Review of Old Milford Bourbon from J.W. Kelly & Co.
by Colonel Steve Akley
I recently got my hands on a bottle of Old Milford, Batch #1 from J.W. Kelly & Co. The company is a heritage brand having been started in 1866, by J.W. Kelly who had immigrated from Ireland to the U.S. in 1862. Mr. Kelly made his way from New York to Chattanooga, Tennessee where he settled-in.
J.W. Kelly & Co. continued operation until 1915 with Prohibition putting it out of business until it was brought back to life some 100+ years later.
Old Milford Bourbon is the first offering from the resurrected company. It comes in at 94 proof and is a blend of 8 year/6 year/5 year bourbons. This makes it officially a 5-year-old bourbon, but the color alone lets you know there is whiskey older than five year blended into this offering.
The mash bill is 75% corn/20% malted rye/5% barley. With 20% malted rye, you know right away you are going to get something pretty unique.
At first sniff, you get oak, vanilla and mint. Pretty strong on the mint, too, which was a surprise.
As I took my first sip, it's strong on the spice/pepper. There is also brown sugar and even the most welcome taste of chocolate chip cookies (Tollhouse if you really want me to get specific). The pepper blast does lit up a little with the 94 proof but nothing overwhelming.
It then settles into a gentle warmth.
It definitely solid, and if you want to try something a little different (a malted rye bourbon) grab this one if you see it out in the wild.