Updated: May 29, 2020
When I got involved with Jagoff Sports, one of the first articles I wanted to write was about Terry Bradshaw’s first country album (there’s more than one, let that sink in). For a bunch of reasons I kept putting this off. I was either too busy or didn’t think I could do it justice (it's a really bad album).
Then Terry Bradshaw released a bourbon. This changed everything.
As a Pittsburgher and bourbon drinker, I felt compelled nay, obligated to try this bourbon no matter how terrible or pricey it might be. I figured out how to tie all this Terry Bradshaw content together by writing a double-review covering the bourbon and the record because you really need a few before you listen to the album.
In typical PA liquor store fashion they released it on the East side of the state before releasing it in Pittsburgh. Luckily for me, they released it here in Western PA just in time for a coronavirus quarantine. So now with no sports and a whole lot of free time I might as well drink and listen to awful music.
So after a 45-minute wait in a line of panicked alcoholics, I finally got my hands on Bradshaw Bourbon.
What They Say:
This is pulled straight off the Bradshaw Bourbon Website:
“Four Super Bowl victories was no ordinary feat, but then Terry Bradshaw was no ordinary player. So, it makes sense that Terry Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is anything but ordinary. Blended from the finest grains and aged in hand selected barrels, the 212 blend is worthy of a nod from a true champion.”
Then we get some tasting notes:
NOSE | Vanilla, Toffee, Banana, Leather, and Campfire Notes PALATE | Cinnamon, Baking Spices, Vanilla, and Coconut FINISH | Wood, Vanilla, Butterscotch
Okay so we pretty much have some generic tasting notes, that tell you it's a bourbon, so not really sure how you unique it is.
It comes at 51.9% alcohol in honor(?) of Bradshaw’s completion percentage, which is hot for a bourbon, but is pretty terrible for a quarterback. It’s a cute marketing thing, but it leaves you with a lot of questions about all those times you used Terry as a way to deflect New England fans arguments about Tom Brady being the GOAT.
Does It Taste Any Good?
Yeah it's not bad. It's a fine sipping whiskey. I tried having a stronger opinion on it honestly. Any time a celebrity liquor comes out I really want to be able to say it's garbage, or that it's secretly really good. It's more fun that way. So average to solid is kind of disappointing.
The Terry Bradshaw Signature:
Bradshaw Bourbon's website has a couple cocktails, but I felt they were too generic, or I didn’t have the ingredients because I didn’t plan to do any of this. I tried the signature cocktail featured on the website: The Terry Bradshaw which consists of a 1/3 cup of bourbon and an ice cube. While making this was super easy I spent a bunch of time wondering why they measured it out in cups instead of ounces like a normal person.
This is probably the most "pure" to taste the spirit. I mean you could drink it neat, but you'll end up feeling like a college kid drinking overproof vodka out of a mug playing thunderstruck.
2.5 out of 5 Terrys
I'm a little biased here, I have a couple bourbons I brought back from Kentucky from a work trip and a bottle of Kavalan lying around that I'd much rather go for rather than this, but it's not bad.
The Cliff Stou(d)t
The Cliff Stout: In honor of perennial backup Cliff Stoudt, Here’s a shot and a beer combination. Originally, I was going with a Guinness for the pun, but panic buying booze in a grocery store in PA is a pain, so I just went and grabbed a case IC light instead. I'm using my backup beer, but I feel like Cliff would understand.
2.5 out of 5 Terrys
5 out of 5 Terrys
This isn't the most inspired drink choice, but it'll get you drunk and right now that's pretty great.
Terry’s from Louisiana, and while he’s from no where near New Orleans, it felt right to make something from his home state. This is my favorite use for Bradshaw Bourbon, the extra proof helps it stand up on this wonderfully boozy drink. Traditionally you just rinse the glass with absinthe, but let’s be honest you need some more at a time like this, so pour however much you like into the drink.
5 out of 5 Terrys
80000 out of 5 Terrys
Seriously just make this.
I had this idea of making up a cool Immaculate Reception drink using Bradshaw Bourbon, Punt e Mes (Italian for Franco) and Cognac (French for Frenchy Fuqua) and garnishing with bottled Raiders tears, but honestly at this point the booze had kicked in and I didn’t feel like being all that creative.
So, I went for an old standby. I used to constantly drink manhattans when I was in college, I thought it was the best drink in the world. Now, I’m not as big of a fan. You probably shouldn’t add absinthe. I did...not a good idea.
3 out of 5 Terrys
4 out of 5 Terrys
Yours will probably be better. The key is to not succumb to the idea that just because the Sazerac was so great that absinthe makes everything better...it doesn't. In all seriousness it's pretty solid but a little too cloying for me personally.
While I thought the bourbon would cut through the syrupy nature of Punt e Mes, it kinda just plays into it. Luxardo cherries do redeem everything so bonus points for that. It's still good, but a Rye manhattan is infinitely better.
Bradshaw Bourbon Final Verdict:
Honestly not too bad. I was expecting something a little more rough. It's a little hot and for 40 bucks there are far more interesting bourbons, but if you're stuck in a potential hellscape, it's a pretty solid choice.
If we ever get back to football it wouldn't be a bad choice to keep you warm during a Steeler game. It makes a fucking fantastic sazerac even if you're a little heavy on the absinthe it stands up to the ol' green fairy. So let's say it's a solid 3.5 out of 5.
I'd say go check it out for yourself, but at the moment with the state stores closed that's not super easy to do. Hopefully though you can take some of the recipes and and make your self a few drinks because you'll need them for Pt. II where we listen to Terry Bradshaw's first country album.
See the Country Album review here.