Right when we opened our shop, some of the first bottles we brought in were from the American Independent Bottler Proof & Wood. Their Polish Rye called “The Stranger” was actually the first case of whisky to arrive! Crazy how Polish was our first whisky but that just solidified that we were global whisky drinkers. We had been following Proof & Wood because we knew Dave Schmier, the founder, from our days in NYC with The Drammer’s Club. Dave has built up quite a portfolio including things such as Deadwood Bourbon, Roulette Rye, The DC Collection which we carry two of; the Senator Rye and The Representative Bourbon, and even a few rums.
We had really been enjoying all of the limited editions we had at the shop from Proof & Wood that when the opportunity came up to select a single barrel of their bourbon we were pumped, to say the least. Our other NYC friend now west-coaster, Kenneth (@etzbis) sometimes helps Dave sample really fantastic single barrels and connects him to the right shops and bars for his whiskey. Kenneth contacted us and since we trust his palate we thought what we might receive sample-wise was going to be pretty fantastic. He sent us two Tumblin’ Dice Bourbon Single Cask samples along with two Senator Rye Single Cask samples. We invited our friend Dan to come by after the shop closed for the night and we all sat down to try through them. We sipped in silence, eyeing each other patiently. No one wants to be the first to say which was their favorite just in case the others rated your favorite poorly. This really wasn’t a problem with these samples since they were all superb but everyone still gets nervous. I spoke up first and instead of saying my favorite, although there was a clear favorite, I started giving tasting notes. The three of us had a lot of similar tasting notes and we were quickly and easily able to see the star of the show: Barrel #20, a Tumblin’ Dice Bourbon Single Barrel.
This was not a tough call at all, barrel #20 was the clear winner and we eagerly wrote to Kenneth letting him know to save that barrel, it was ours!
Tumblin’ Dice Single Barrel Bourbon
118.02 proof / 59.01% ABV
Mashbill: MGP heavy rye, 60% Corn / 36% Rye / 4% Malted Barley
5 Years Old
Nose – Chocolate-covered toffee with a dash of Big Red cinnamon gum. Honey, oak, and caramel.
Palate – Herbal with baking spices upfront but the sweetness is quick to follow with more toffee, oak, and some citrus.
Finish – The baking spice and clove notes linger with honey and there is that cinnamon creeping up again! What a foxtrot of flavor between the corn and rye!