Review: Waterfill and Frazier (1950s)

Updated: Jan 22


Waterfill and Frazier Kentucky Blended Whiskey (1950s) - 43%


The story of Waterfill and Frazier is, in traditional bourbon fashion, larger than life. After her husband died, Mary Dowling ran the distillery through women's suffrage right up until prohibition. Then she got busted in the bootlegging game. But when the court stenographer died and records were lost, Mary won her appeal. She then counter sued the federal government to return her bootlegged bourbon and paid Joe Beam (Jim's cousin) to build a distillery in Juarez, Mexico out of the dismantled Waterfill and Frazier Distillery so she could keep making whiskey “legally” through prohibition. The bourbon that came out of Mexico sold very well across the southwest despite it’s notoriously awful taste.


This bottling is removed from all that by a few decades. It’s also a blended whiskey containing neutral grain spirit - not the straight bourbon of its former glory. I haven’t sought out other blended dusties because the general consensus seems to be, "why bother?"

Nose: Vanilla. Light oak. It’s got some musty/dusty/cardboard happening. Orange oil. Dark chocolate. Funky pot still plastics. Didn't think there would be this much character. Dangerously getting my hopes up for the palate.


Flavor: Orange. Vanilla. Oak dries things out and plays a hair astringent.

Why is this smoky/ashy/rubber in the finish?


Structure: It starts thick and fat and moves too quickly, thinning out and over drying rapidly.

Alcohol Integration: Decent weight - better than proof would suggest. Great clarity to the notes. Never drinks hot. Drinks like a standard 90-100 proofer.

Score: 5 (Acceptable) Structure and finish really hold this one back, but there was more here to like than I imagined.

You May Also Dig:

Orange/citrus forward bourbon

Four Roses Small Batch Select

Old Grand-Dad BiB


Archived Scores

Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour


Sources: Pre-Pro Whiskey Men

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