Timber Creek Florida Bourbon Review
Timber Creek was founded by Aaron Barnes and Camden Ford in May 2014, near Destin, FL, along Florida’s Emerald Coast. Barnes and Ford were neighbors who bonded over their love of beer and quality ingredients. So they set up shop in (1,400-acre) backyard of one of their parents’ property in Crestview, bringing the state it’s first distillery made bourbon.
For a distillery that is quite new to the scene, it has a wide range of spirits and solid production capacity, able to turn out one thousand cases of spirit per month. Timber Creek pays great attention to the ingredients that go into each bottle, sourcing the cane molasses from the Gulf Coast in nearby Louisiana for their rums, buying local fruits (blueberries, strawberries, peaches, muscadine grapes and plums) for their upcoming brandies, cold water extracting coffee beans (essentially the cold brew coffee technique which results in a coffee concentrate, producing maximum flavor) from Brazil, and using local water from the Florida aquifer system which has been filtered through hundreds of feet of soil and limestone. Last, but definitely not least, the grains, which are 95% Florida grown, showing a real dedication to the Sunshine State.
The Gentle Approach
What I found most interesting about Timber Creek’s process is what they call a “gentle approach” with the grain during the distilling processes. Their approach is different from other from the methods of other distilleries. It entails cracking the grains with a roller mill then separating the tannic husks of the grain from the liquid in the lauter tun. Most often, the method is to crush the grain and the husks together into a flour which can result in a more tannic, and subsequently bitter and sometimes off-flavor. Barnes and Ford felt that by processing their grain this way, they could exercise more control over the taste and produce a whiskey with purer flavors, as they could remove the husks entirely from the mixture.
The Bourbon Review
The Bourbon release is a rich copper hue, with legs that drip (mostly evenly spaced) along the side of the glass.
When nosed, the whiskey yields essences of molasses, light bright wood and pear. It is a very clean and light, reminding me of men’s cologne or aftershave (in the sense of the brightness than the smell itself). On a viscosity scale, 1 being lowest and 10 the highest, I would place this one at a 6.
The whiskey is lightly spicy upfront, following through on the nose with bright wood and subtle char making itself known about 5 seconds in if you let it rest in your mouth. It has a smooth middle and finish, progressively getting drier and drier at the tail end. The mouthfeel of this is a little oily, and is in line with my viscosity scale rating. This whisky is a mixture of corn, wheat and barley and I would say that not one of those distinct grains takes over; it tastes like a pretty balanced blend.
I added a few drops of water to the half inch left in my glass and the water to pull out the flavors. It is the trend with whiskies that are young, woody and enhanced oakiness along with char. I prefer it without the water because I feel that it allows the whisky to have more facets of flavor.
Florida’s First Bourbon “just tastes good”….
Aaron Barnes was quoted that his products, “just taste good.” While, I can’t vouch for every product at the Timber Creek, I’ll have to agree with him for the original Bourbon release. It is tasty, smooth and very easy to drink. While, it does taste young and woody, it is not overpowered by that woodiness I find some young whiskies can be. Perhaps this smoothness can be attributed to Timber Creek’s gentle touch with the grains? Who knows, but for Florida’s first bourbon, I am impressed.
by Elizabeth Emmons