Review of Chambers Bay - Straight Bourbon Whiskey
by Colonel Steve Akley
Chambers Bay Distillery (chambersbaydistillery.com)
University Place, Washington
Mash Bill: Corn (71%), Wheat (19%) & Malted Barley (10%)
Age: 3+ Years
Bottle Size: 375 ml
Price (Suggest MSRP): $39.95
Proof: 95 Barrel Size: 25 Gallons
Interesting Note: Aged in a barrel in a floating boathouse atop the Puget Sound.
Chambers Bay Distillery reached out to me to sample their newest offering to their bourbon lineup, a 3+ year old bourbon aged in a floating boathouse. Immediately, the idea of Jefferson's Ocean comes to mind... which is a good thing! Jefferson's Ocean is some great bourbon and it's fun to sample the different expressions so you can compare and contrast them to one another.
Of course, this isn't on a boat out in the deep sea. It's in a boathouse, that while it is certainly stabilized, will definitely have a level of movement/agitation you don't find in a metal rick house sitting directly behind the distillery.
Nosing this one, it's certainly a caramel bomb. Great deep caramel nose with wisps of corn and oak thrown in the mix as well.
A quick taste gives you the sweetness of the soft white wheat as the secondary grain in the mash bill. I have to tell you that it is very pleasantly surprising how complex this offering yields when you sample it. After the sweet of the wheat grabs you it yields to a birthday cake, citrus, vanilla, caramel with soft notes of wheat and oak. It heats up your tongue and throat with just the right amount of sting.
It finishes with the delicious taste of buttermilk pancakes.
As far as the company, Chambers Bay Distillery is small but they are doing things right. They opened in 2014 and this is their second bourbon offering after coming out with a Greenhorn Bourbon earlier that had been aged 17 months.
Chambers Bay certainly has a winner here. As a relative newcomer, I am not sure of their distribution, but they are clearly worth seeking out if you make it to Washington. Based on the quality of this offering, it won't be surprising to see them extend distribution well beyond the borders of Washington very soon.
My recommendation is, if you see it... grab it!