good thing ). I bought a bottle of the above reviewed bourbon and enjoyed it last night. I also like the 10 yr. old Eagle, Buffalo Trace, Hirsch Selection, and I’m a regular Jack Daniels consumer. Any other recommendations for me?

  7. That sound delicious. I wonder what cigar would go best with it!

  8. Thanks! I’ll check them out!

  9. If I may offer a response to Psychobobicus, there is a useful list of tasty bourbons over on another site:
    I have no affiliation with the site, I just appreciated the reviews. As for bourbons, Eagle Rare Single Barrel is very drinkable, Four Roses is complex and herbal, Booker’s is seriously good (and very strong); but my fave right now is Woodford Reserve. Very tasty, I could drink it all night. Cheers!

  10. I picked up some Corner Creek for a week vacation a while back. I just finished the bottle after about 4 months. At first I was not a fan, but as it breathed, I felt it got better. I’m a noob when it comes to bourbon, but I enjoyed it. You mentioned better bourbons for the same price. Could you mention a few?

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