If you’ve seen the popular Epicurious video Whiskey Expert Guesses Cheap vs Expensive Whiskey, then you might be familiar with Milam & Greene. The second name comes from Heather Greene, the brand’s CEO. Greene was the first American woman to serve on the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society in Edinburgh and, by 2019, was indicted into Kentucky’s Order of the Writ. She’s also among the panel of judges for events such as the London International Wine & Spirit Competition, San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition, and American Craft Spirits Association. Additionally, she wrote a comprehensive book on whiskey called Whiskey Distilled, a Populist Guide to the Water of Life.
And that’s just touching on one of the three founders of Milam & Greene (Marsha Milam and Marlene Holmes being the other two).
The Milam & Greene name appears on a small variety of expressions, with three core bottles seeing fair distribution. We’ll be looking at the Triple Cask Bourbon today. The name is derived not from the cask type or style, but from the cask locations. Milam & Greene combine bourbons from Kentucky (3 to 4 years old), Texas (2 to 3 years old), and Tennessee (10 to 11 years old) before proofing and bottling on-site. The Texas bourbon has a mash bill of “70% Texas corn, 22% Pacific Northwest malted rye from Oregon & Washington, 8% Wyoming barley and our proprietary yeast recipe from Kentucky and Texas.” MSRP for a bottle of Triple Cask Bourbon is roughly $45-$50.
Nose: Sweet corn and light, florally component. Mild butterscotch and damp soil on a warm, otherwise sunny day. Honey roasted almonds and an oddly vegetal aroma, like spinach or asparagus. Impressions of buttercream frosting.
Palate: Soft, pleasant mouthfeel. Slightly musty malt component that briefly treads into pralines and cream. Generously honeyed green tea and freshly cracked pepper. Dates with a marginal amount of rich oak.
Finish: Moderate. Residual honey, barrel char, and a little cilantro amidst a mild, lingering spice. A final hit of dry roasted peanuts closes things out.
This is something of an oddball. It feels both familiar and foreign in a way that waveringly straddles the line. The Kentucky and Texas bourbons almost certainly comprise the vast majority of the batch, evidenced by the telling corn profile that Texas whiskeys often have. Yet this whiskey is hardly a one-trick affair. Instead, Milam & Greene Triple Cask offers a rounded and nicely balanced experience with just enough to keep it interesting, but not quite enough to be a standout. For the more curious and open-minded whiskey drinker, this could make a fun (albeit brief) discussion piece. At the end of the day, however, this is a fair enough fling that seldom inspires coming back to.