axe handle bourbon review

Looking for a new addition to your bourbon collection – Axe Handle Bourbon. This distillery from Southwest Virginia is making waves in the whiskey world with their unique blend of sourced bourbon from MGP. Aged for 4 years, Axe Handle Bourbon has a distinct flavor profile, thanks to its composition of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley. With the addition of Southwest Virginia water, this bourbon packs a punch. Keep reading to see if it’s the right fit for your collection.

Overview of Axe Handle Bourbon

Axe Handle Bourbon, based in Southwest Virginia, stands out as a distillery that sources their bourbon from MGP and crafts their own unique blend. This distillery offers a distinct and noteworthy addition to the bourbon market. They begin with bourbon sourced from MGP, a renowned distillery known for their exceptional products. Axe Handle Bourbon then adds their own special touch, resulting in a blend that is truly their own.

The bourbon is carefully aged for four years, allowing it to develop its flavors and characteristics. Its composition likely consists of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley, creating a well-balanced profile. To further elevate the bourbon, Axe Handle Distilling incorporates water from Southwest Virginia, adding a local element to the final product.

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Axe Handle Bourbon exudes a warm and inviting aroma, featuring hints of honey, smoked wood, and grains. Additional scents include graham cracker, vanilla, licorice, fennel, peach, rosemary, pine, and apricot. The scent is not overpowering, yet far from dull.


As you continue exploring Axe Handle Bourbon, let’s take a closer look at the aroma of this unique blend. Here are five distinct scents you can expect to experience when you take a whiff of Axe Handle Bourbon:

  • Honey: The air is filled with the sweet and floral scent of honey, adding a delightful touch of sweetness to the aroma.
  • Smoked wood: A subtle smokiness lingers in the background, reminiscent of a cozy campfire, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Grains: The aroma of grains is present, giving off a wholesome and earthy scent that adds depth to the overall experience.
  • Graham cracker: Imagine the enticing smell of freshly baked graham crackers, with their warm and slightly sweet fragrance that evokes a sense of comfort.
  • Vanilla: A hint of vanilla permeates the air, contributing a creamy and comforting note to the overall aroma.

Taste and aftertaste

When you take your first sip of Axe Handle Bourbon, you will experience a combination of flavors that linger on your palate. The initial taste includes notes of honey, vanilla, apricot, dried grains, licorice, fennel, roasted oak, and cinnamon. However, there is a noticeable youthful graininess that is more prominent than desired. The sweetness, fruitiness, and spiciness haven’t fully developed to balance the oak and grains. Despite this, the heat of the bourbon is not overwhelming. After chewing, the flavors transition to honey, slightly sour vanilla buttercream, baked apple, clove, smoke, and youthful graininess. It is important to note that the bourbon doesn’t have a long finish, and the flavors dissipate relatively quickly. While the taste of Axe Handle Bourbon is not particularly exceptional, it is also not off-putting. It falls within the range of serviceable bourbons, especially considering its price. For those seeking a bourbon that is approachable and doesn’t break the bank, Axe Handle Bourbon may be a suitable option.

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How would you rate the Axe Handle Bourbon? When rating this bourbon, it’s important to consider its overall qualities and how it compares to other options on the market. Axe Handle Bourbon is a decent choice, but it may not stand out among its competitors. The smell of the bourbon is not particularly remarkable, with hints of honey, smoked wood, and grains. The taste offers subtle notes of honey, vanilla, apricot, and cinnamon, but it also has a youthful graininess that is more prominent than desired. The flavors do evolve after chewing, with hints of honey, vanilla buttercream, baked apple, and smoke, but the overall balance between sweetness, fruitiness, and oak is not fully developed. While the bourbon may not leave a lasting impression, it also doesn’t disappoint. Considering its price and the competitive market for under $40 whiskey, the Axe Handle Bourbon may not be the most exceptional option. However, for those seeking a decent bourbon that provides value for money, it can certainly find its place on the whiskey shelf.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Inspiration Behind the Name “Axe Handle Bourbon”?

The inspiration behind the name ‘Axe Handle Bourbon’ is not provided in the given context. However, Axe Handle Distilling, a new Southwest-Virginia-based distillery, sources their bourbon from MGP and creates their own blend.

How Does Axe Handle Bourbon Compare to Other Bourbons in the Same Price Range?

Axe Handle Bourbon is an affordable option in its price range. While it doesn’t necessarily stand out, it also doesn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a bourbon that won’t break the bank, it’s worth giving Axe Handle Bourbon a try.

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Does Axe Handle Distilling Have Any Plans to Create Their Own Bourbon From Scratch in the Future?

Yes, Axe Handle Distilling plans to create their own bourbon from scratch in the future. They currently source their bourbon from MGP, but their aim is to start fresh and develop their own unique bourbon.

Can You Provide More Details About the Southwest Virginia Water That Is Added to Axe Handle Bourbon?

The Southwest Virginia water used in Axe Handle Bourbon is sourced from the region’s natural springs and streams. This water plays a vital role in shaping the bourbon’s flavor profile, infusing it with distinctive characteristics and a taste of the local terroir.

What Steps Is Axe Handle Distilling Taking to Overcome the Challenges They Face as an Upstart Distillery?

Axe Handle Distilling is taking steps to overcome the challenges they face as an upstart distillery. They are working on sourcing older stock, pricing their bourbon competitively, and improving the quality of their product.

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