Backbone Bourbon Co | MGP Ingredients | NDPs | Review

Every Backbone Bourbon Reviewed [2021 Guide]

Last updated Apr 2, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Disclaimer: The whiskey reviewed was furnished for free courtesy of the spirit distiller. The distillery did not pay us for this review. This review is our honest and unbiased opinion based soley on how the spirit tasted.

Bill Kennedy & Nolan Smith founded Backbone Bourbon Co. in 2014 as a Non-Distilling Producers (NDP). NDPs buy barrels from distilleries and label them under their own brands. According to their team, they source whiskeys that are bold, high quality, good value, and high proof — all propositions I can get behind. The whiskey we reviewed below fit the bill. The name Backbond Bourbon Co. came about as one supplier backed out of a deal to sell them whiskey. They started looking for distillers with more “backbone.”

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Backbone Bourbon Decade Down Uncut Review

Backbone Bourbon Decade Down Uncut Review

Backbone Bourbon Decade Down Uncut
Decade Down UncutDetails
In the Bottle110 Proof
ABV55%
MashbillUnknown
Distilled and AgedLawrenceburg, In
AgeNAS
StyleSmall Batch, Uncut
Fair Price$70 to $90
ReleasedDec 2020
CompanyBackbone Bourbon Co.
845 S. Vineyard Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
ProsFlavor Bomb
ConsWant More of Everything
RatingGold 93.4 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy It Now

Nose – 93 out of 100 Points

Stewed dark red fruits. The aromas are cooked down and concentrated. Subtle vanilla, floral honey, and cream cheese. Undertones of barrel char. The nose on Decade Down hits the sweet spot for me.

Taste – 94 out of 100 Points

First off the bourbon is producing thick oily ribbons on my Glencairn. Here’s to a full and rich mouthfeel. Decade Down doesn’t disappoint. It coats the palate. Those rich, concentrated red fruit flavors pop on the front of the palate. Toasted oak, nutmeg, and white pepper counterbalance the sweeter notes mid-palate then arrive sweet and spicy red hots blooming back of the palate. The palate builds on the already delicious aromas.

Finish – 94 out of 100 Points

Medium to long finish. The 110 proof is perfect. The finish lingers while still showing off those complex flavors from the nose and palate. Sweet fruit gives way to baking spice and oak and ends with a nice Szechuan tingly spice.

Complexity – 93 out of 100 Points

Solid complexity, consistent drinking experience, and great flavors. I’d say it’s Stagg Jr and Four Roses OESF love child

Value – 93 out of 100 Points

Decade Down should run you $70 to $80, and it’s well worth it.

Verdict – Gold 93.4 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Gold Medal

Backbone Bourbon Uncut Review

Backbone Bourbon Uncut Review

Backbone Bourbon Uncut
Backbone Bourbon UncutDetails
In the Bottle115 Proof
ABV57.5%
MashbillCorn 75%, Rye 21% & Malted Barley 4%
Distilled and AgedLawrenceburg, In
Age5 to 6YO
StyleSmall Batch 10 x 53 Gallon Barrels
Uncut & Minimal Filtration
Fair Price$60 to $75
Released2010
CompanyBackbone Bourbon Co.
845 S. Vineyard Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
ProsSimple, Bold Flavors That Are Perfectly Balanced
ConsMore Sweetness on the Finish
RatingSilver 89.6 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy It Now

Nose – 90 out of 100 Points

Backbone Bourbon Uncut bloomed the minute the cork popped. I love when that happens. The first flavor that came to mind was a tart caramel apple. I also get a nice bit of baking spice. It’s simple but perfectly balanced.

Taste – 91 out of 100 Points

The palate mimics the aromas but with more depth and complexity. I get more rich caramel and dark fruit just a bit of oak on the middle palate followed by Szechuan peppercorn that tingled my tongue.

Finish – 88 out of 100 Points

The finish is long. That Szechuan sticks with you. Your throat will tingle and my entire palate feels warm. I also get a bit of dry oak. The heat stamps down any sweet notes that try to rear their head.

Complexity – 89 out of 100 Points

The palate offered the best complexity. The addition of the pepper rounded out the sweet fruit and caramel.

Value – 90 out of 100 Points

Backbone Bourbon Uncut is going for between $45 to $60 — a fair price for a delicious uncut bourbon.

Verdict – Silver 89.6 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Silver Medal

Backbone Bourbon Prime Review

Backbone Bourbon Prime Blended Bourbon Whiskey Review

Backbone Bourbon Prime
Backbone Bourbon PrimeDetails
In the Bottle104 Proof
ABV52%
MashbillBlend of Straight Bourbon 3, 4, and 5YO, Straight Rye 24 to 36MOS, Light Whiskey 14YO, Wheat Whiskey 9 to 24MOS
Distilled and AgedLawrenceburg, In
AgeNAS
StyleBlended
Fair Price$35 to $45
ProsGreat Sipping Whiskey
ConsMore Complexity and Punch
RatingSilver 87.4 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy It Now

Nose – 87 out of 100 Points

The nose is understated with subtle pear and cinnamon. Followed by light brown sugar and toasted oak.

Taste – 89 out of 100 Points

The front of the palate is refreshing. A quick pop of peach yogurt with hints of vanilla. But the prominent note is a nice toasted oak. Underpinning that toasted oak is black peppercorn and Mexican spiced dark chocolate (just slightly sweetened). It reminds of an imperial stout just a bit but with more fruit and oak than you’d find in a beer. It’s more of a déjà vu than a prominent flavor. It’s an interesting palate.

Finish – 87 out of 100 Points

The finish is short to medium. Light caramel followed by black pepper and more of the spiced dark chocolate.

Complexity – 87 out of 100 Points

The most complex part of the drinking experience was the palate followed by the finish and nose. Solid performance.

Value – 87 out of 100 Points

Backbone Bourbon Prime is a solid everyday bourbon at $35. The drinking experience is consistent from nose to finish with interesting flavors and good depth.

Verdict – Silver 87.4 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Silver Medal

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Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is a storyteller who loves bourbon. He has been drinking and studying whiskey for over 10 years. He has also been featured on sites like Bourbon Sippers, Explore Whiskey, and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys.
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