Johnny Drum Private Stock Kentucky Straight Bourbon -
Johnny Drum Private Stock Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Johnny Drum Private Stock Kentucky Straight Bourbon


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.


Loads of sweet caramel and vanilla break first, saturating the senses with a notable intensity that hugs the tongue. Bursts of tobacco and leather follow. A touch of smoky char along with a hint of custard round things out. The fusion of flavors on the palate is richer than it is balanced, but what it offers is quite enjoyable.


It’s here that spice makes its first appearance. It’s warming and pronounced, but not specific. There’s also a touch of smokiness. Brown sugar sweetness develops and lingers, making for a medium-length, elegant finish.


The particular bottle of Johnny Drum sampled for this review was purchased a while ago, maybe even as much as 2-3 years. During that time I may have had it once or twice, as it went largely unnoticed gathering dust towards the back of my shelves. So the question becomes, now that I’ve gotten to know it better, does it stand out from the crowd?
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Category Bourbon
Region United States
Brand Johnny Drum
Proof 100.00