David Schmier has been a very busy man. After working with Bardstown Barrel Selections and launching Redemption Rye in 2010, Schmier created Proof and Wood Ventures; an independent bottling and investment group. In 2017 (with a little help from the distillers at MGP), he launched Deadwood Bourbon—“America’s table whiskey,” as he describes it.
Named for the town where Wild Bill Hickok played his very last game of poker, the Deadwood Tumblin’ Dice 4 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with a heavy rye mashbill consisting of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley. Aged 4 years in new charred American Oak barrels, it has a deep, amber-rich hue. It is produced only in small batches, distilled by MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky. Fans of bottled-in-bond whiskies will appreciate the 100 proof, 50% ABV.
In the glass, the whiskey reflects a pleasant, light honey tint. On the nose, aromas of vanilla, ripe banana, caramel, and toasted coconut come forward. This is a fine sipping whiskey that highlights the sweet notes when tasted neat. The palate showcases a characteristic (and instantly familiar) rye dryness, yielding to warm, apple pie spice. This is well-balanced bourbon that settles in at mid-palate with a supple viscosity and a proof-driven zing. For fun, I added a few drops of water and noticed that the nose became a little sweeter, highlighting the vanilla and brûlée notes and softening the cereal finish.
“Deadwood Tumblin’ Dice is an everyday drinking whiskey,” Schmier suggests. Enjoyed neat or as the base spirit for your favorite whiskey cocktail, the retail of $45 per 750 ml. represents an excellent value at the 100 proof release of this expression.