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About Jason

My name is Jason Pyle and I’m an American Whiskey enthusiast. I started Sour Mash Manifesto to help educate people on one of America’s National treasures – whiskey. 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 very busy at home.

How did I first get into whiskey? 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 or Tennessee Whiskey with a splash of 7-up or Ginger Ale.

Mamaw had many other “uses” for whiskey. For example, her “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. To this day when I have a cough I whip up a batch of Mamaw’s homemade ‘tussin.

Over a decade ago a very good friend of mine urged me to try some Bourbon’s that he enjoyed. A Friday night liquor store run opened me up to the world of American Whiskey. I’ve been hooked since. As a self-described foodie with a passion for cooking, whiskey resonated with me. My memory bank of flavors as a result of my cooking experience made describing whiskeys a very natural thing. Eventually I felt the need to do something with that, and Sour Mash Manifesto is the result.

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

329 Comments

  1. Neal Flum says:

    Dear Jason,

    I have been working on my Bourbon collecting and drinking as a hobby for the past three years. I rely greatly on your website as guide for my purchases. This past January I was in Miami for the BCS National Championship game. I work with the University of Alabama marching band. While there I purchased a bottle of 12-year old, single barrel, Ezra Brooks. Do you have an opinion on that Bourbon? To me, it has a strong burn and rough edge to the taste. Not a refined taste like the Rowan Creek and Noah’s Mill I own. I’d like your opinion. Also, I am teaching a drum corps which rehearses in Franklin, TN. Would you be so kind as to recommend one or two liquor stores that have an excellent selection and include some of the better Bourbons and Rye Whiskeys. My rye collection currently is comprised of: Sazarac 6-year old, Whistle Pig, High West Rendezvous Rye, and Russell’s Reserve 6-year old. I enjoy your website. I appreciate the opportunity to email you. take care, Neal

  2. Allen says:

    The SMM is great! Do you plan on reviewing the new bourbon from your area called Belle Meade?

  3. Ron says:

    Jason,
    I really appreciate the time you take with the reviews to educate us. I was wondering if you could write a bit about how once a bottle of fine bourbon is open, its perceived structure, ie. body, mid-palate, alcohol notes change over a few days. I have noticed this with a number of bottles to where they almost seem like something different on the third or fourth day. Also, I find that some bourbons benefit from a light chill but with no ice or dilution. Just a few minutes in the refrigerator. Body becomes fuller, alcohol in the nose is subdued and flavor profile come through clearer.

  4. Patrick Farrell says:

    Hello Jason,
    Living in Virginia ,I am bound to the state controlled liquor store and the state employees who have no product knowlede and have no incentive to gain knowledge because there is no place to go as a competant sales person. I as so very happy to have found your web site , to have found somebody who knows what the hell they are talking about. Our virginia state controlled liquor stores employees should all be working at McDonalds ,

  5. Robin Mills says:

    Hi,
    My husband Karl and several of his closest friends love nothing more than to sit back with each other, smoke a cigar, sip a bourbon and contemplate the Universe in such profound ways. (ex. do you think it’s going to rain today?) or watch a football game, but seriously, they get together to enjoy each other, compare how their cigars are, and when they are lucky enough, sip a nice bourbon, something unigue and talk about the smell, the first taste on the tongue, how smoothly the first sip goes down (or in some cases not smoothly) and linger in the after glow of the lingering taste elements. I just love these guys. They are all wonderful husbands and fathers and the best friends God could give you.
    I’d like to buy a couple of bottles on bourbon, but I haven’t had any luck finding any of the smaller, more unique brands anywhere near where I live (Andover, Sussex County, NJ)….We’re pretty rural, but the main highways are terribly crowded with people commuting toward NY City to work. Is there any way I can buy direct from you, or you can reccomend a site for me to purchase from…..One guy is having his birthday 3/7 and it would be awesome to give him a bottle of something wonderful (he will always open it and share immediately, like a little kid does)…..
    I appreciate your help.
    Thanks and best to you,
    Robin

  6. Robin – sounds like my kind of people! There are some tremendous bourbons out there – so so so many. Depending on your budget I will throw out a few that I feel certain you can find: $30-40 – Four Roses Single Barrel or Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel or W. L. Weller 12 Year, $40-50 – Blanton’s Single Barrel or Rock Hill Farm, $50+ Willett 8 Year or Jefferserson’s 18 Year.

    Cheers to you and thanks for commenting!

  7. Josh says:

    Hi Jason!
    Just tried a bourbon I’d never seen before, “Rowan’s Creek”, distilled in Bardstown, KY. I was very impressed. Curious if you have had it and your impressions. Would love to see a review!
    Cheers.

  8. Jim Listerman says:

    Jason–

    Have you tried Evan Williams 1783 ?

    Hoping you will post review.

    Also interested to know Evan Williams mashbill.

    Jim Listerman
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  9. ciao jason, your site has been extremely helpful in my quest to understand and appreciate bourbon. i’m a wine director who also overseas spirits and a bar as well.

    a friend forwarded me a whiskey tree. in it for most major brands a the distillery, mash bill, etc. are listed. looking at the various mash bills, on could categorize them as follows: normal, high corn, high rye and wheat. i’m trying to develop my palate and would like to make a rough generalization of the flavor markers one should look for for each mash bill type. can you point to any resource that would provide some help with this? or do you have any thoughts? cheers, eric

  10. Rick White says:

    Jason,
    I have been a big fan of SMM for a few years now and a Bourbon drinker for about 15 years. Living in Canada it is impossible to find a large assortment of Bourbons and rather expensive to pick up the ones we do have. I mostly bring back what I am “allowed” from trips down to the southern States.
    Among my current favorites are Woodford Reserve, Russel’s Reserve, Elijah Craig, Knob Creek, Bulleit and Buffalo Trace however I recently cracked open a bottle of Ezra Brooks that had been sitting in my bar for 11 years. I never paid it much attention, probably because it cost me 14 bucks and I figured it was going to be 14 bucks worth. I was quite surprised. I think this is a really great bourbon considering the price point. I can’t seem to find a review of EB done by you and am very curious to hear what you think.

    Regards,
    R

  11. Doc says:

    Have you used The Neat Glass (http://www.theneatglass.com/)? Any thoughts on it and how it compares to the other glassware that you’ve previously blogged about?

  12. Storcke says:

    Jason, I’m new to the whiskey game (<3 years) and I've come to rely on you to guide me in the direction of fine but inexpensive whiskeys. My comment is, now that I'm settling into a regular line-up of everyday pours, I'm finding that I lean heavily toward Heaven Hill products. My top seven includes Larceny, Evan Williams White Label (BIB), Evan Williams 1783, and now Mellow Corn. What's remarkable is that these whiskeys are all very different in every way. Add non-HH products Weller 12, Dickel 12, and Buffalo Trace, and I have a list I'll never get bored with, all of which are less than $18 per fifth when purchased by the handle. Of course I'm expecting this list to continually change, but I'm just sayin'.

  13. Spriggs says:

    @ Storcke…. whatever you do, don’t buy that first $50.00 bottle. I did about 7 years ago, and there ain’t no turnin’ back.

  14. David says:

    Jason,
    I love the blog. It is so great to have someone who is serious about this great American libation. Your review of Old Gran Dad 100 really made me consider giving it a second look. I also concur with you on Elmer T. Lee (maybe one of favorites of all time). I’m curious if you have heard about Speakeasy from Bardstown Club Distilling Co. I just got a bottle as the shop-keep told me it was a quick release so that they would not loss rights on the label. He mentioned that the mash bill is very high in corn. I find it pleasant and easy drinking. I very curious about Belle Meade. Are you considering reviewing that one? Keep up the excellent work.
    Best,
    David

  15. JC says:

    Jason-
    Love the reviews. Keep up the good work. I am currently on a Noah’s Mill and black maple hill kick. Wondering about a Rowans Creek review in the works for you- thanks!

  16. RjB says:

    Just stumbled upon this site after trying Elmer T. Lee over the weekend (and where has *that* been all my life…=) and doing some follow-up research and I’ve really enjoyed the half dozen reviews I’ve read so far. Can’t claim my palate is quite as refined as Jason’s, but I know what I like…and I’d like to suggest you try Corner Creek Reserve. It’s “lightly filtered” (and I’ve never seen that on a Kentucky bourbon label) and comes in what appears to be a chardonnay bottle…yeah, weird, eh?

  17. Sienna says:

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book-marked it for later!

  18. Reynaldo says:

    Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on
    other websites? I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you
    share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  19. GQuiz says:

    Hearing word about a Baby Stagg. What do you know?

  20. MrUpright says:

    Jason,
    I have been lurking here for a while and I just wanted to add my kudos to a wonderful site. I’m also a Tennessee boy (now living in Alabama) who picked up a taste of American whiskeys only in about the last decade. I have found a variety of bourbons I like and I love to compare my impressions with your ratings to help determine the next ones to try. (Now let’s hope Tennessee football becomes Tennessee football again. Living in Florida and Alabama for the last 13 years has been football hell.)

  21. James says:

    Jason – I miss your video reviews. Any chance you’ll be doing some more?

  22. Graham Sparkman says:

    Hi Jason, Whats going on with the Elmer T Lee line? My friends back in Central KY tell me that since his death, its disappearing off the store shelf’s at an alarming rate, thus becoming harder and harder to find (at least in KY). Is this just a spike in sales due to the timing of Mr. Lee’s death? What are B.T.’s plans for this line in the future?

  23. Graham, the folks at Buffalo Trace won’t end this one – it’s probably just because of Mr. Lee’s passing. Folks are spending time to revisit this great whiskey. Keep on the look for it. Cheers!

  24. MrUpright – thanks for the comment. I appreciate your commenting. Hang in there down on the football front!!!

  25. Jim says:

    Hello Jason,

    Looking to try some whiskeys that I have not had before. Was considering Elijah Craig 12, but the reviews seem to be all over the map from one of the best to harsh. Have even seen comments that it is inconsistent. Have you sampled it over a long enough period of time to comment? Thanks, Jim

  26. Kevin says:

    Jason,
    Great blog! Fantastic information. Hey, know where anyone can buy old scotch or other casks? Preferably in the States?
    Thanks mate!

    Slainte!

  27. Michael Young says:

    Jason, would love to know your thoughts on Wathen’s bourbon. This is a bourbon that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but is great.
    Love the site. Keep up the great work.

  28. Alex Le says:

    Big fan of your blog. I just did a private barreling of Four Roses barrel proof (OBSV 112proof) and SAOS (119 proof) private barrel program. I’d love to have you review them for me. Of course I’d pay for shipping and the bottles. Would you be interested?

  29. Good morning Jason from a cold and snow covered Knoxville. I am your friend Steve Nolan ‘ s neighbor.
    I love your blog and enjoy reading it whenever I can. I am not a great Bourbon drinker but have been known to partake of some of the more special ones.
    Your Blog inspired me to start one based around Single Malt Scotch Whisky and it is now up and running. Not very big yet but getting there, I am having to learn how to do the site as well as the content.
    I will put a link in my site to yours if you have no objections.
    Make sure you call on me next time you visit Steve, we can share a dram or two, Slainte

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