Rowan’s Creek vs. Noah’s Mill; there’s something undeniably exciting about these two discovering new flavors.
Both hail from the bourbon heartland, Kentucky, and they’ve got their unique stories to tell.
Rowan’s Creek, with its charming, almost rustic bottle, caught my eye on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s named after the waterway that runs through the distillery, a nod to its heritage and place in bourbon history.
When I uncorked it, I was greeted with a waft of something sweet and spicy. The first sip? It was a swirl of caramel and vanilla, with a hint of grassy undertones. It’s not just a drink; it’s like a little piece of Kentucky history in a glass.
On the other side, there’s Noah’s Mill. This one’s a bit of a powerhouse. It’s like the older, bolder brother in the Bourbon family.
Its high proof is a clear statement of its character. Cracking open the bottle, the aroma was richer, almost like walking into a room full of old oak furniture. The taste? A robust blend of nutty and chocolatey notes, with a spicy kick that lingers.
It’s not just a bourbon; it’s an experience, a bold statement in a bottle.
So, which one impressed my taste buds more?
Stay tuned as I dive deeper into each whiskey’s profile, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have an answer to that tantalizing question.
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Quick-look Comparison
|Welcoming with caramel, vanilla, and a touch of grassy spice
|Sweet with honey and caramel at the start, followed by a spicy cinnamon and subtle dried fruit
|Smooth and medium-bodied with a balanced warmth
|Warm with a balance of sweet and spicy, a smooth fade with hints of oak and vanilla
|New charred oak barrels
|50% ABV/100 Proof
|Robust with oak, dark chocolate, and a hint of toasted nuts.
|Bold with nutty and chocolatey flavors, followed by a lasting spiciness.
|Full-bodied and rich, with a velvety, chewy texture.
|Long and warm with a spicy kick and a lingering oaky sweetness.
|New charred oak barrels.
|57% ABV/114 Proof
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Rowan’s Creek Review
Rowan’s Creek presents a distinct golden amber color, clear and bright. This shade is deep and consistent, resembling a well-aged bourbon. The color suggests a certain richness and depth, indicative of the whiskey’s time spent maturing in oak barrels.
It’s the kind of hue that speaks to the quality and care put into the aging process, giving a visual promise of the complexity and flavor that awaits.
Nose or Aroma
On the nose, Rowan’s Creek offers a straightforward and pleasant aroma. The dominant scents are sweet caramel and vanilla, which are immediately noticeable upon the first whiff.
Following these, there’s a subtle presence of oak, which adds a slight woodiness to the overall scent profile. This bourbon doesn’t overwhelm with its aroma but rather invites a deeper exploration with its simple yet inviting bouquet.
Tasting Rowan’s Creek reveals a smooth and almost silky mouthfeel. It’s medium-bodied, not too heavy or too light on the palate.
This whiskey glides easily with each sip, leaving a warm and moderately lingering sensation in the mouth. There’s an absence of harshness or overbearing alcohol burn, making it quite enjoyable and easy to sip.
The balance in its mouthfeel makes it accessible, especially for those who might be new to bourbon or prefer a smoother drinking experience.
Flavor or Palate
Tasting Rowan’s Creek is an enjoyable journey through a spectrum of flavors. Initially, there’s a delightful sweetness, reminiscent of honey and caramel, which is quickly followed by a burst of spices like cinnamon and a touch of pepper.
Midway, I detected a subtle fruitiness, perhaps akin to dried fruits, which adds a layer of complexity. Oak flavors are present but not overwhelming, providing a nice grounding. It bears a striking resemblance to a Woodford Reserve, I’d say.
Each sip seems to reveal something new, making it a dynamic and engaging experience for the palate.
The finish of Rowan’s Creek is as memorable as its initial taste. It leaves a warm, lingering sensation that’s both smooth and satisfying. The sweetness gently fades, giving way to a more spicy and oaky aftertaste.
This transition from sweet to spicy is seamless, providing a well-rounded and prolonged finish that invites further sipping.
It’s neither too abrupt nor overly extended, striking a nice balance that complements the overall tasting experience.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Rowan’s Creek stands out with its ABV of 50% or 100 Proof (Alcohol By Volume), which is higher than many standard bourbons, yet it doesn’t overpower the whiskey’s intricate flavors.
This higher alcohol content provides a robust foundation, enhancing the whiskey’s character without dominating it.
It’s a testament to the skillful crafting of the whiskey, where strength and flavor are balanced harmoniously.
At $89.00 or £70.00, Rowan’s Creek sits in the mid-range price bracket. Considering its rich flavor profile, enjoyable complexity, and overall quality, I find it to be a purchase worth considering.
It may be a bit of a splurge for some, but for those who appreciate a well-crafted bourbon, it’s a worthwhile investment. The price reflects its position as a quality bourbon without reaching into the premium range’s often prohibitive costs.
I recommend trying Rowan’s Creek neat first to fully appreciate its array of flavors.
You’ve got to hit it hard on your first try when it comes to high-ABV bourbons.
Starting neat allows for an unadulterated experience of its character. After the initial tasting, adding a splash of water can be enlightening.
The water helps to dilute the ABV slightly, which can open up even more flavors and aromas, making it a different experience. This approach allows you to explore the whiskey in two different ways, each offering its unique appeal.
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Noah’s Mill Review
Noah’s Mill displays a deep, rich amber color, a testament to its robust character. This intense hue is deeper than many standard bourbons, suggesting a richness and depth that is intriguing.
It’s clear and vibrant, almost commanding attention as it sits in the glass. This color sets the stage for a bourbon that promises a full-bodied experience, hinting at the extended aging and careful craftsmanship that went into its creation.
The kind of color that makes you anticipate the complexity and strength of the flavors you’re about to encounter.
Nose or Aroma
Upon nosing Noah’s Mill, the first impression is one of boldness and complexity. The aroma is rich with a pronounced oakiness, complemented by notes of dark chocolate and a hint of toasted nuts.
There’s a certain depth to the aroma that suggests a well-aged spirit, with layers of scents unfolding as you spend more time with it. Subtle undertones of dark fruit, maybe cherries or plums, add a touch of sweetness, balancing the overall robustness of the nose.
This aroma sets the stage for a bourbon that is both challenging and rewarding to explore.
The mouthfeel of Noah’s Mill is as substantial as its aroma and color suggest. It’s full-bodied and rich, coating the palate with a velvety texture. Despite its high ABV, the alcohol is well integrated, providing warmth without harshness.
Each sip fills the mouth with a dense, almost chewy sensation, making the experience deeply satisfying. This whiskey doesn’t just pass over the palate; it lingers, allowing you to savor its complexity and depth.
The mouthfeel is a critical part of what makes Noah’s Mill a standout, offering a tactile experience as engaging as its flavor and aroma.
Flavor or Palate
Tasting Noah’s Mill is like embarking on a journey through a landscape of robust flavors. The palate is greeted with a bold combination of dark chocolate and toasted oak, followed by a wave of rich caramel and spicy rye notes.
Hints of dark fruits, like black cherries, add a layer of complexity and a touch of sweetness. The flavors are well-integrated, each complementing the other without overpowering.
This bourbon is not for the faint-hearted; it demands attention with every sip, offering a full-bodied and richly textured flavor profile that’s both challenging and rewarding.
The finish of Noah’s Mill is long, warm, and memorable. It leaves behind a lingering sensation of spiciness and oak, with a subtle sweetness that gently fades. This extended finish allows for a full appreciation of the whiskey’s complexity and depth.
The warmth is evident but not overwhelming—akin to the bold but balanced finish of a Wild Turkey whiskey—providing a satisfying conclusion to the tasting experience.
It’s the kind of finish that invites contemplation, encouraging you to take your time and savor each aspect of the whiskey’s character.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Noah’s Mill boasts an ABV of 57% or 114 Proof, which places it in a category similar to whiskeys like Elijah Craig.
This mid-range alcohol content contributes to its robust and full-bodied nature, enhancing the depth and intensity of its flavors.
The high ABV gap between other bourbons also gives Noah’s Mill a more pronounced character compared to many standard bourbons, making it a choice for those who appreciate a stronger, more potent whiskey experience.
Priced at $89.00 or £70.00, Noah’s Mill falls into the same mid-range category as Rowan’s Creek, yet offers a different experience.
This price point makes it accessible to those looking to explore more complex and robust bourbons without venturing into the high-end, premium price range.
Considering its rich flavor profile, substantial ABV, and overall quality, Noah’s Mill represents a good value for those seeking a more intense bourbon experience.
For newcomers to bourbons like Noah’s Mill, I recommend starting with a splash of water and maybe a few ice cubes (rocks).
The addition of water helps to slightly dilute the ABV, making the flavors more approachable and reducing the intensity of the alcohol. The ice can further mellow the experience, making it a more comfortable introduction.
This approach allows newbies to acclimate to the robust nature of Noah’s Mill, gradually exploring its complexities in a more manageable way.
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Rowan’s Creek Food Pairings
Pairing Rowan’s Creek with starters is all about finding dishes that complement its sweet and spicy profile. A great option to begin with is a charcuterie board featuring a selection of mild cheeses, like Brie or Gouda, which won’t overpower the bourbon’s subtle flavors.
Add some prosciutto and smoked salmon for a touch of savory that pairs nicely with the caramel notes in the whiskey. For a vegetarian option, consider a spinach and goat cheese salad with a light, citrusy dressing. The freshness of the salad balances the sweetness of the bourbon, while the goat cheese adds a creamy texture that harmonizes with its smooth mouthfeel.
Toasted nuts, especially almonds or pecans, can also be a great addition, complementing the oak and vanilla notes in Rowan’s Creek.
When it comes to main courses, Rowan’s Creek pairs beautifully with dishes that match its rich and complex character.
A classic choice would be a perfectly grilled steak, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. The char on the steak echoes the bourbon’s smoky undertones, while its richness complements the spicy and sweet notes of Rowan’s Creek.
For a more adventurous pairing, consider a spicy Asian dish, like Thai green curry. The spices in the curry will resonate with the bourbon’s own spicy profile, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
If you prefer poultry, a roasted chicken with a honey glaze can be a delightful pairing. The sweetness of the honey enhances the caramel and vanilla notes in the bourbon, while the chicken provides a subtle backdrop that lets the whiskey shine.
Dessert pairings with Rowan’s Creek should highlight its sweeter aspects without overwhelming them. A classic choice would be a warm apple pie or apple crumble. The cinnamon and nutmeg in the pie complement the bourbon’s spicy notes, while the apples’ natural sweetness pairs well with its caramel and vanilla flavors.
For chocolate lovers, a dark chocolate fondue with a selection of fruits for dipping can be a hit. The bitterness of the dark chocolate contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the bourbon, creating a delightful interplay of flavors.
Another great option is a creamy cheesecake with a berry compote. The richness of the cheesecake works well with the smoothness of Rowan’s Creek, and the berries add a touch of tartness that cuts through the sweetness.
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Noah’s Mill Food Pairings
Pairing starters with Noah’s Mill requires dishes that can stand up to its robust and complex profile. An ideal choice would be a hearty beef or lamb tartare. The rich, savory flavors of the meat will harmonize with the boldness of the bourbon, while the spices used in the tartare, like capers or a hint of Dijon mustard, will complement its spicy undertones.
For a seafood option, consider seared scallops with a bacon jam. The sweetness and texture of the scallops balance the intensity of Noah’s Mill, and the bacon jam’s smokiness mirrors its deep, woody notes. For a vegetarian choice, a mushroom risotto can be an excellent pairing.
The earthiness of the mushrooms pairs well with the oak and nutty flavors in the bourbon, and the creaminess of the risotto matches its full-bodied mouthfeel.
For main courses, dishes that can match the intensity and full-bodied nature of Noah’s Mill are ideal. A classic option is a grilled ribeye steak with a peppercorn sauce. The natural fats in the steak bring out the caramel and chocolate notes of the bourbon, while the peppery sauce echoes its spicy finish.
Another excellent pairing could be a slow-cooked, barbecued brisket. The smoky, tender meat complements the whiskey’s robust character, and the barbecue sauce’s sweetness aligns with its underlying dark fruit notes.
For a non-meat option, a blackened catfish or a spicy jambalaya can be a great choice. The spices in these dishes will match the intensity of Noah’s Mill, creating a harmonious and flavorful experience.
Dessert pairings with Noah’s Mill should be as bold and distinctive as the bourbon itself. A rich, dark chocolate lava cake would be an excellent choice. The intensity of the dark chocolate resonates with the deep, rich profile of the bourbon, and the warm, gooey center of the cake complements its smooth finish.
For something slightly less sweet, a cheese board featuring aged cheeses like Gouda or Cheddar, along with dark chocolate pieces and dried fruits, can be a sophisticated and satisfying end to the meal. The rich, savory flavors of the cheeses contrast nicely with the sweet and spicy notes of the bourbon.
Another option could be a spiced pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream. The spices in the pie, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, echo the spicy notes of Noah’s Mill, while the cream adds a layer of smoothness that pairs well with its velvety mouthfeel.
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Final Thoughts
Concluding Rowan’s Creek and Noah’s Mill is genuinely challenging. Both bourbons present unique and rich profiles that cater to different preferences and occasions.
Rowan’s Creek, presents a remarkably smooth, sweet, and slightly spicy character, delivering a classic bourbon experience. This whiskey manages to be both accessible and complex, appealing to a wide range of palates. Its higher alcohol content is masterfully integrated, ensuring the flavors remain front and center.
Noah’s Mill, on the other hand, stands out for its bold and robust flavors. It’s a bourbon that doesn’t shy away from making a strong impression, appealing particularly to those who favor intensity and depth in their whiskey. Noah’s Mill showcases how flavor depth isn’t solely dependent on alcohol strength alone, but rather on the quality of its crafting and blending.
In quantifying my experience, I’d rate them based on several key characteristics.
Rowan’s Creek vs Noah’s Mill: Author’s Verdict
As I sit down with Rowan’s Creek and Noah’s Mill, it feels like a session where subtleties and strengths are set to unfold in their own time.
I start with the appearance, and it’s clear that Rowan’s Creek doesn’t boast the deepest amber. It’s lighter, perhaps a bit understated.
But I’ve learned not to judge a whiskey solely by its color.
Bringing the glass to my nose, Rowan’s Creek greets me with an aroma that’s engaging but not too assertive. It’s got a nice balance that doesn’t try too hard to impress, yet subtly invites further exploration. There’s a sense of tradition here, a whisper of the bourbon heritage that doesn’t scream for attention.
The mouthfeel is comfortable, sitting right in the middle of the spectrum. It’s not a texture that’s going to make you raise an eyebrow in surprise, but it’s certainly not disappointing either. It’s just right for a casual sipper, the kind that could easily become a steady companion after a long day.
Tasting Rowan’s Creek, its flavor is honest. It doesn’t reach for extravagance or complexity, but there’s enough character to ponder over. It’s straightforward, a nod to what bourbon is at its core—unpretentious, friendly, and reliable.
The finish, too, is congenial. It doesn’t linger long, nor does it vanish too quickly. It strikes a neat balance, leaving a warmth that’s as reassuring as a well-worn leather chair. It’s the kind of finish that doesn’t compete for the spotlight but instead concludes the experience with a gentle and respectable nod.
Then there’s Noah’s Mill, darker in the glass than Rowan’s Creek, suggesting a richness waiting to be discovered. Its color holds promises of a deep dive into what bourbon can offer. But the depth here seems to stay within the visual aspect, not quite carrying through to the other senses.
The aroma of Noah’s Mill meets me with equality to Rowan’s Creek—there’s no clear winner in terms of the nose. It’s robust, yes, but not as layered as I might have anticipated. It’s straightforward, and while I appreciate the lack of pretense, I’m left wishing for a bit more.
In my mouth, Noah’s Mill feels familiar, echoing the mouthfeel of Rowan’s Creek. There’s an expected warmth, a fullness that suits its darker visage, yet it doesn’t quite elevate the experience to new heights. It holds its ground, solid but not groundbreaking.
The palate reflects this too—a robustness that’s appreciated, but it doesn’t quite dazzle. The flavors are there: a touch of oak, and a hint of spice, but they don’t dance on the tongue. They’re more like old friends—comfortable and welcome, but not surprising.
And when it comes to the finish, Noah’s Mill matches its rival with a similar subtlety. It’s a good, solid end to the sip, wrapping up the experience in a way that’s satisfying without being overly complex.
When I consider the price point, both sitting at a middle ground, it adds another layer to the decision. Noah’s Mill, with its slightly lower ABV, doesn’t quite justify its cost in the same way as Rowan’s Creek might for someone seeking that traditional bourbon warmth and spice.
Frankly, while neither bourbon falls short of expectations, they both hold their ground in different ways.
Rowan’s Creek feels like a bourbon that’s sure of itself without trying too hard, while Noah’s Mill seems to promise a depth that it doesn’t quite deliver in full measure.
In the end, the choice comes down to what speaks to you personally.