American Whiskey - Bourbon

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Cleveland Black Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

From: Ohio, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 3
This is a Tier 3 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics recommended the spirit but it will be a value brand or have an exotic taste.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2013

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Proof66 Notes

Cleveland Black Reserve whiskey is officially labeled a bourbon meaning the spirit must be aged in charred new oak barrels for a period of time prior to bottling, whatever other modern technologies are used (note: straight bourbon would require 2 years... there is no such "straight" on the label). Additionally, the whiskey will have no additives whatsoever... again, despite whatever technologies are used. Since the Cleveland Whiskey process takes 6 months, we guess that the bourbon is acquired from elsewhere and given the additional treatment on site, then bottled and distributed. Indeed, in the article at Darn Good Times, they note Cleveland acquires a 6-month aged bourbon and then run it through their own process in a period of 6 days. They claim the taste is the equivalent of a 10-12 year old product.

No doubt, this process will upset some... though we're greatly reminded of the Coffey Column still revolutionizing whiskey production in the 19th century to great recrimination.  

Cleveland Whiskey was founded by Tom Lix, who arrived in Cleveland in 2007 and founded a company based upon accelerating the whiskey maturation process. According to the write-up in Magnet, he places the whiskey in stainless steel tanks where "Carefully measured sections of oak and other woods, categorized by surface area, weight and moisture content, are placed inside the vats. These will contribute a whole palette of unique flavors. Pressure cycles, temperature cycles and other factors will be constantly monitored and adjusted by automated equipment." This process is meant to both imitate and compress natural aging that takes place over many days (temperature and humidity variations coming from the rising and setting of the sun and other weather conditions) into minutes--they say a factor of 36:1. The company itself was founded in 2009.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 1 rating and 1 review.
Bfloyd Bfloyd (1) (2014-02-06)
If your able to get over the mental hurdle based on the fact this bourbon is not aged in barrels for several years, you could be pleasantly surprised. Just to note I normally prefer Blanton's or Bulleit Rye. Although Cleveland lacks a complex depth of many great bourbons that have been aged for 6, 8, or 10 years, it still delivers a nice smooth flavorful drink. A great friend of mine picked up a bottle and brought it over for the Super Bowl, and we both enjoyed it. If your not afraid to step out of your comfort zone and are able to get over the hurdle of it being basically technology aged, I think you will find a nice surprise. Cheers!
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  • 853971004030
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