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Cigar Spirits: Hooker’s House Bourbon

19 Jul 2012

Difficult to find and made in small quantities, Hoooker’s House Bourbon is a classic bourbon with a twist. As explained on Prohibition Spirits’ website: “After spending time in a Kentucky Rick House, the bourbon was double barreled and additionally aged in neutral pinot noir barrels here in the Sonoma, California.”

The bourbon is named after General Joseph Hooker, a civil war general who, according to some stories, is the reason that prostitutes are now called “hookers.” The General was known to improve soldier morale with the help of some ladies of the night. Hooker was a Sonoma, California, resident who (in addition to being a ladies’ man) was known as a big fan of whiskeys, hence this distinctly American spirit that bears his name.

Made with a mash bill of 54% corn and 46% rye, the result is an almost ruby-colored spirit that is massively affected by the pinot noir barrels it is finished in before being bottled. The nose is rich with toffee, cassis, and a hint of spice.

On the palate, Hooker’s reveals deep viscous flavors. Cherry, toffee, clove, and cinnamon are all apparent in the rich, balanced spirit.

I was pleased to find that while the wine cask finishing adds an interesting element to the bourbon, it doesn’t overwhelm the underlying bourbon. The finish continues with some of the wine notes, along with muted oak and more clove.

It’s a fantastically delicate, yet interesting bourbon. It’s very unique, subtle, and smooth, and a welcome addition to my liquor cabinet.

Like so many fine bourbons, it goes well with a fine cigar. I think it benefits from being paired with a balanced, full-bodied cigar. The Casa Magna Domus Magnus went great, as did the Sentidos Maduro (a boutique Nicaraguan smoke made at the Raices Cubanas factory and sold at my local Cigar Connection shop).

I picked up my bottle for $44 online, but it’s not easy to find. Still, I think it’s well worth seeking out. It’s not a classic or traditional bourbon, but it’s interesting and different, and an excellent pairing with a fine cigar.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Spirits: Hooker’s House Bourbon”

  1. Chris S Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    The color on that is incredible. I'll definitely have to think about grabbing a bottle.

  2. Ashburn Dave Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Dang, missed the Sentidos reference the first time. Ashburn or Tyson's Corner? Any idea where one could find more information about this cigar?

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