Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Eight & Sand Blended Bourbon from MGP Ingredients

Eight&SandPourFor this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we turn the midweek corner with a little help from Eight & Sand Blended Bourbon Whiskey from MGP Ingredients (Atchison, Kansas).

Inspired by the amazing history of the American railroad, Eight & Sand’s name “refers to the eighth (and fastest) notch on a locomotive’s throttle and the sand used on the wheels to prevent slipping. To wish a train crew an ‘Eight & Sand’ is akin to ‘smooth sailing’.”

When it comes to the liquid itself, Eight & Sand is a “blend of bourbon and whiskies married together to create a smooth and satisfying experience in every sip.” Bourbon fans can expect this offering’s “nose and palate [to deliver] spicy rye and cinnamon notes, followed by a touch of caramel at the caboose.” Eight & Sand clocks in at 44% ABV/88 PROOF and contains “no additives or colors – just the good stuff.”

Eight & Sand Blended Bourbon Whiskey is on shelves now with availability in 750ml bottles (competitively priced at $29.99 each).  You can expect to find this new offering at fine liquor retailers located in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Wisconsin.

Now that we have properly covered the inspiration and details behind Eight & Sand, let’s pour a couple fingers and get into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Eight & Sand Blended Bourbon Whiskey from MGP Ingredients 

Appearance: Eight & Sand pours a yellow-tinged amber in color that is not too light, not too dark.  When held to direct light, the yellow tones gain vibrancy at the edges while the deeper amber color holds at the core.  The whiskey is crystal clear, no signs of cloud or haze.  A swirl of the glass leaves long, syrupy legs that slowly work their way back down into the liquid.

Aroma: A solid cinnamon presence greets the nose, but it is quickly tempered by a waft of earthy leather and spicy rye.  A tropical character then surfaces, adding tones of coconut, berries and exotic citrus.  The profile closes with a soothing combination of toasted oak, vanilla and caramel.

Taste:  Spice, rye and a sprinkle of cinnamon are the first notes to hit the palate.  The tropical fruit character that really asserted itself in the nose is far more reserved here, but a bit of berry and coconut does turn up at times.  Earthiness replaces that fruitiness nicely with notes of tobacco and leather.  Vanilla, caramel and soft oaky tones round everything out with a comforting sweetness.

Mouthfeel/Finish:  Light and little airy on the palate, this blended bourbon is clean, goes down easily and is considerably smooth (not at all harsh or overly aggressive).  The 44% ABV/88 PROOF does bring some warmth to the throat and chest, but it is more than reasonable for a bourbon.  The finish is a gentle blend of cinnamon, vanilla and tobacco.

Final Thoughts:  All in all, Eight & Sand is an incredibly intriguing offering (especially when you consider the super reasonable $30 price tag).  The aroma is absolutely mesmerizing, the flavors are more than solid enough to break the stigma that the blended bourbon category tends to carry, and the whiskey ultimately lives up to its name by being smooth and easy-drinking.  Beyond that, it has the ability to stand on its own (neat or on the rocks) or in an Old Fashioned or any other bourbon-based cocktail that could benefit from a punch of fruitiness.

Final tally: it is enjoyable, unique, versatile and comes at a price that will not break the bank.  Sounds like all of that amounts to a win.  Be sure to check out Eight & Sand the next time you hit the bottle shop in search of something new.  Prost!