Bond and Lillard Bourbon is one of the first two releases from Campari in their new Whiskey Barons releases whose purpose is to pay homage to the brands and people who helped build the bourbon category into what it is today.
Bond and Lillard Bourbon is was first made in 1869 when William Bond partnered with C.C. Lillard; the whiskey in these bottles was distilled at Wild Turkey. However, according to some info from Bourbon and Banter “…this is not a Wild Turkey product. It is being distilled at the Wild Turkey Distillery, but Jimmy and Eddie haven’t been involved.”
In Campari’s Words: Bond and Lillard
“Distilled and bottled and at the Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY, this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged a minimum of seven years in timber warehouses and is charcoal filtered. This filtration process simulates the aeration process that happens in the barrel, converting more aggressive congeners to esters that end in more elegant top notes. The result is a lighter colored and flavored bourbon with more floral notes.”
The charcoal filtration of the Bond and Lillard Bourbon is definitely unique in the Wild Turkey world, but outside of that what makes it unique is how they went about creating the aroma and flavor profile for this release which involves notes from 1904.
The original Bond and Lillard bourbon took the Grand Prize at the St.Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and those records still exits. The folks at Campari got ahold of the judges tasting notes from that 1904 victory and built the bourbon around them. Now on to the Bond and Lillard Bourbon review to see how that turned out.
Bond and Lillard Bourbon Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Wild Turkey
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 7 Years Old
Charcoal Filtered | Natural Color
Price: $50 (375 ml)
Bond and Lillard Bourbon Review
Grain, floral, fruity, caramel taffy, butterscotch, spice and some light bits of vanilla and oak. Knowing that it’s Wild Turkey is making it difficult for me to distance it from all of the other Wild Turkeys out there that I love.
Oak, caramel, spice, toasted grain, toffee, fruit and a bit of herbal acetone and nuts. Like the aroma it’s not bad, but it sure is light.
Long fruity fade layered with caramel, herbal, vanilla and acetone.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good sense of balance, medium body and a soft silken feel.
Charcoal filtration is a hell of a thing. Bond and Lillard Bourbon is quite unlike every other Wild Turkey I’ve ever had. It has a unique sweet character to it that isn’t readily found in other WT releases which tend to be more oak driven. Though that’s a point of distinction that they’ve given to both of the Whiskey Barron releases. They’re not Wild Turkey releases, they’re Campari releases.
Yes the whiskey in the barrels was sourced from Wild Turkey, but since the Russell’s didn’t have anything to do with the release beyond overseeing the distillation of the whiskey it’s not something that they’re associating with their name or the Wild Turkey brand.
Tasting theBond and Lillard Bourbon next to the Wild Turkey 101 it’s quite clear which one I’d choose, but that said I still have my name down for a bottle when it reaches Los Angeles. The amount of fun and education that can come from A:B testing a charcoal filtered WT against the standard line and limited releases alone is worth the price of entry for a bottle in my opinion.
SCORE: 86/100 (B)
Bond and Lillard Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 86
- Palate - 86
- Finish - 86
- Balance, Body & Feel - 86
Bond and Lillard Bourbon is a decent whiskey, but it makes me think the judges in 1904 would loose their minds if they tried modern day WT.