Trying Brother’s Bond Bourbon With Stephanie McNew

“Paul and I have been talking about this for ten years,” says Ian Somerhalder, Founder of Brother’s Bond Bourbon and Vampire Diaries star. “We’ve been drinking bourbon on the show since 1864.”

As far as celebrity brands go, the love for the Bourbon category is apparent in this brand. Somerhalder and Vampire Diaries co-star Paul Wesley fell in love with Bourbon while filming their show and worked to bring a brand to fruition while being mindful of sustainability. In fact, the brand donates a portion of proceeds to one of Somerhalder’s passion projects, regenerative agriculture. Their goal is for the brand to be carbon negative.

This four-grain Brother’s Bond straight Bourbon whiskey is 65% corn, 22% rye, and the rest is wheat and barley at an undisclosed proportion. Somerhalder describes this as an approachable drink with a level of complexity that Bourbon drinkers can also appreciate.

Brother’s Bond Bourbon

Color: Dark straw

Nose: Banana bread

Palate: Nutty, candy corn, cinnamon, and yeast rolls

I was invited to Stephanie McNew’s tasting series, Try It With McNew, a great way to get to know newer brands. McNew has long been part of the ABV Network Crew for years and also hosts “W(h)ine Time with McNew.”

The group on the Zoom call had a lot of great questions, including barreling (Char 4 on the barrel and char 2 on the heads), filtering (currently chill filtered but not filtered on the horizon), where it’s distilled (MGP), and availability (all 50 states soon!).

We also learned that the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) is the single largest buyer of spirits worldwide.

This is a great bottle to keep around for folks who aren’t sure they like bourbon, but it also holds up to seasoned whiskey enthusiasts. Interestingly, there was at least one person on the Zoom who had never had bourbon before and said she liked it. Right now it’s hard to get because it keeps selling out – it’s currently on Reserve Bar but sold out and coming soon to Drizly and even Instacart.

Jim Rutledge even made an appearance on the Zoom, which was a real treat for everyone involved. If you know Rutledge, you know he won’t mince words, and even he talked about his surprise at tasting this 80 proof chill-filtered four-year-old bourbon.

It’s important to keep in mind this is not your typical “celebrity brand,” but rather Somerhalder and Wesley have treated this as a labor of love. I look forward to seeing where this brand goes from here.

Photos and Screenshots By Maggie Kimberl

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