As 2022 ends we are granted the gift of not one but TWO new distillery-only releases created by Alan Bishop. One is a bourbon called Hindostan Falls and the second is a corn whiskey called Charles E. Ballard. As is typical, Alan names his spirits after people and places in the Black Forest region of Southern Indiana – or as he calls it “Hoosier Occupied Northern Kentucky” (HONKY).
Hindostan Falls is described on the bottle as “located on the east fork of the White River, was founded in 1816 and became an important stage coach stop along the Vincennes Trail”.
Charles E. Ballard owned the West Baden Springs Hotel following the death of Lee Sinclair (another namesake of one of Bishop’s whiskeys).
To me, Hindostan Falls is the fourth cornerstone in the foundation of Alan Bishop’s distilling career (the non-illicit career anyway). The first cornerstone is Lee W. Sinclair because it really started it all. It was a mash bill Bishop had distilled in the woods and it was the first bourbon released that was entirely his distillate at the distillery. The second is The Mattie Gladden. It was Bishop offering the whiskey public a bold high-rye bourbon while introducing us to the notorious character that was Mattie Gladden.
The third cornerstone is the bottled-in-bond Old Clifty Apply Brandy. If you cut Alan Bishop, he might bleed apple brandy. So, producing a bottled-in-bond apple brandy is significant in that way.
Finally, we come to Hindostan Falls. It is 80% corn, 10% rye, 10% distillers’ malt. It is not just any corn, however. It is a varietal of corn called Amanda Palmer. Amanda Palmer was created by Bishop during his days when he made his living as a farmer. And for that reason, Hindostan Falls is that fourth corner stone. Spoiler alert: it’s also a darn good bourbon.
I don’t mean any disrespect to any of the other whiskeys Bishop has produced at the distillery. William Dalton, The Morning Glory, Solomon Scott, etc. are all fantastic. To me, however, the four I named have a special place in Alan’s (to borrow and misuse a music term) “discography”.
Hindostan Falls weighs in at 104.3 proof and is four-and-a-half years old. My tasting notes are:
Nose: Sweet grass, honeysuckle, cherry pie filling and an occasional whiff of that “respect the grain” mash note. Also, the longer it sits in the glass, the more it begins to nose like a red wine. Interesting.
Taste: Hints of vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, plum wine
Finish: Honey Smacks cereal, pepper, roasted hazelnut and plum
This will be the early leader of the pack for 2023 Whiskey of the Year and could be my favorite whiskey Alan has ever made.
Charles E. Ballard is a corn whiskey. 90% corn (yellow dent) and 10% chocolate malt. It carries a proof of 102.2 and has aged four years in a barrel whose previous tenant was Lee W. Sinclair four-grain bourbon.
Nose: You’ve just opened a bag of coffee after eating a Hershey’s Dark.
Taste: Mocha coffee, oak
Finish: Coffee and oak
This corn whiskey is very unique. It is also definitely one for the coffee lovers. This is also one that I think could play interestingly in cocktails.
It is my understanding that while these are both single barrels, there will be future releases of these brands at some point.
Cheers and have a safe and happy new year!