Sour Mash Manifesto

Bourbon and American Whiskey

About Jason

My name is Jason Pyle and I’m an American Whiskey enthusiast. I started Sour Mash Manifesto to help educate readers on American Whiskey.

Like most of you visiting this website, I have an immense passion for whiskey.  My interests in bourbon, rye, and other American Whiskeys began almost 20 or so years ago.  I developed and pursued the interest further – nosing, tasting, sipping, noting, reading, learning, and most importantly ENJOYING anything I could get my hands on.  It was a personal education of sorts and one that I am no less passionate about today.

Sour Mash Manifesto is not active with content any longer, but hopefully you will still find articles, reviews, and stories within that are relevant to you.

Thank you for visiting, and Drink your Whiskey!

Jason Pyle
Sour Mash Manifesto
Phone: 615-406-6026


  1. Jason,
    I really enjoy your website and find your reviews to be a helpful guide. While your obvious focus on American spirits is rightfully bourbon, I do appreciate when you stray into other American spirits such as straight rye, straight wheat and American malt whiskeys. However, one American spirit of note that you have neglected to a large extent is straight corn whiskey. I know that in modern times, there are not a lot of straight corn whiskeys out there, but I think that it is an important part of the history of American whiskey, and of the evolution of bourbon in particular. Heaven Hill makes what I think is an excellent example of straight corn whiskey called Mellow Corn. I picked up a 750ml bottle out of curiosity ($9.29!) and now feel I have a much better understanding as to why George Dickel has such a unique flavor and color profile amongst bourbons. Might we get a review or two of this important part of American whiskey heritage?

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.

  5. Patrick Farrell

    March 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    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 ,

  6. 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,

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. Jason–

    Have you tried Evan Williams 1783 ?

    Hoping you will post review.

    Also interested to know Evan Williams mashbill.

    Jim Listerman
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  10. 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

  11. 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.


  12. Have you used The Neat Glass ( Any thoughts on it and how it compares to the other glassware that you’ve previously blogged about?

  13. 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'.

  14. @ 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

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

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.)

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

  23. 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?

  24. 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!

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

  26. 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

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


  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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

  31. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m no longer certain whether
    or not this submit is written by him as nobody else realize such distinctive approximately my difficulty.

    You’re wonderful! Thank you!

  32. I have only recently “converted” to bourbon, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this site. It has been my go-to for getting educated on what I should be exploring. I especially appreciate your tasting notes; they are always spot on, and have helped my quickly learn what my own pallette likes best. I found your blog because of critic’s reviews that were posted on the Barrelled app.

  33. Jason,
    Thanks for the videos, very informative. I have a quick question for you. I started into bourbon a few months ago, and my favorites are Wild Turkey 101, Rare Breed, Beam Single Barrel. I tried Knob Creek at a bar twice in the past two weeks, one on rocks, and one neat. Both occasions it tasted flat, dry, and like mothballs. Hopefully that’s not the flavor, maybe just a bottle gone bad?
    Oshkosh, WI

  34. Everything OK Jason? It’s been awhile.

  35. Alan P. Williams

    May 25, 2015 at 10:12 PM


    I’d like to inquire if it’s possible to purchase advertising space on

    If there is any space available please let me know and we could discuss further details.

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  36. Dean Di Vella

    June 14, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    Hi Jason,
    I am an English teacher living in Japan and often check out your youtube postings to reference tasting notes on new boubons that I find in my local liquor stores. Great stuff and really helpful especially when so far removed from the US! Thank you. Here in Japan there are a lot of rare bourbons that are imported in limited quantities, but because scotch whiskey is more highly regarded they go unsold and in general the public will see cheaper bottles and go for the better prices. I came across 2 bottles of the Woodford Reserve Masters series (a Sweet Mash and a Sonoma-Cutrer) just wanted to know your thoughts on if they are a good purchase at around $170.00 a piece? Also, I haven’t been able to find much info on a bottle of Old St. Nick bourbon. The one online reference I can find said it is a bourbon bottled exclusively for the Japanese market. I think there are 3 bottlings a 10, 12 and 15 year old (not sure though). Any idea if this bourbon is worth a try? Thanks for any help you can give me and again I do appreciate your time and efforts in sharing all your reviews with the world!

  37. Hey Jason,
    Just a quick follow up to my last post. Went to the local liquor store here in Kagoshima, Japan and asked if they had any hidden older vintages of bourbon in the back, not out on the sales shelves. After checking for a few minutes the store clerk cme out with 2 bottles. A bottle of 2012 Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel ($160.00) and an Evan Williams 23 ($250,00). Just goes to show you it never hurts to ask! It kinda felt like rubbing a magic Genie Lamp and making a wish. I went with the Roses!


    June 20, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    I just got 6 – 750 ml bottles of AAA 86PROOF If your interested in it contact me back and we will see what we can do I’ve never tried it but couldn’t pass up the price I got it for.


    June 21, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    I just recently found 6 750 ml bottles of the AAA 10 yr 86 proof the bottles are dusty and the labels are a little ruff the seals have deteriorated but the seals are secure. looking to trade or sell them if anyone is interested. I don’t drink Bourbon

  40. Jim Davis (Storcke)

    June 25, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    Two reports: First, my brother in Lexington brought me two bottles of Heaven Hill Old Style 6 year old BiB to a family reunion (at my request), and it is great. First of all, it costs $9.29 at Kroger, and based on everything I had read about it, I expected something special, and it definitely is. I compare the flavor profile to something between Weller 12-year (it is not wheated) and Old Forester Signature, which I love. It has a refined flavor and smooth mouth feel which I compare favorably to
    Weller12, and I rank it equal to or just above EWBiB. It just might beat out Larceny as my favorite everyday bourbon.
    Speaking of Larceny, I recently received a gift of the newest version. Because I had stocked up on the original release (remember the rebate?), this is the first time I have tasted a later release. I remember that in your original review you said that the harsh oak down the center of the tongue was something that HH would possibly eliminate in future bottlings. Well, they did, but in the process, they have eliminated the rich, fruity flavors that made it my absolute favorite bourbon. I am not crazy about the latest release, and I have informed HH (Parker Beam?) of this. I did note that a 50-50 “mingling” of old and new Larceny was great, and urged them (him?) to strive for that in future bottlings.

  41. if you never had wt rare breed or did a tour of wt facility the finish of the rare breed correlates to the smell of the angels share. I can only verify the validity of this statment at 112 proof @ ~ 90F.
    God Bless KY.

  42. Found an unopened bottle of 1974 Rebel Yell southern Sour Mash 6 year old while cleaning a relatives work shop. Under the year is the code of F 07 S 06 090. The cap seal is stamped A OF 086786. Have any interesting info or knowledge on this?

  43. Jason- where ever you are, hope the mash lingers like the evening fresh over the appalachians… you and yours are sipping caramel notes and rough cinnamon as the day eases down…. miss you man… all the best… dave

  44. Was searching the web for bourbon reviews when I came to your site. I did laugh when I saw we share our name. Great site, by the way.

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  47. Hey Jason,

    We just interviewed Clay Risen, author of “American Whiskey, Bourbon, & Rye” on our podcast. Thought you may enjoy.


  48. Hi Jason,

    I just stumbled (via DuckDuckGo) onto your blog. Your diligence, knowledge, and how you drill down into production processes are a pleasure to read. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to experience your thoughts and insights, I look forward to visiting here more.

    Happy New Year!


  49. Hi Jason

    My dad and I love your videos. Could you tell us where you rate the 2006 vintage Evan Williams Single Barrel vs the other years? Thank you so much.

  50. Looks like Jason stopped drinkin’ & on the wagon… Haven’t seen any post lately.

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