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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

365 Comments

  1. Lorin, great question. Bourbon by law cannot have such additives and still be considered “bourbon”. It’s darker than most scotch whiskey because Bourbon uses new (never used) charred oak barrels. Scotch whiskeys is many times aged in refilled bourbon and/or sherry barrels. This is the biggest reason for the color difference. But you can drink bourbon with confidence – no additives. Cheers!

  2. Jason,
    Great job with the Sour Mash Manifesto site. I have learned a lot about Bourbon and discovered several new favorites.

    One that you have not reviewed is “Ridgemont Reserve 1792″. Do youself a favor and give it a try. I recently took a bottle to a gathering with friends who love bourbon and everyone loved it. Obviously my friends and I don’t have your expertise but we all were very impressed with 1792.
    Steve

  3. Steve thanks for the comment and for visiting. I will definitely get to 1792 soon. Thanks for the suggestion. Cheers!

  4. Hi Jason, I just had a chance to check out your ebsite. I really like it. I am not a pro blogger or anything like that. But I am a bourbon lover and felt like sharing my thoughts on line for friends and anyone who also enjoys bourbon. I hope it will bring some discussions with others about what they like and dislikes. I look forward to drinking down your list. CHEERS!!

  5. Bob says:

    Hey Jason, after searching high and low for Angel’s Envy Bourbon, New Jersey just started getting it so I thought I would give it a try. I have to say…I was somewhat disappointed. Although soft and palate coating, I thought it lacked power (86.6 proof) and strength and felt a little “wimpy” in the finish. Your reviews got me to try many more Bourbon’s than I would have normally tried thus, I have developed a great appreciation for the bigger styles of Bourbon that are on the market. Another “problem” I have with AE is the grapy fruitiness that is most evident in the finish. It almost tastes like I had some grape jelly before sipping on the whiskey. I would be happier if there was more power (possibly a higher proof?) and a more subtle infusion of the Port flavor. What do you think of my review?

  6. Raoul says:

    Try the Bowman Brothers products. Originally the VA Gentleman distillery, now owned by Sazerac. The single barrel is rather good,

  7. Raoul – they are very good. Looking forward to trying more.

  8. Bob, I think you are correct – if it tastes that way to you – you are not wrong at all. I have not had their second release, which I’m sure is what you were able to get a hold of. I’ll pick a bottle up and give it a try. My only complaint is the proof – at a higher proof the whiskey would be more balanced in my opinion. But I really enjoyed it a lot. This is just a great example of taste subjectivity. Like you though – I love bigger, more powerful pours.

  9. PAT says:

    Have you tried Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey?

  10. Sofian says:

    Hello again Jason — Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

    I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the small batch Noah’s Mill and Rowan’s Creek selections from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd…

  11. Sofian, I have a review of Noah’s Mill coming in a number of months. Stay tuned for that. Rowans Creek is excellent stuff – both are great. Appreciate the comments.

  12. Randy Greer says:

    Loved your review on Rittenhouse Rye. I stumbled upon it while trying to perfect the perect “Old Fashioned” Now I just have the Rittenhouse neat. Thanks Again.

  13. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for these reviews, both video and written.

    As a young (25 year old student) and new whisky drinker, I love all the options we have from bourbons to ryes and of course the whiskies from the UK. However being in the province of Ontario, Canada, prices here are VERY high. I’m sure you’ve heard, we pay $55 for Evan Williams and about $40 for Buffalo trace.

    Thanks for these reviews that help us save money!

    - Chris

  14. Chris – thanks for the comment!

  15. Hi there – hey, I’m in the Napa Valley, of all places, and despite that have retouched my American roots in Bourbon. That, after being is Scotchland due to some time at school in St. Andrews. I’m glad to back into my own land, and I wanted to drop a note saying how much I enjoy your reviews. Positive feedback is good – great job, hope to get out your way, hopefully for a Thanksgiving, soon!

    Rick Rybicki

  16. Kevin Matz says:

    Jason,

    Just found your website and thoroughly enjoying it. Learning a ton.
    In fact, just bought a bottle of Bookers and loving it One question if I might – when out, a Manhattan is my drink of choice and wonder what your suggestion would be for the a good bourbon or rye for the drink.

    Thanks

    Kevin

  17. Alec says:

    Hi Jason,

    I go to college in iowa and I recently came across a 100% rye from a local distillery. My previous experience with ryes have been sazerac(6), russells, rittenhouse, (r)1, bulleit, and templeton all of which i thought were really good. This micro distillery’s rye smelled and tasted like sewage water. Is this the type of experience which kept rye in decline for so long after prohibition?

    Alec

  18. Kevin, thanks for visiting. I appreciate it. I am a BIG BIG rye guy for Manhattans. I would suggest Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond 100 Proof as my go to Manhattan Juice. Wild Turkey 101 Rye, which I just reviewed was absolutely made for a Manhattan – bright, spicy, and the the sweetness from the vermouth will actually enhance the total product. Both of these whiskeys are a fantastic price as well. One quick note: I prefer higher strength whiskeys in my cocktails. I enjoy the flavors from the various components, but I still like to know I’m drinking whiskey.

    Cheers!!!

  19. Rick thanks for the comment man. I appreciate it. Welcome back to American Whiskey. Enjoy!

  20. Alec says:

    Hi Jason,

    I case you haven’t heard, there’s a new Knob Creek made with rye out. The website says it’s only available in certain areas for now but it goes national in July. From what I’ve heard it’s gotten pretty good reviews.
    Also, have you tried crown royal black? It is one of the only canadian whisky which has characteristics of bourbon from what I’ve tried.

    Alec

    P.S. I have immensely enjoyed your reviews and professional method of tasting.

  21. Alec, I have definitely heard and look forward to trying it soon. CR Black is not one I’ve had yet, but I too have heard good things.

  22. Brian says:

    Good morning Jason – just a quick note to tell you that Ive been turning a few folks on to the St George single malt (Lot 11) – a big hit with everyone who tries it. Though I enjoy it (a lot), I may stick to the Scottish whiskies just because of the price and the many I have NOT tried yet.

    On another note, I tried a bottle of the “Bastille 1789″ yesterday. Its a French whisky (yes, with a “y”), and it was on sale – so I figured what the hell. I wasnt terribly impressed and guess I will have to “suffer (cough-cough) through the bottle. I found the nose was a bit like sherry/port wine, and it had a cherry/apricot taste. Kind of brandyish. A bit too fruity for me – like thin cough syrup. Guess it would be best as a dessert whisky. Not sure if youve had any – I know you havent reviewed it.

    Thanks again for all your “hard” work…heh-heh.

  23. Brian, thanks for the note. I was given a bottle of the Bastille for Thanksgiving. Agree on your thoughts – very fruit forward and cognac-like. I need to go down and dust it off and have a glass.

  24. Alec says:

    Hi Jason,

    Any chance you might compare wild turkey rye with russells reserve rye 6? If not, how would you rate russells reserve rye?

    Alec

  25. Alec, great suggestion. I hope to get to the Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 soon. Cheers!

  26. Brian says:

    Jason .. love all the reviewas and time and effort you put into them. Maybe this has been asked before but any thoughts on creating an iPhone App on bourbon?

  27. Brian, it’s on the horizon – how far on the horizon I cannot say, but something I’d like to accelerate soon.

  28. Kevin says:

    Well, I’ll toss another log on the pile of bourbons to burn. Have you given Ancient Ancient Age a try? Mind you, not the Ancient Age, but both Ancients. Only 10 year bourbon I’ve ever seen come out of a plastic handle, and a steal at the price (something like $15 a fifth).

  29. Alec says:

    Hi Jason,

    I decided to pick up a bottle of bulleit bourbon today (for the first time). On the nose I noticed paint varnish and the taste was somewhat chemical. Have you had this experience with bulleit bourbon? If not, let me know so that I can contact the distiller and hopefully get some reimbursement.

    Thanks,

    Alec

  30. Kevin, thanks for the suggestion!

  31. Rick J says:

    Jason,
    I just picked up a bottle of the 15 Yr PVW Spring release and found something which is puzzling. The bottle code stamped near the bottom is B1202409:35M on one side and B1202410:00M on the other. Going with the key described on your site, besides having two different bottling times, the year code of 24 makes no sense. I wonder if something has changed at BT with the number sequences?

  32. Rick looks to me like it’s bottles on the “B” line in “2012″ on the 24th day. THey must have started the bottling at 9:35am, stopped, then finished 10:00am.

  33. Doug A. says:

    A friend recently recommended Jefferson Reserve. A little research looks like it is bottled by Kentucky Burbon Distillers for Jefferson Reserve. It came highly recommended…on the level of Pappy VanWinkle 15. Hum…find that hard to believe but I am up for a new $50.00 bourbon in that range as Pappy has been so hard to find this year. Any thoughts?

  34. Mark says:

    Hi Jason, came across your site by accident, but glad I found you.
    Your depth of knowledge, experience, and your excellent videos and reviews have turned me on to many wonderful bourbons.

    Just out of curiosity, are you considering doing any reviews on Scotch whisky’s? I enjoy American bourbons tremendously, but also enjoy Scotch whisky, although my experience with single malts is limited.

    In any event, I enjoy your reviews and wish you the best.

    Best regards,

    Mark

  35. Alec says:

    Have you tried evan williams single barrel 2002? how does it compare to 2000 and 2001?

  36. Doug A says:

    On Kentucky Derby Day this year, I had the good fortune to spend it with good friends and a bottle of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond bourbon which was distilled in 1959 and bottled in 1965 in a gallon decanter by the Stizel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Definitely a “wheater” but oh wow….that is as close as you can get to the Pappy VanWinkle. As a matter of fact, Pappy was probably there at the time. An epic bourbon for sure. We have enough for a couple of future Derby’s, then I will cry when it is gone. As for this year’s Derby winner….”I Will Have Another “

  37. Doug – sounds wonderful man. I am glad you enjoyed it!!!

  38. ALec – just got a bottle this past weekend. First sip in and will have some thoughts on the site very soon!

  39. Mark I may get to some Scotch reviews from time to time, but my focus is on American Whiskey. I consider myself a bit of a specialist there. They are both very very different. Cheer!

  40. Doug A says:

    Jason, had some Old Fitzgerald 12 the other night, seems like a wheated bourbon, pretty good. Might be a substitute for Old Rip VanVinkle and Pappy when none is to be found. On my scale I would rate it just under 4 Roses Single Barrel, as it is far more complex. Do you have any thoughts on OF 12?

  41. Doug, I have a review of Old Fitz 12 in the queue. Stay tuned!

  42. Doug A says:

    Jason a friend recommended Jefferson Reserve. I will be trying it this weekend. Any thoughts about Jefferson Reserve? Apparently about a 15 year old bourbon bottled by Kentucky Distellers for Jefferson Reservie.

  43. Jeffitaph says:

    Thanks for doing this blog, Jason. I’m excited to see your reviews of Old Fitz 12 and Rowan Creek…2 bottles that I just acquired, but haven’t yet cracked open…

    I very much enjoy how thoughtful your reviews are, keep it up!!

  44. Brian says:

    Jason – went on a shipping trip to Delaware where I found a bottle of Dry Fly Washington Wheat whiskey (among other things). It was long trip home to PA while I was thinking about tasting it. Not sure if youve had any – I thought it tasted very similar to Bernheim’s with a bit less body and more harsh. Not as complex a taste to me. Smooths out with a drop of water. Im not sure if thats because it may be “younger” or if the mashbill has less or more barley, etc. It was tasty, but at $50, Id prefer the Bernheim. I look forward to a pros (no – thats not a typo!) review.

  45. Jeff Walton says:

    Jason,

    I am assuming your contributions to the book “1001 Whiskies” is noted by JP at the bottom of the review?

    If so, where did you try the Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey? I live in Nashville and I don’t think its available in TN.

  46. Kyle says:

    Jason. Just found the site and really enjoy it. My question is about the smaller craft whiskers not produced by some of the “big boys”. How regional are these in terms of distribution? For instance I just picked up a bottle of Balcones Rumble (not great, IMHO) here in Texas and even though it’s produced less than 2 hours away, I could only find it in one liquor store in Dallas. I would like to try some of these other craft whiskeys I’ve heard mentioned on the site but am wondering what is the best way to get them? Simply ask my local liquor store?

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  47. Kyle – all great questions. I get these from local shops in my area in Franklin, TN, but also samples from the distilleries. First you can look online at places like K&L Wine and Spirits, Drink Up New York, and Liquor Barn amongst others. But your last line was about dead on. Ask your local liquor store as well. That’s a great place to start. They can check with the distributors in the area and get you a bottle if they have it.

  48. Jeff, that is correct. I got a sample of Charbay from the distillery. Glad to see a local Nashvillian commenting on the site!

  49. Brian – I’ve not had this one. Couldn’t get a hold of it, but saw some on the shelf recently. I’ll have to give it a look!

  50. Jeffitaph – thanks for visiting and commenting. I greatly appreciate it.

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