At the beginning of May, The Covered Bridges Whiskey Company announced the launch of its first expression, Ruddell’s Mill Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Inspired by the history of American distilling and infrastructure, The Covered Bridges Whiskey Company’s first launch is a stunning representation of what to expect from the brand. The small-batch bourbon is non-chill filtered and bottled at 92.2 proof. We caught up with Mark Tucker, Executive Vice President at Worldwide Libations, LLC., to get an inside look at the story of the brand.

Ruddell's Mill Straight

Ruddell’s Mill Straight

The historic Ruddell’s Mill Covered Bridge is the inspiration for this first bottle, can you share a few words about what its significance is to the brand?  

The master brand The Covered Bridges Whiskey Company is all about telling stories of American whiskey history with a covered bridge in the background. Covered Bridges were common in America’s early days and were often found near grist mills. This was the case of the “Ruddles Mill” covered bridge which traversed Stoner Creek near Ruddell’s Mill. Ruddell’s Mill was named after and founded by Kentucky Pioneer Isaac Ruddell (Isaac used the preferred spelling of his family name “Ruddell.” The covered bridge and town are spelled “Ruddles”).

This became the first industrial area in Bourbon County Kentucky. The mash bill for Ruddell’s Mill Bourbon is meant to mimic a mash bill of spirits that were being produced in Kentucky in Isaac Ruddell’s time (late 1700s) and from the grains processed at the mill. At the time, there wasn’t a recipe for a mash bill per say, but instead came out of what grains were available. So these early day Kentucky whiskies were a high percentage of corn, a little bit of rye and a real small touch of malted barley. The malted barley was more to stimulate the fermentation of the mash than to add any significant flavor, a method probably learned from Scottish immigrants.

At the time, these Kentucky Whiskies were only aged while they were transported along creeks and rivers in barrels. Ours is aged beyond 4 years, exceeding the legal standard, and bringing a well-integrated oak flavor today’s bourbon enthusiasts will appreciate. Our tagline is “Straight Kentucky History” because that’s what Ruddell’s Mill Whiskey is all about.

Can you share a little about the tasting notes and character of the launch?

Extremely flavorful with notes of dried fruits like apricot and caramel and vanilla from the oak aging. Not at all hot for 92.2 proof. The finish is lasting and makes you want to go back for another sip. 

What’s the best way to serve Ruddell’s Mill? 

Due to its flavor profile, it is a perfect Bourbon to drink neat or with one large cube of ice however, its flavor and proof also make it perfect for traditional bourbon cocktails like an old fashioned or Manhattan. We particularly like it in our signature drink the “Old Isaac” which is made with The Bitter Truth’s Bogarts Bitters.

Ruddell's Mill Old Isaac

Ruddell’s Mill Old Isaac

Old Isaac

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Ruddell’s Mill Bourbon
  • 1 bar spoon The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters
  • 1/2 oz. Dry Curacao

Preparation: Combine all ingredients over ice and stir Strain into glass with 1 large sphere or cube of ice. Serve in a rocks glass over large ice ball and a Maraska Cherry and orange peel