The Story: According to the Legent website, this whiskey is an interesting mix of techniques from Kentucky bourbon distilling/aging and Japanese whisky blending. More specifically, it’s a collaboration between Fred Noe, 7th generation Jim Beam master distiller and Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory’s 5th master blender (yes, 5th ever).
Noe distills and ages the whiskey, creating a Kentucky Straight Bourbon (as covered in the Executive Bourbon Steward training, straight bourbons are at least 2 years old and those under 4 years require an age statement). The bourbon is then finished in sherry and red wine casks. At this point Fukuyo takes over, blending the cask finishes with Kentucky Straight bourbon to obtain the final Legent product.
Distiller: Legent Distilling Company; Clermont, KY (Owned and operated by Jim Beam)
Bottler: Legent Distilling Company; Clermont, KY (Owned and operated by Jim Beam)
Type of Producer: Distiller
Year Established: 2019 (1933 for Jim Beam or 2014 when Suntory took over)
Bottling Proof: 94
Age: NAS (The bourbon is aged at least 4 years. Further aging in red wine and sherry casks)
Mashbill: Corn, rye, malted barley (Unknown percentages)
Style: Secondary Cask Finished Blend
Release Date: Early 2019 (Ongoing)
Legent Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Partially Finished in Wine & Sherry Casks
Nose: Caramel; floral; hint of rye, cherry, and earthy tones; light sweetness; overall beautifully delicate. With water: earthy tones develop into nutty and dried fruit flavors.
Palate: Familiar peanut note common across Beam bourbons; deep cherry; hint of rye; sits on front of tongue. With water: warm spice develops from front to back of palate.
Finish: Strong bitter notes; mercifully short. With water: still bitter and mercifully short.
Overall: The nose on this whiskey is quite wonderful. The palate is comprised of typical Beam notes, but it fades quickly into a rather surprising finish. Strong bitterness comes out of nowhere and overpowers all other notes. Thankfully, the finish is much shorter than advertised. Adding water staves off the finish a bit (pun intended), but alas, the bitterness cannot be escaped. It’s really a shame that the finish ruins such a promising start.
I rate on a 5 point scale on which 5 is perfect, 1 is something I hope to never ingest again, and 3 is a solid daily drinker with no obvious flaws.