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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

383 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. John says:

    Jason, Where have you been? All of these new releases and no guidance from you. How about Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Wild Turkey Forgiven, Stagg Jr., and the Antique Collection? I like your reviews and look forward to see more soon.

    John from Massachusetts

  27. cristian klemens says:

    hi Jason,

    i love your reviews, its a shame we don’t see you as often reviewing stuff….
    i have a question for you…actually two….
    what would your rating for Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2012 be?
    if i have to choose between Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2013 (9.5 ) and Jefferson’s 18yo Presidential Select (9.2) as a collectible value, which one should i choose?

    thanks…and best wishes
    cristian

  28. Elliot says:

    Jason,

    I am a relatively new whiskey drinker… and also relatively new father. One thing that struck me as incredibly cool about bourbon is its theoretical infinite life (left unopened).

    I had visions of buying a single high quality bottle to celebrate each major event in my son’s life… eventually turning the bottle over to my son once he turns 21. (How cool would it be for the same exact bottle with the same exact flavor profile be used to mark my son’s birth, graduation, wedding, first job, his kid’s birth… potentially reaching across 3 generations or more???)

    To ensure each drink tasted exactly the same (from today to 100 years from now)… I was hoping to break down the bottle into 15 individual 50mL bottles.

    To the best of my knowledge… it does not appear that there is anything like this on the market. As such, I just documented the idea on Quirky yesterday (a crowd sourced invention website). Here is a link to my post (http://www.quirky.com/invent/702532/action/vote/query/sort=ending_soon&categories=all ) … and also a great Inc article story on this crowd sourcing website should you pick up my story (http://www.inc.com/magazine/201310/josh-dean/is-quirky-the-worlds-most-creative-manufacturer.html).

    I am sharing the idea with you in case you feel it is worthy of a blog post. Ideas/thoughts include… is heirloom packaging as I have discussed (and included a photo summarizing my idea more completely) a noble idea within the bourbon community? Will it/would it expand the mass market appeal and awareness of premium whiskey… or will/would it cause a drop in consumption? My initial impression is that traditional whiskey brands would resist the trend (as they would prefer a new bottle be purchased and consumed per occasion, rather than one special bottle being spread across events)… but this resistance could be overcome if the concept attracted mass appeal. What if a premium bottle of whiskey and heirloom packaging became a must have baby shower gift for every expectant father? Would son’s then grow up with a much larger appreciation for fine bourbon… and turn out becoming much bigger consumers a generation from now than they otherwise would have been?

    Recap: Again, I am a newbie to the whiskey world… so if this is an old story that has already been discussed before, please feel free to dismiss… but, if not… why isn’t it being discussed? To my knowledge, whiskey (and a few other fine base liquors) is the only consumable product that does not age and has the power to connect generations. How cool!

    Best regards,
    Elliot

  29. Doug says:

    Jason,

    An interesting bourbon to add to your list. Johnnie Drum 101 Private Stock. This is an unusual bourbon with a taste that has baffled me for over a year. It has a flavor or roasted sunflower seeds in addition to the barrel char, wood etc. Very unique. Bottled by KBD.

  30. Joel says:

    Jason,

    Always enjoy reading your reviews. They have inspired me to try several bourbons that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Hopefully more reviews will come soon!!

  31. Mike says:

    Hi Jason,
    LOVED the reviews! Im just getting in to bourbon. I have to ask: How does one detect all the “notes” in a bourbon? I don’t understand how one can taste the vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, orange, leather, tobacco, ect. I can tell that some alcohols are more interesting and offer a “richer” taste compared to others. Like comparing gourmet Swiss chocolate with a generic Hershey bar. One is just more satisfying and unique while the other is boring and simple. But I can never detect “why” some bourbons are different
    Thanks

  32. Mike, try some side by side and the differences will emerge easier.

  33. Cristian, I’d ped the BDay 2012 in the low 8′s. Wasn’t as good as 2013.

  34. John, I’ve just been swamped my man. But also I don’t know that I’ll be able to get all of these unfortunately. Just tough to locate, but I’m working on all of the antique collection. Cheers.

  35. Brian says:

    Jason – while on our annual “long ride” with a group of antique British motorcycle riders I bandy about with, I convinced the group to stop into the Copper Fox distillery in Sperryville VA. We were heading from PA to around Asheville – and they didnt need much arm twisting. I had sampled the Wasmunds single malt a year or so ago – its hard to find here in PA – and really enjoyed it, so a visit to the distillery seemed in order. They offer a “tour” and nosings – no tastings – this is a small family operation. Heck, they even use the PTO of a John Deere to run their grain hammermill !! We all bought some of their unique single malt whiskey (barley – not corn! and the use of fruitwoods and hardwoods to smoke their own malt)) and their Rye (a hefty 67% rye and 33% barley according to the mashbill). They also “age” their barrels using a heat process. On the way out, “Malt Mom” (the founder’s mother) gave us each a hug after ringing up our purchases! Well worth the visit.

    I recommend this tasty whiskey – and their Rye – and look forward to YOUR opinion.

  36. greg t says:

    Hi Jason,

    I have really appreciated your whiskey reviews both written and video. I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing some of these new whiskeys coming out of the western US. I live wyoming and have been noticing these distilleries popping up : Roughstock (bozeman, MT), Wyoming whiskey (wyoming), WIllies Distillery (Ennis, MT). I would be interested to see your reaction to some of these new small companies from the west. Thnks.

  37. Todd says:

    Always enjoy the reviews Jason

  38. me says:

    Check your WordPress version and site code. Someone inserted a JavaScript virus – JS:HideMe-J [Trj]

    http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/results/sourmashmanifesto.com/

  39. Doug A. says:

    Wild Turkey Forgiven…..mistake or marketing genius? I picked up a bottle for about $49.00 her in Louisville at Liquor Barn. I was pleasantly surprised. High is rye but the flavor of the bourbon shines through. Leaves your taste buds says more! A fun taste.

  40. Gavin Ballas says:

    Jason,

    I’m looking to get a gift for a business colleague. He likes makers mark and I’d like to get a premium or super premium bourbon with similar flavor profile.

    Anything you recommend? Budget is not a concern.

    Gavin

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  42. Chris Regan says:

    Jason,

    Really enjoy you videos and insight. I came across a new product (at least new to my area in MD, and/or new to me). I was very impressed with Breckenridge Bourbon. https://www.breckenridgedistillery.com/hooch/products/
    Only 2-3 yrs old but in my mind wise beyond it years. I’d be interested to see if you heard of it, tried it and would ve interested in reviewing it on YouTube. Thanks

    Chris Regan

  43. Phillip says:

    Hey Jason,

    Local Nasvillian here. I was pleasantly surprised to see your website referenced on a bourbon sample menu at a local distillery on my latest trip to Park City, Utah. High West distillery produces some great juice. The Bourye is phenomenal along with the Rendezvous Rye. Not sure if you knew you were referenced on the menu so I just wanted to let you know, very cool to see so many miles away.

  44. Just wondering if this blog is now retired.

  45. Chris Regan says:

    Saw you quoted on you Smooth Ambler Old Scout Review

    http://www.smoothambler.com/category/products/

  46. Scott T. says:

    I’ve only recently begun enjoying bourbon, but have been reading and watching your reviews quite a bit. My first bottle was Buffalo Trace, followed by Evan Williams white label on your recommendation (really enjoying that one), and I’m now working on a bottle of Jim Beam Black, which I think is really good. At some point, would you consider reviewing this one? I’m curious to know how you’d rate it.

  47. matt says:

    Jason glad your back. You are my goto bourbon guy and ralfy is my single malt guy. Love your reviews. My wife laughs as I pour a glass and pull up your video of what I’m drinking. And will watch the same one often.

    One question: what would you say is the boldest, baddest spiciest rye on the market? (Reasonably readily available)

    I have tried so many Ryes and always come back to Willet family estate. So rich and bold. Would love to hear your thoughts and doesn’t necessarily have to be one of your highest rated rye.

  48. Justin says:

    Hi,
    I just started drinking whiskey and bourbon. I really enjoy your reviews as they point me in the right direction to find whiskies I may like.
    Thanks

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