Jonwin wrote:I tasted a very nice Bourbon Called Black Maple Hill a while back. It's one of those Small distilleries in the heart of America.
I appreciate your comment and question, this is relevant to what many people wrestle with about which companies to support with their whisk(e)y purchases.
Black Maple Hill was actually the bourbon that inspired me to start exploring whiskey. It isn't from a small distillery in Kentucky though. It is released from a company called Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, who at this time don't actually distill anything (although they have plans to start in the next couple years). They are similar to Scottish/British independent bottlers who buy casks from the large companies and either release single barrels (Willett Bourbons and Rye) or blend them to make smaller batches of quality bourbons. They have a pretty impressive lineup of different expressions at varying price points.
This being said, they are still a small company worthy of your support, even if their juice is coming from the big guys. Unfortunately, the most renowned and some of the best tasting bourbons are owned by the biggest companies, i.e. Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Parker's Heritage Collection. These are worth trying, as well as owning, but there are still a lot of craft and independent distillers around the country worthy of a look (High West, Leopold Bros, McCarthys, St. George, Anchor Steam).
I would recommend trying the Wild Turkey 101 somewhere, and if you like it, buy it; but also explore the smaller distilleries and blenders to find more whiskies you like from companies worth supporting.
This is also just my perspective on the matter, I'm curious what other people's thoughts are.