Trail’s End Bourbon is a sourced bourbon that’s finished in Oregon Oak and cut with “glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood”. The sourcing is fully disclosed, so no issues there, but as always the question is who did they source it from? The two biggest distilleries to source from in KY are Heaven Hill and Barton and it could easily be from one… even from both.
In Hood River Distillers’ Words: Trail’s End Bourbon
“Trail’s End® is an ultra-premium, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with Oregon Oak. Crafted using premium barrels of Kentucky straight bourbon, Trail’s End traveled along the treacherous terrain from Kentucky to Oregon, following the path that Lewis and Clark once blazed. Not too far from the end of the Oregon Trail, our bourbon is finished with Oregon Oak and the result is exceptional!”
Before we dive into the Trail’s End Bourbon review I want to touch on a slight mystery on their website. When you click on the serving facts section it brings up a PDF that mentions wheat as a “major food allergen present in the production process”. I don’t think this is a wheated whiskey because they’d be shouting it from the rooftops if it was, but I think that’s a clue pointing to Heaven Hill as the source. Barton has made a wheater, but it’s not a major product like it is for HH.
Trail’s End Bourbon Info
Region: Oregon, USA
Distiller: Unknown (likely Heaven Hill… maybe Barton)
Bottler: Hood River Distillers
Mashbill: At least 51% corn, rye and malted barley
Cask: New Charred Oak and Oregon Oak
Age: 8 Years
Trail’s End Bourbon Review
Spice, toffee, cocoa, fruit and oak with a bit of vanilla and roasted grain.
Toasted nuts, toffee, spice, cocoa, sandalwood and bits of vanilla, fruit and mint.
Med-short diffusion of roasted grain, caramel, spice and cocoa.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, medium body and a soft light feel.
Trail’s End Bourbon is a smooth and spicy sipping bourbon that would work well in cocktails. For the most part it comes across like a standard bourbon and in a lot of ways reminds me of Evan Williams. My major criticism of the whiskey would be that it doesn’t have a deep oaky essence and if they hadn’t put 8 years on the label I would have imagined it was more in the 4ish range.
The softness of the Trail’s End Bourbon could mean the barrels came from the bottom of the rickhouse where temperatures don’t fluctuate as much or maybe the Oregon Oak softened the whiskey up a bit. Either way, it’s a decent bourbon, but not quite in daily drinker territory for me.
SCORE: 86/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This Trail's End Bourbon was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.