Review: Tom’s Town Double Oaked Bourbon and Pendergast’s Royal Gold Bourbon
Tom’s Town Distilling is named after Tom Pendergast, “the country’s most corrupt political boss,” who plied his trade during Prohibition in Kansas City. Now the KC-based operation pays homage to the corrupt man with a line of spirits, including gin, vodka, and these two bourbon whiskeys. Both are sourced, presumably from MGP since the fine print notes they were distilled in Indiana. As well, both are packaged in some pretty wildly over-the-top deco-inspired packaging. (There’s no shortage of gold leaf on these labels.)
Both are 90 proof.
Here’s proof that sourced stock can lead to some solid spirits:
Tom’s Town Double Oaked Bourbon – This is a sourced bourbon (mashbill is 62% corn, 36% rye, and 2% barley) of indistinct age that is finished with extra French oak and American oak staves dropped into the barrel for an indeterminate time. While wood is ample on the nose, there’s also lots of fruit here, a lively mix of apples, bananas, berries, and butterscotch. Those elements are amplified on the palate, where a brown sugar sweetness and baking spice quickly pop, giving the experience a fairly classic high-rye character. The finish keeps the pedal down on the rye-driven spice, with a classic orange twist at the end. Really solid stuff. A / $40
Tom’s Town Pendergast’s Royal Gold Bourbon – Sourced NAS bourbon, presumably the same mash as in Double Oaked, then finished in 14 year old ruby Port wine casks. This comes across like a slightly softer version of the above, and the Port influence is noticeable, with a raisin element and some mint informing both the nose and the palate. The cloves feel stronger here, and on the palate an apple butter emerges, giving the body an extra-unctuous lushness. Baking spice lingers well into the quite sweet finish — which is going to be perhaps a touch too sweet for some drinkers. A- / $45