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According to the bottle’s label, Johnny Drum Private Stock served as a drummer boy in the year 1861 during the Confederate (Civil) War. At the end of the war, legend has it Johnny returned home to his native Kentucky, where he staked a claim among a beautiful spring. Johnny learned the importance of finding a way to convert his excess corn crop into a profitable item, rather than allowing it to go to waste. As the story goes, it wasn’t long before Johnny’s determination produced an exceptional bourbon whiskey.
Today, Johnny Drum is bottled in three forms (though only two are reflected on Willett’s website as of this writing) – Johnny Drum Private Stock, Johnny Drum Black Label, and Johnny Drum Green Label (not reflected). Owned by Willett, but bottled under the Johnny Drum Distilling Company name, it is a sourced bourbon of undisclosed origin.
Ethanol is assertive on the nose with hints of tobacco and caramel filtering through. Even sitting in the glass for a while, the ethanol seems to overpower whatever other aromas might be faintly present.