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Frank August’s New Small Batch Bourbon Tells a Story with Its Beautiful Bottle

In an American industry as old as bourbon, it’s still always exciting when we get to witness a new distillery step into the light for the first time. The tradition of bourbon whiskey dates back to the 18th century when a Baptist minister in Kentucky, Elijah Craig, first aged his liquor in charred oak barrels. A few miles away, Jacob Spears eventually coined the term “bourbon” and the rest was history. In the past 200-plus years, we’ve still managed to be surprised by the spirit of creativity, whether that has to do with what’s inside the bottle or the bottle itself…or both.

Sometimes a whiskey speaks to us before we’ve even uncorked it. New on the market, but spreading fast, Frank August’s magnificently beautiful bottle is both minimalist and an oozing cultural amalgam. Without a sticker label to muddy our view of the liquor, the glass marries Frank Lloyd Wright’s simplicity with modern reluctance to conform to what the industry has convinced us we should come to expect. The end result is one of the most attractive vessels for any beverage on the market (in fact, it took home the award for Best Modern Packaging Across All Spirits at the New Orleans Spirits Competition last month).

Frank August’s goal is to tell us a story as we imbibe, evoking nostalgia for America’s past without any distractions by obligatory labeling, aside from a small one on the neck. The whiskey itself comes from a small batch of just 10 to 15 barrels and is made entirely in Kentucky. Bottled at 100 proof, the liquor has a full-bodied profile that begins with vanilla and caramel notes, leading to cinnamon, rye bread, and brown sugar, which give way to a medium-long finish of baking spices, oak, and more vanilla.

As Frank August Small Batch Straight Kentucky Bourbon still tours the awards circuit and prepares to rack up some more wins, the 750mL bottle is now available through select retailers for around $66.

Purchase: $66