Big Bottom, oh please, don’t get me started!! As I gazed upon this bottle, my mind went berserk with ideas for this column when I saw this hooch was named Big Bottom. As I sat down and started to write, I began to discard theme after theme when I read the words I had written. You see, in my mind, all these ideas seemed hilarious, but when they took form on paper, they looked rather offensive, chauvinistic, sexist, moronic, insensitive, prejudiced and racist. More than not wanting to offend scores of people, I wanted to keep my job and the booze flowing.
At first, I thought I might write about certain Italian women, but I really didn’t want the mafia putting out a contract on me and ending up wearing cement galoshes at the bottom of a river somewhere. Then, I thought about a piece on particular African American women but I just knew that the Reverend Jesse Jackson would be coming after me waving his Bible and condemning me to the farthest reaches of hell. Having spent several sorrowful years in Oklahoma (don’t ask why), I knew they had a few women who might fit the bill, but they are all married to very skinny guys who are all rabid hunters and armed to the teeth and the prospect of a backside full of buckshot made me think twice. Then, I considered Russian women, but I really like my vodka way too much to offend them. Besides they have spies everywhere and disappearing from the face of the earth was not something I wanted to happen to me. That’s when I pondered offensive linemen in the NFL, but those guys are big brutes and would probably beat the crap out of me. Santa Claus seemed like a good idea for a moment, but we’re getting close to Christmas, and I don’t want to jeopardize my wish list. It was at that point that I flashed on some funny fat dead people, but that would probably make God mad at me, and I certainly don’t want to risk that. So I won’t write any of it and just get into the review. By the way, the Big Bottom in Big Bottom Whiskey refers to 17,000 acres of land around Mt. Hood so nobody should get mad at them for that either.
Big Bottom Whiskey is an independent bottler. They work with multiple distilleries for their base product and finish them using various methods to perfect the final product. They sent me their 3 year old straight bourbon whiskey that was aged in new white oak and then finished in port casks. This stuff is oddly proofed at 91 proof by Ted Pappas, the founder for the not so odd reason that he wanted to acknowledge his classmates of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and his Class of 1991 and all the military sectors and those who have passed but are not forgotten.
The nose is rich in caramel and leather and chocolate covered cherries and has decidedly sweet overtones derived from the port finish. It is quite smooth straight up, with just enough of a spice note to make it interesting but not distracting. The caramel continues on the palate along with the cherries and now the oak appears and balances the previous two out in a very complimentary manner. All of this is backed by the subtle sweetness of the port, which gives it a full mouth feel. The finish is tangy and full and personable leaving behind hints of oak and port. I would even drink this after a wonderful meal or with a cigar. All in all an excellent straight bourbon whiskey that is definitely a keeper for my bar. For just around $35.00 per bottle, it compares very favorably with bourbon costing much more.
Check out these cocktails recipes from Big Bottom, too: The Lion’s Tale & SeelBach.
By George Brozowski
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