Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by The Clover. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
The legacy of Bobby Jones continues with a whiskey collaboration between the Jones estate and Piedmont Distillers. The Clover Single Barrel Series is named for Jones’ good luck charm. Born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1902, Bobby’s mother gave him a gold four-leaf clover medallion. In Irish tradition, each leaf of a clover embodies a specific meaning: hope, faith, love, and luck.
Wearing this charm, Bobby won the original Grand Slam of golf in 1930. This included the British Open, the U.S. Open, and both British and U.S. Championships. Bobby would enjoy three fingers of the finest local whiskey after every tournament. From 1923 to 1930, Bobby won 13 championships. His record remained undefeated until 1973 when Jack Nicklaus won his 14th major at the PGA Championship.
After his Grand Slam win, Bobby Jones retired from competitive golf. Wanting privacy as he played recreationally, Bobby dreamt up his ideal golf course. With the help of Alister MacKenzie, the duo created a sanctuary paying homage to the Old Course at Saint Andrews. The course, of course, is Augusta National—home of the Masters—in Georgia. While Bobby did play in several Masters tournaments, he would never achieve the same great wins as he did in 1930.
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Unfortunately, in 1948, Bobby Jones showed symptoms of syringomyelia. He acquired the disease in a freak accident when he was struck by lightning in 1929. The disease causes fluid cysts to form within the spinal cord. After Bobby’s death in 1971, his family partnered with the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation. Portions of the proceeds from the sales of The Clover Single Barrel Straight Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey go to the Bobby Jones Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation. You can find The Clover at select golf courses around the country.
Tasting Notes: The Clover Single Barrel Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Vital Stats: 45% ABV, 90 proof. Sourced straight bourbon from Indiana. Aged for 10 years. 750ml $50.
Appearance: Chestnut with glints of mahogany.
Nose: The whiskey has a bit of a sour mash to it. The nose starts off grassy, but then transitions to mint. Lemon, orange, and even grapefruit peel lingers. In the background is the faint aroma of baby powder. Near the end of the nose are black pepper and some other spices I cannot quite pin down.
Palate: In the background, there is a bit of acetone. Honey comes through to bring some sweetness. There is a little bit of fruit with ripe cherry. It is spicy with black pepper. Like the nose, it also has a sour mash taste. Overall, the whiskey reminds me of banana bread.
Of all three bottles in The Clover Single Barrel Series, I liked the 10-year-old Tennessee whiskey. I think it could even age longer. It probably is juice meant for George Dickel, but as a Dickel drinker, I’m not disappointed. It has balance, but I enjoyed the sour mash I picked up on the nose and palate. 90 proof is just right, but I prefer a dropper of water in this one.
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