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What Does It Mean to Produce an Award-Winning Bourbon?

J_Henry_Bourbon_awardIn March, J. Henry & Sons Patton Road Reserve was awarded a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits competition. This is a virtually unprecedented honor for a company as young as ours, and one that brings us a great deal of pride.

We have previously been awarded a gold medal in the Best Bourbon competition, a gold medal from the American Distilling Institute, and a silver medal in the New York International Spirits competition, amongst others. In fact, you can see a bigger list of the awards we’ve won for our Wisconsin craft Bourbon here.

As a family-owned upstart, this kind of recognition makes us proud of the hard work we have put into our product. But what do these awards mean to you? Does it matter what judges and industry professionals are saying about a bourbon?

The answer probably depends on your perspective, but here are a few things we think matter about awards, metals, and other honors…

Having an Award-Winning Bourbon is a Mark of Quality

While it’s fair to say each individual judge and competition is going to have their own criteria or preferences, creating a bourbon that wins multiple awards is a sure sign we are doing good work. To have industry experts and aficionados say the spirits we produce are worthy of a medal just reinforces what customers have told us all along. It’s a special feeling.

As a bourbon lover, you can purchase a bottle of J. Henry & Sons knowing that even judges who have tried hundreds of bourbons say ours is one of the best. It’s hard to beat an endorsement like that.

Bourbons Win Awards for Being Unique

One of the details that gets lost in thinking about the awards given for bourbons and other spirits is that judges will tend to favor, and remember, tastes that are unique. If they sip two dozen whiskeys that are all high-quality but nearly identical, something that feels different is going to stand out in their minds.

Our Wisconsin craft bourbon is made from wheat, rye and red corn developed at the University of Wisconsin and not found anywhere else. Our bourbon is aged a minimum of five years in charred oak barrels that expand and contract with the Midwest climate. The result is a spirit that is unlike any other you’ve ever tried.

Our Awards Show the Pride We Put into Our Craft

We’ll be the first to tell you that it can be a bit unnerving to submit your bourbon into a competition for the first time… or the hundredth. It’s hard to tell the world, much less a panel of expert judges, that you think your drink is as good as or better than what they’ve already tasted.

But we knew from the beginning we wanted J. Henry & Sons Wisconsin Straight Bourbon to be one of the best. We’ve developed the recipe with pride, and really felt like our spirits could stand up to any judge’s opinion. We put a tremendous amount of work into every barrel, with the belief that our efforts would pay off in the end.

To see why our Wisconsin straight bourbon is winning awards and recognition across the country, visit J. Henry & Sons yourself for a tasting!

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