Soon, we think you’ll be seeing a lot more blogs eager to post an Early Times review. It’s a sleeper brand just starting to pick up bourbon fans. Not because Early Times is new–this whiskey brand goes back 160 years to 1860! The distillery is one of the few that stayed operational through prohibition. But we’ll get into that later. This post starts with a few cool facts about the brand and the whiskey before opening up the bottle and getting into the Early Times review.
We Starting the Early Times Review with Some Back Story
A Very Long History
Early Times has an understated, almost non-stop whiskey producing history. Even during the Prohibition, they continued to distill. The most notable break in production came in 1918. Within months of each other, both the owner Jack Beam and his son Edward passed away, and the operation was shuttered. Consequently, Brown Forman purchased the distillery two years later. They had the permits for medicinal bottling of whiskey during Prohibition. Brown Forman still owns the brand today.
Is Early Times Bourbon?
Because of that long history, you’d expect some spectacular limited releases and aged bourbon. But Early Times went a different direction from the start, as an affordable brand produced with inexpensive methods. You may have noticed that Early Times states that it is a Kentucky whisky (no ‘e’ as a nod to the Beam’s Scottish heritage), not a bourbon. This is because a portion of Early Times distillate aged in used American oak barrels.
For a corn-spirit to be considered a bourbon in America, the law requires it to spend two years in new oak barrels.
Outside of the U.S., Brown Forman sells Early Times as an American bourbon, since international regulations only require that a corn-spirit be produced here in the States to earn the distinction.
Early Times Gives Back
Last, a postscript for dog lovers. This may be the American whiskey for you. The distillery puts out a yearly calendar of “All American Dogs.” Submissions happen through their website. Also, they perform charity work with K9s for Warriors. That includes adopting shelter dogs, which they send to the charity’s service dog training program for veterans.
FAQs Based Early Times Review
Unlike other reviews, we will start with the price point for this Kentucky whiskey. It’s affordable. Very affordable. There are a few different versions, and Bottled in Bond runs a few dollars more, but you can find the 750 ml bottles of Kentucky Whisky for around ten bucks. This isn’t what you pour when you’re trying to impress the company, although the right glassware can dress it up.
What Does Early Times Taste Like?
In a lot of ways, the nose and palate are what you’d expect from a bourbon at a slightly higher price point. Experienced drinkers will find the places where the body and palate are thin, due to the used barrels it’s aged in. In the glass, it’s obvious this isn’t a broad-shouldered American bourbon; the color is just too light.
However, the mash bill for this whiskey mitigates the lack of aging in other ways. Early Times uses 70 percent corn, just 18 percent rye, and malted barley to fill out the mash. It’s sweeter than some other bourbons that use just over 50 percent corn in their recipes.
Why Does Mash Bill Matter?
It should be noted that a corn-heavy mash bill creates sweetness, which tempers the fire common in young whiskeys. It’s heavy enough on the palate to work well in a cocktail. Time spent in a decanter will also let some stronger ethanol notes release, leaving behind a balanced whiskey with notes of honey, vanilla, and oak.
Whereas the sour minerality of Kentucky water may distract sophisticated palates, most drinkers enjoy the long finish of Early Times.
Overall, there’s nothing remarkable, either positive or negative, found in the glass here. For whiskey on a budget, you could do worse.
Early Times Review From Whiskey Drinkers on Instagram
These Instagram influencers reach for Early Times for their own enjoyment. Give them a follow to hear about other best-buy bourbons out there.
@duelingbourbons on Instagram
@duelingbourgons named Early Times a clear winner “Early Times BIB is a great bourbon and at 1L, a phenomenal value”
“Finally getting distributed to AZ and I picked up a bottle recently. It’s got a great nose but a little thin on the finish. There’s no doubt that it’s an excellent value and for that alone I will keep a bottle around in rotation for my cocktails.”
@flxbourbon reviews Early Times
“New BIB pick up this week. The label is beautifully crafted and instantly caught my eye. AND it comes in a 1-liter bottle which is ?? a bonus! Happy Friday everyone, the weekend is here and it’s time for ?”
@bourbonlens loves Early Times Whisky
This influencer thinks that Early Times should be the whiskey of the year. “The value of the Early Times @BottledInBondBourbon is hard to beat. We’d put it at or near the top of our list for a variety of reasons this year.”
Find @mr_mizunara on Instagram
“…I decided to give @bottledinbondbourbon a try! And let me tell you, it hits all the classic #bourbon notes of caramel, nuts, vanilla, dark fruits and oak. Well-balanced, that coats my mouth nicely with some warmth at 100 proof. #bottleinbond standard at its finest without breaking your bank! Have you tried this? Are we on the same page?”
@kentuckybourbonjosh revisits Early Times
@kentuckybourbonjosh is a longtime Early Times drinker: “Don’t be fooled by the name! Early Times Bottled in Bond is not the same bourbon we drank in college! One of the best value bourbons on the market today…”
Conclusion: Good to Have on Hand
You don’t need a $40 bottle of bourbon every time you make a cocktail at your home bar. Granted, your home bar display should feature your favorite brands of spirits and bitters, ready to share with loved ones when the occasion arises.
You should also have a few bottles for your daily drinking that won’t break the bank. Early Times drinks like bourbon of twice the price. And, with close to 200 years of experience distilling the same recipe, it’s a reliable purchase. You know what you’re getting when you open a bottle of Early Times.
A final note…
Our review of Early Times Whisky is that over ice, and with time in the glass, it opens up into a reliable and enjoyable whiskey that will get a much more widespread following as people discover the brand.