Craft Distilleries | Review

Every Wm. Tarr Whiskeys Reviewed (2021)

Jan 24, 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.

Old Wm. Tarr whiskey is a resurrected pre-prohibition brand. Originally founded as Ashland Distillery in 1865. It was the first registered distillery in Lexington, KY. That’s quite the feat. William Tarr was the head of Ashland Distillery by 1871 and Old Tarr and Ashland whiskeys were born (see a timeline of the Old Tarr brand in the video below). But they were short-lived as prohibition shuttered Ashland’s doors and the Old Tarr brand for nearly 100 years.

Lately, Lexington business people and bourbon aficionados decided to resurrect the brand. The team includes Jill Bakehorn, Wm. Tarr Distillery CEO, and Barry Brinegar, a local businessman and president of Wm. Tarr. They’ve sourced Kentucky straight rye whiskey and straight bourbon whiskey for their two releases.

Barry is proud of what they’ve accomplished so far, “Manchester Reserve and Inheritance are worthy of the brand. The quality of these products really is the essence of why Kentucky is a leader in the global production of bourbon.” I couldn’t agree more. The whiskey speaks for itself. The distillery is located in Lexington’s Distillery District and the historic Pepper Rickhouse.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Manchester Reserve 7 Year Blended Whiskey Review

Old Wm. Tarr Manchester Reserve 7YO

Old Wm. Tarr Manchester Reserve 7YO Blended Whiskey
Manchester Reserve 7YODetails
Mashbill51% Rye, 37% Corn, & 12% Malted Barley
75% Corn, 13% Rye, & 12% Malted Barley
In the Bottle114 Proof
ABV57% ABV
Age90% – 8YO Rye
10% – 7YO Bourbon
SourceKentucky Whiskey (Unknown)
Suggested MSRP$79.99
DistilleryOld Wm. Tarr Distillery
1170 Manchester St.
Lexington, KY 40508
ProsFull Flavored and Complex Nose
ConsPrice
RatingGold 93 out of 100 Points
InventoryIf the price makes you squeamish, try it a bar or find someone who will share a sample, but Manchester Reserve is a buy for me

Jill Bakehorn, Wm. Tarr Distillery CEO, describes their first release: “Our first release is an exceptional product, a 7-year Kentucky bourbon blended with an 8-year rye. I like drinking a dimensional bourbon. The rye comes in to elevate your tasting experience and the element of cherries adds a sweet finish. It’s perfect neat or straight, and I especially enjoy it over ice with a twist of orange as a simple cocktail.”

The original Ashland Distillery was located at Manchester Street, so Manchester Reserve is a homage to the original distillery and new beginnings.

Nose – 94 out of 100 Points

I nosed this, and let out an audible Woah. It’s rich. I’m getting caramel corn, stewed cherries and apples, horchata cinnamon, maple syrup, and delicate floral notes pop in and out. So many good flavors and they are all so crisp. The minute I started nosing I could pick them all out easily, but they were also playing nicely together.

Taste – 93 out of 100 Points

Beautiful crisp apples drizzled in light caramel and cinnamon butter with a building baking spice warmth. I also pick toasted walnuts and sugary charred oak.

Finish – 92 out of 100 Points

The finish lingers with horchata, sugary charred oak, caramel apple, rye spice, and floral notes.

Complexity – 94 out of 100 Points

Manchester Reserve is a blend of a 7 year Kentucky straight bourbon and an 8 year Kentucky straight rye. You might thinking blending the two would muddle the flavors but you’d be wrong. The gorgeous floral and spice from the rye pair without hesitation with the caramel and fruit from the bourbon. It’s a masterpiece of blending.

Value – 92 out of 100 Points

Manchester Reserve 7 Year retails for $79.95. It’s at the price point where you might have hesitation buying a new whiskey. But that’s what whiskey reviews are for. Manchester Reserve is complex, balanced, and delicious. Buy it. Drink it. Enjoy.

Verdict – Gold 93 out of 100 Points

Manchester Reserve 7YO
93 / 100 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 100 Users (0 votes)
Nose94
Taste93
Finish92
Complexity94
Value92

Inheritance 12 Year Bourbon Review

Old Wm. Tarr inheritance 12yo

Old Wm. Tarr Inheritance 12YO KY Bourbon
Inheritance 12YO KY BourbonDetails
Mashbill74% Corn, 18% Rye, & 8% Malted Barley
In the Bottle120 Proof
ABV60% ABV
Age12YO Bourbon
SourceKentucky Straight Bourbon (Unknown)
Suggested MSRP$300
DistilleryOld Wm. Tarr Distillery
1170 Manchester St.
Lexington, KY 40508
ProsComing Soon
ConsComing Soon
RatingComing Soon
InventoryComing Soon

Old Wm. Tarr’s Inheritance 12 Year bourbon is also offered as a single barrel. The single barrel is offered at the same price point as the small batch.

Tasting notes provided by the Wm. Tarr Distillery. Full Review Coming Soon

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Why Trust The Bourbon Bard?

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, Thrive Global and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys. He has also created single barrel stickers for Bourbon Pursuit and Total Wine.
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