Colonel James E. Pepper, grandson of Elijah Pepper who in 1812 built a distillery in Woodford County known today as Woodford Reserve, was one of Kentucky’s first bourbon aristocrats.
Back in the day Colonel Pepper nicknamed his whiskey “Old 1776” in reverence to the American War of Independence era recipes it followed. James E. Pepper brand was in circulation until 1958. In 2008 it was re-launched by the Georgetown Trading Company, with whiskeys sourced from Lawrenceburg Distillery of Indiana (currently MGP). James E. Pepper Straight Rye Whiskey has been distilled from mash containing 90% rye. Here we have a rare barrel proof expression bottled at 58.6% abv.
Nose: fruity and spicy, slightly medicinal, peaches, apples, lemon peel, caramel, pepper, cinnamon, touch of mint and very little wood.
Palate: strong rye notes, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, hints of cinnamon, touches of caramel and vanilla and some oak in the background.
Finish: fairly long and spicy with notes of oak, dried herbs and touch of mint.