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About Jason

My name is Jason Pyle and I’m an American Whiskey enthusiast. I started Sour Mash Manifesto over two years ago in a effort to help educate people on one of America’s greatest National treasures. Today I contribute to online publications such as “World Whiskey Review” and have been featured in a World Whiskey publication titled, “1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die” by Dominic Roskrow. Whiskey is a topic I have an immense passion for, spending a great deal of my free time nosing, tasting, reading, and learning as much as I can.

I live in the beautiful town of Franklin, TN, and spend my daylight hours as the Chief Operating Officer for a National Information Technology and Healthcare Professional Services firm, Latitude36. I have a gorgeous wife and three special little daughters that keep me busy at home.

How did I first get into whiskey? Well, I was exposed (not consumption mind you!) to Bourbon at a young age. My earliest memories include my grandmother, Marjorie Thomas – I called her “Mamaw”. She was an old-school country girl that grew up in the hills of East Tennessee. I think even she’d admit her palate was less discerning, but she enjoyed a “nip” (as she called it) every now and again. I remember very fondly spending weekends with her and Papaw, and watching her tote around a red “Solo” cup of Bourbon and 7-up or Ginger Ale.

I suppose it’s also not surprising that she had other “uses” for whiskey. For example, Mamaw’s cough syrup was the best tasting “medicine” on the planet. She missed an opportunity to mass market the stuff in a day and age where cough syrup all tastes like fake and sickly sweet cherry syrup. It’s a simple recipe consisting of a couple teaspoons of bourbon, a teaspoon of honey, and a squeeze of lemon. Mmmmm, I’m feelin’ sick just thinking about it. To this day when I have a cough I whip up a batch of Mamaw’s homemade ‘tussin.

Many many years ago a very good friend of mine urged me to try some Bourbon’s that he really enjoyed. A Friday night liquor store run opened me up to the world of American Whiskey, and I’ve been hooked since.

Today, my mamaw’s in heaven sippin’ a couple “fingers” of whiskey with my papaw. Hopefully I’ll do her proud with my own little take on something we both love.

Thank you for visiting,

Jason Pyle
Sour Mash Manifesto
1738 Liberty Pike
Franklin, TN 37067
eMail: jmpyle1@gmail.com
Phone: 615-406-6026

378 Comments

  1. Eric says:

    Awesome site Jason! I ran across your twitter feed and have been browsing your site all morning (don’t tell my boss). I’ve developed a taste for bourbon since moving to TN a couple years ago. I even started my own site recently to keep track of my favorites, and also as another excuse to try more whiskeys (don’t tell my wife). Check it out at bourbonbasement.com if you get a chance. Looking forward to swapping tips!

    Also, have you tried any of Corsair’s varieties? I see their bottles all over Memphis, but haven’t seen many reviews on the internet. I’m especially curious about their new hopped whiskey.

    Keep up the good work, and happy sipping!

  2. Eric thanks for visiting and commenting. I appreciate it. I have tried the Corsair stuff and and it’s pretty good. I think like a lot of really young stuff it will likely improve with age, but those guys have a very diverse product line.

    I will definitely check out your site ASAP.

  3. Chris says:

    There are a lot of bourbons you review that I do not have access to at my local liquor stores. Do you have any suggestions on how to get my hands on such bottles as angels envy and pappy van winkle?

  4. Chris, Pappy is always tough, even online. But you can find a lot of hard to find whiskeys online at retailers like DrinkUpNY, Binny’s, Liquor Barn to name a few. I would really focus on the online retails to knock out some of these. How is your state for allowing shipments of whiskey to come in? If so this is the most viable option.

    Second, I make a habit to ALWAYS look in shops whereever I travel. You just never know where you are going to find great bottles – even in the small mom and pop shops. If I see a liquor store, I’m usually going to pop in and see what they have.

  5. Darren says:

    Jason, I thought you might want to see this. I thought it was amazing….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJV-O1e10z8&feature=related

  6. Bob says:

    Like the gentleman above, I too have done some considerable “research” on your site during work hours, but once I found it, I couldn’t stop reading your critiques on many of the whisky’s you have tried. A number of the Bourbon’s you listed I have found on my own, but thanks to your methodical, systematic, and articulate writing style (not to mention a great whisky palate!), I will be trying many more. Having been in the wine business years ago, I can appreciate how you are able to taste and share with others a whiskeys’ complete profile from nose to finish. Please continue to cultivate your “hobby” and share your findings with us as I plan to read and watch more of the information you present.

  7. Bob, thank you kindly for the comment. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and review the site. I plan on certainly keeping things moving forward, and hopefully I will continue to be a good resource for whiskey lovers out there. That was my ultimate goal. Cheers to you!

  8. Bob says:

    Jason – thanks for your reply. I’m curious…do you like to pair cigars with your Whisky, or do you like to enjoy them on their own? BTW…your critique of the Elmer T. Lee was so enticing, I’m actually sipping on a little rigt now. You are right on target – this is a wonderful Bourbon filled with all the nuances you mentioned. Keep the reviews coming!

  9. Bob, I do enjoy the occassional cigar. I used to smoke them a lot more than I do now – just a time thing. But I enjoy them from time to time with a whiskey. HOnestly the one i’m waiting to try with a cigar is Angel’s Envy.

  10. Bob says:

    Jason – I live in New Jersey and I do not believe Angel’s Envy is available in this market yet. I’m wondering where you acquire your supply of AE and if I can purchase this online and have it shipped to NJ?

  11. Bob, I know that Liquor Barn in Lexington, KY has a good bit of it. I’m sure many of them do. If you can get shipments of alcohol to NJ, call them and you can order a bottle i’m sure. Let me know.

  12. Bob says:

    Thanks Jason – I’ll give them a call.

  13. Bob says:

    Jason – Last night I tried the Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon…man was that good! I found it to be just as you described it – flavorable, complex, and very well balanced. Certainly one of the best I’ve experienced so far. And for $22 bucks, how can you go wrong? I also shopped around for the Rittenhouse Rye 100, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I found the 23 y/o and the 25, but they were in the $180 price range – a bit too high for me. I’m sure I’ll find the “entry level” version some where along in my travels.

  14. Bob says:

    Hi Jason – since the last time we “spoke”, I had a chance to try a few of the whisky’s you recommended:

    (1) Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof ($16) – I couldn’t get quite as excited about this as you did; I found the complexity you described to be overshowded by the intensity of the alcohol.

    (2) Elijah Craig 12 y/o 94 proof ($32) – A decent bourbon, but I found it to be a little bitter especially in the finish (oak tannins?)

    (3) Old Forester “Birthday Bourbon” 95 proof ($43) – This bourbon, for me, was exactly as you described – lush and rich with a great nose, middle and finish. Definately going back for more before its gone.

    I guess we, as individuals, won’t always agree or pick up the same nuances of flavors as a collective group, but I guess that’s what its all about – trying and sharing our thoughts on the various products out there. I’m looking forward to more of your tasting videos – Bob

  15. Bob, thanks for the feedback. Taste is certainly subjective. I think what you’ll find as you drink more bourbon and higher proof offerings, a 100 proof whiskey will not taste quite as strong. I would also not hesitate to adding a bit of water to the Rittenhouse to see how it affects the aroma and flavor. Give that a try when you can. As for Elijah, I can certainly see that. It has a pronounced woodiness from about the last third of the sip on through to the finish. Glad you found the Birthday Bourbon to your liking. It’s great stuff.

    -Jason

  16. Bob says:

    Thanks Jason – I’ll try a little water next time to tame the higher proof.

  17. Dirk says:

    Jason

    When you can, I would like your review and rating on the 1792 Ridgemont Reserve and Russell’s Reserve 10yr Bourbons.

    Dirk

  18. Dirk says:

    Jason

    Also would like your review and rating on Four Roses Single Barrel 100 proof bourbon.

    Dirk

  19. Hi Dirk, please take a look under Reviews/Ratings and “Four Roses”. I have a review on their Single Barrel listed there. Thanks.

  20. Dirk says:

    Jason

    I found your review on Four Roses. Thanks and please keep your review and ratings up. I believe your site is more overall complete and current in bourbon reviews and ratings than any other site that I can find on the web.

    Dirk

  21. Alan says:

    Still anxiously awaiting your review on Prichard’s Double Barreled. Won’t devulge my opinion until I read yours. I will say it ranks pretty high up there with me though.

  22. Bob says:

    Jason,
    I recently had a chance to try the High West Double Rye, Redemption Rye, and Willett Rye side by side. I totally agree with your description on the High West with the gin, evergreen, and sap flavors coming through in a strong way. I didn’t buy it because I thought those flavors would “bother” me after a while. I’m just curious…the High West is a blend of 16 y/o and 2 y/o whisky – do you know or could you find out what percentage of the blend is 16 years and how much is 2 y/o? Do you think it’s mostly 2 years with a “drop” of 16 y/o just for marketing purposes? BTW…the Redemption Rye was very good, but I wound up purchasing the Willett Rye because it was different in a good way – cask strength with tons of flavor behind the heat. Try it if you can. I’d be interested in your opinion of it. Bob

  23. Bob, I will check with David Perkins on that and see what he has to say. I don’t think it’s really just a drop of 16, I think they needed enough to round out that 2 year old, but I’ll see what I can get form him. I have not had the Willett Rye yet. I will have to be on the look out for it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  24. Bill Walsh says:

    Jason, great to see you’re back posting again. I will have to try Old Grand Dad again as I haven’t had it in years. I asked you some time ago if you would spring for 23 yo Pappy. I did not spring for it instead opting for four bottles of Geo. Stagg my favorite all time bourbon. I must admit I can’t drink it without some water but the great thing about that bourbon aside from the intensity of flavors, is that you can make it your own depending on how much water you add. Keep up the great posting and happy 4th to you and your family.

  25. Ron Rogers says:

    Hi Jason,

    I really enjoy your web site. Your video reviews on Bourbons are just excellent. They’re like being in the home of a good friend as he shares his knowledge about an American classic. You were not my first source for information on premium bourbons, but, your web site is now my go to source. I have recently begun to acquire premium quality Bourbons. And, your reviews and web site have been invaluable for choosing which Bourbons to purchase. Quality comes at a premium price, so it is important to learn first hand what you can expect before making a selection and purchase. Thanks for letting us into your home and sharing your personal knowledge and experience regarding this Southern tradition known as Bourbon.

    Ron

  26. Ron, this might be one of nicest compliments I have received. I sure hoped the reviews projected an easy, relaxed approach and I am glad to hear they have resonated with you. If I can ever offer any suggestions based on what you find you are liking most, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Keep on sipping and trying new whiskeys. there is so much great stuff out there. Cheers.

    -Jason

  27. Doug Atwell says:

    Jason,
    I came upon your website about a year ago when I was just discovering Kentucky bourbon. Residing in Louisville, Kentucky I work in the middle of what was once considered Bourbon Row on Main Street in Louisville, Ky. I find your reviews right on, although I find myself a fan of Four Roses Single Barrel, I find Evan Williams Single barrel a very close second. I look forward to your future reviews as I explore Bourbon, America’s finest distilled sprit!!!

  28. Hi Jason,

    I’m a wayward reformed Vodka drinker from Birmingham, AL. I was introduced to the joys of “brown liquor” by my fiancé of all people. However in my area we were pretty much limited to basic Jack Daniels, Evan Williams, and Jim Bean. But when we lived in Atlanta last year I stumbled upon a beverage store that had almost every kind of spirit imaginable and I expanded my palate to try different types of whiskeys. I came across your site and video reviews after purchasing some Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon and was very impressed by your knowledge and how you described the various notes and flavors of the whiskey and after that I won’t look or drink whiskey the same way again. You sir have changed my perspective on how I drink and I’m all the better for it. I’m also starting a collection of whiskey based in your reviews and before I make my future Bourbon purchases I will definitely be checking your site to inform my decision. Thank you for upgrading my whiskey game.

    Gratitude,

    JTD

  29. Juwan, thank you for the very kind words. I’m glad the site has been useful and I am thrilled you are enjoying the brown stuff. Keep sipping and trying new things and expanding your knowledge. It’s a fantastic spirit and one that is easy to appreciate with a little effort. Let me know if I can every help you in that effort.

    Cheers!

    -Jason

  30. Doug Atwell says:

    Jason, if you ever get to try Rowan’s Creek Year Year Old Bourbon by Ky Bourbon Distillers it might be worth a review. Although I am a fan of Four Roses Single Barrel, this one got my attention.

    Love your site….you are my independant source for Bourbon and Rye Whisley review. Would never have tought I would like Rye Whiskey…that was before Rittenhouse Rye!

    Looking forward to your future reviews!

  31. Darren says:

    Jason, for my anniversary my wife bought me a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel. It is definitely one of the top 3 Bourbons I have ever tried. I agree with your high rating and look to try more bourbon in the future. Thanks, Darren

  32. Doug, Rowan’s Creek is very solid stuff. I enjoy Noahs Mill a bit more, but it’s less expensive than NM. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I sure appreciate it.

  33. Darren, I think Four Roses makes some of the most distinctive bourbon in the U.S. They have a truly unique operation up there in Lawrenceburg.

  34. Jim says:

    Jason, thanks for your great reviews. When I read your reasons for loving bourbon, I was astonished as they were exactly the same as mine!

    I’m sure many people might have mentioned this, but I’d love to see your take on Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. It’s a fascinating dram with a great back story and totally unique flavor. I’m a native southerner who’s been transplanted to Colorado, so it’s nice to be able to claim two excellent whiskey styles as your own!

  35. Jim, thanks for the comment. I am working on getting some Stranahans to review soon. Stay tuned!! :)

  36. M. goldstein says:

    Where does Ezra Brooks fall in your research? It is not listed along with many of the others.

  37. Dan, Dallas TX says:

    Question – Does a bourbon’s flavor change after the first few days it is open? It seems I taste different flavors the first couple of days, then the bourbon seems to settle down for the rest of the bottle. Should bourbon need to breathe like a red wine? My latest 2 have been Elijah Craig 12 & Woodford Reserve. P.S. Love the website!

  38. Dan, it absolutely can change. I think folks that say otherwise citing the high alcohol content and whatever else have never actually experienced it. I never review a whiskey based on the first pour. I’ve said this before, but I liken it to a bull in a china shop. That whiskey has little oxygen in there and it’s a force. That first sip is usually as big as the whiskey will be. The following pours are rounded just slightly.

    In addition to the later part of your very astute question – a whiskey will change, open up, soften, etc with more air time. Some respond well to this, others get too sweet – each is different. That’s the great part though – exploring how these elements evolve the sip. I love pouring a good size serving and sitting down taking it all in over a period of time. It’s fun to note those changes.

    Thanks for the great questions.

  39. Linford says:

    Hi Jason

    I’m a keen single malt drinker from the UK expanding my horizons into the world of American whiskey, so first of all I’d like to say what a fantatstic site and great resource here. We are maybe a little spoiled as we have reasonable access to some great bourbons and rye – I have managed to recently aquire a PVW 15 and THH rye. Waiting for a special occasion to crack them open as the downside of buying them was their high price due to our high import duties. Despite this, perhaps as more drinkers over here cotton on to what great drinks they are they will become like hens teeth!

    My current favourite stateside tipple and one that’s not too expensive for us is High West rendez-vous so I was pleased to see you also rated it highly and far more eloquently than I ever could!

    I’m hoping to tast a few more whiskeys at the London Whisky Show in a few weeks time as BT and Four Roses are confirmed exhibitors http://www.whisky-show.com – any tips as to what to look out for greatly appreciated!

    I look forward to reading/watching your future reviews – keep up the great work.

    cheers

  40. Linford, thank you so much for your comment. I am sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Glad to hear you are enjoying some American Whiskey and get your hands on some. Please do keep me posted on the PVW and the THH. WOuld love to hear your thoughts.

    Also, I enjoy Rendezvous as well – a brilliant blend of straight ryes!

  41. Doug Atwell says:

    Jason, my local source was out of Rittenhouse Rye (my #1 favorite Rye) so I decided to try the Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Rye aged for 4 years at 110 proof, Barrel #1122. Not bad, but not as good as Rittenhouse Rye. My taster must be off as my first taste reminded me of dill pickles (oh my).

    Any other Rye whiskey’s out there you recommend trying. I am interested at trying some say $20.00-$35.00 Ryes. Still love Bourbon, but exploring Rye Whiskey’s. Are the Rye Whiskeys out of Austin Nichols worth a try? If they are anything like Wild Turkey 101 they would be a winner!

  42. Bill Walsh says:

    Jason, miss your video posts hope all is well. I have had the pleasure of trying a few different bourbons and I am enjoying the experience.

  43. Bill, all is well. Thanks for asking. It’s been hectic lately but I’ve got some more reviews coming soon. What have you been trying that you’ve enjoyed?

  44. Doug, I recommend High West Double Rye in that price range. I also recommend Russell’s Reserve Rye in that range. It’s an Austin Nichols product. Enjoy!

  45. Bill Walsh says:

    I received a gift of Sazerac 18 year old part of the Antique collection from Buffalo Trace. Great depths of flavor and aroma. I also received Jack Daniels Silver as a gift and man is that good. If they sold that in the USA, I would be happy. Elmer T Lee single barrel is quite tasty as well. I just visited Buffalo Trace for the first time and enjoyed the visit and learned a lot from what was said and not said. I also just picked some Pogue but haven’t tried it yet. Looking forward to seeing you again soon. I actually watch and try to drink the same bourbon to see if we agree.

  46. jim says:

    Jason,

    Have you had a chance to try Wylie Howell yet? Hard to believe it is 120 proof when sipping this drink.

    http://www.wyliehowell.com/home

  47. Jim, I have not. I will look into this one. Thanks for sharing! I saw it 2 weeks ago in CA, but just couldn’t pull the trigger.

  48. Wes says:

    I appreciate your reviews highlighting excellent bargains. I recently purchased a bottle of the Costco house brand “Kirkland” bourbon. Bottled by theClear Spring Distilling Company, Clement-Frankfort, KY. It is 103 proof and seems very balanced. At $19.95 for 1 liter I think it is a bargain.

  49. Wes, thanks for the comment! I can’t get the Costco bourbon where I live, but looking forward to trying it.

  50. Sofian says:

    Jason,

    Love your blog. I’ve been enjoying bourbon for about two years now, and your reviews have helped lead the way for me. I must ask — have you tried any of Tuthilltown’s Hudson Whiskeys? I would very much like to know your opinion on their offerings! Thanks for the words of wisdom.

    http://www.tuthilltown.com/products

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