The best thing about NBA superstar Steph Curry’s recent entry into the world of celebrity spirits is that he chose not to release a tequila. Seriously, we don’t need any more celeb-backed tequilas, and The Rock and George Clooney have that game on lock. No, Curry decided to go with a bourbon called Gentleman’s Cut, and while it’s certainly not a brick, this whiskey is more rookie than seasoned vet.
We covered the news of this release when details started to become available, so here’s a recap of what’s actually in the bottle. Curry’s SC30 Inc. venture partnered with John Schwartz, owner of the Amuse Bouche Winery in Napa, to create a company called Game Changer Distillery. No, they didn’t actually start a distillery—instead, they worked with Kentucky’s Boone County Distilling Co., which opened in 2015 and has its own eponymous portfolio of pot still-produced bourbons. Gentleman’s Cut is made from a mash bill of 75 percent corn, 21 percent rye, and four percent malted barley, aged from five to seven years, and bottled at 90 proof.
Obviously, the barrels that went into this whiskey were distilled well before this venture came about, and who knows how much Curry had to do with actually tasting and selecting the liquid (although the brand says he was “intimately” involved in every step). Despite being comparable in age to other well-known whiskeys from Jim Beam, Evan Williams, and Buffalo Trace, my overall impression is that this is a slightly immature whiskey—it’s a bit grainy and green on the nose, and that follows through on the palate. That being said, there are some pleasant notes of balsa wood, vanilla, tobacco, green apple, spiced pear, and caramel as you sip. The finish is a bit hot and it lingers for a while with some toasted almond and pecan flavor on the final stretch.
This isn’t a bad bourbon by any means, but it’s not as refined as I might have hoped. It veers towards a craft whiskey flavor profile more than that of something made by the tried and true Kentucky institutions, but that makes sense given its origin. Kudos to Curry and his team for not going to the MGP well for this whiskey—that distillery make great whiskey, but so many brands are sourced from there. Perhaps it was more economical, efficient, or just easier to go with Boone County as a distilling partner, and that choice does make the whiskey stand out. Again, I appreciate that the Baby Faced Assassin didn’t join the ranks of Kevin Hart and Michael Jordan and dunk into the world of agave spirits. The $80 price tag feels a bit high, but the branding is all about celebration, craft, and elegance, and this bottle will likely appeal to both Curry fans and whiskey aficionados who like to venture outside the best known distilleries. A couple of tweaks in the blend, perhaps the inclusion of some slightly older liquid, and Gentleman’s Cut could prove itself to be a championship contender.
- 100: Worth trading your first born for
- 95 – 99 In the Pantheon: A trophy for the cabinet
- 90 – 94 Great: An excited nod from friends when you pour them a dram
- 85 – 89 Very Good: Delicious enough to buy, but not quite special enough to chase on the secondary market
- 80 – 84 Good: More of your everyday drinker, solid and reliable
- Below 80 It’s alright: Honestly, we probably won’t waste your time and ours with this