A. Smith Bowman Distillery is releasing two limited edition whiskies in honor of the Distillery’s late Master Distiller, Truman Cox, and will be donating all proceeds to Shriner’s Hospital for Children. These whiskies come from two single barrels, including the “First Whiskey Barrel” and the “Emerson Cox Barrel.” These two make up the Truman Cox Commemorative Series. Both whiskies will only be available through a lottery system, with entries taken Sept. 14 through Sept. 21, 2018. Entries will be taken online only at www.asmithbowman.com/truman. Entries will be drawn on Sept. 21st at noon EST and winners will be notified via email on the afternoon of Sept. 21st. Due to state law, bottles cannot be shipped and must be purchased at A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg. Any bottles not picked up by Oct. 8, 2018 will be put back into the lottery and new winners will be drawn. Suggested retail pricing for each expression is $99.99.
The “First Whiskey Barrel” is the very first barrel Truman distilled at A. Smith Bowman. The barrel was filled on Dec. 7, 2010 and is signed by Truman and former Master Distiller Joe Dangler, a 33-year veteran distiller, and whom Truman studied under before succeeding him.
This single barrel whiskey smells of apple and dried cherries, cinnamon, caramel and toasted oak. Tasting notes for this whiskey describe it as being “Sweet and smooth with toasted pecan and almond with hints of brown sugar. Slight heat from the high proof with the rye character lingering on in the flavor. A touch of water opens it up and mellows the heat a bit, which allows the subtle background flavors to shine through.” The whiskey from this barrel was bottled at 139.6 barrel proof.
The “Emerson Cox Barrel” is named after Truman’s daughter. This barrel was transferred from Buffalo Trace Distillery to A. Smith Bowman on Nov. 14, 2012 in celebration of “Emmy’s” adoption. The barrel features a tracing of Emmy’s hand on the barrel head.
This rye bourbon has an aroma of stone fruit, rye, corn, and white pepper, giving way to vanilla and toasted graham cracker. The taste is described as “Sweet corn and toasty caramel,” with a medium body and slight spiciness, that clears off the palette. The bourbon from this barrel was bottled at 90 proof.
Truman became the master distiller at A. Smith Bowman in 2011 after working with Dangler who trained him on the intricacies of “Mary” the whiskey still, and taught him about the Distillery’s history. Before accepting his dream job at A. Smith Bowman, Truman worked at Buffalo Trace Distillery where he was hired as the Quality Chemist in 2004. He received several years of intense training from Master Distillers Elmer T. Lee, Gary Gayheart and Harlen Wheatley at Buffalo Trace, learned about barrel aging from Ronnie Eddins and Leonard Riddle, and honed the craft of quality and blending from Master Blender Drew Mayville. Truman died suddenly in 2013 at age 44. His knowledge and charismatic personality have been missed in the industry ever since, though his influence lives on through the spirits he had a hand in creating, as well as through this commemorative release.
In accordance with the wishes of Truman’s family, all proceeds will be donated to Shriner’s Hospital for Children.