Many people are familiar with LDI/MGPI 95% rye whiskey that is used by many brands but MGPI also makes bourbon whiskey. One of the craft brands that source this MGPI bourbon is W.H. Harrison bourbon. Harrison bourbon comes in two expressions a standard 80 proof and this Governor’s Reserve which is a barrel proof. On the Harrison bourbon website, like most craft brands, makes no mention of it being a sourced whiskey but it does say it uses a unique “high rye” recipe. On MGPI’s site we see that the mash bill of this “high rye” recipe is 60% corn, 36% rye and 4% malted barley. No age statement is given but on the side label we see it says aged less than four years.
Appearance: light amber with thin legs
Nose: A lot of alcohol fumes coming from this. Getting past the fumes I pick up on those signature bourbon aromas; a lot of corn, vanilla and some hints of caramel. There’s a varnish scent along with some wet grass aromas. I’m also picking up on faint hints of lemon, rye and honey. A few drops of water brings out the grassy notes.
Palate: Just like the bouquet a lot of heat coming through on the palate. The rye which hardly made a dent in the bouquet comes through on the palate but is very tamed and timid. Picking up a lot of corn especially around the front of the palate and some sweet caramel and banana flavors. The finish is rather moderate leaving behind some nice notes of vanilla and rye. The mouthfeel is fairly full bodied, which is nice.
Overall: Unfortunately not a lot going on with this one. The palate is rather one dimensional and there seems to be a lack of complexity to bouquet. Both suffer from balance issues allowing the alcohol to take center stage rather than the aromas and flavors. Again whiskey doesn’t have to be old to be good but this adolescent whiskey clearly still needs some growing up to do.
Rating: 69 / * *