Coulter & Payne Missouri Bourbon Whiskey – Review

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Today we continue our journey through Missouri’s whiskey scene. I decided the second tipple I had at Gamlin Whiskey House had to be a local dram. So, I settled on the Mad Buffalo Bourbon Whiskey. I’d never heard of it and decided to give it a whirl.

I asked my server for a 1 oz pour. She went to the bar to grab it but didn’t come back for a while. About 7 or 8 minutes later she came back and I was surprised to see her carrying a glass of bourbon and a bottle with a label which read: Coulter & Payne, Missouri Bourbon Whiskey. She must have recognized my inquisitive gaze because before she even set the glass down she assured me it was the same whiskey I’d ordered. “The distillery has changed their name,” she said. “But it’s the same thing.” I was curious but I took her word for it and delved right in. The research was best suited for another time and place. That time and place is now.

Coulter & Payne Farm Distillery used to be called Mad Buffalo Distillery. I’m not sure if they got pressure from Buffalo Trace to change their name or if, as they say on their website, they changed it to include the heritage of their entire family (since it is 100% family owned). Either way, they now have “an improved name.”

This place is quite unique amongst the sea of craft distilleries. While quite a few distilleries try to use local ingredients in their processes none of them quite compare to what we have here. Coulter & Payne uses 100% estate grown grains in their mashbills. Their grains are sustainably grown and 100% Non-GMO. 100% of the water used in their distillation process comes from a spring on the grounds of their farm. The barrels used to age their spirits are the only things which do not come from their own production but even those come from only 50 miles away. This is a true farm-to-table distillery.

I love the fact that they are doing things sustainably and locally but at the end of the day what their spirits taste like is what matters most to the consumer. So, today we take a deeper look at their Small Batch, Single Estate, Missouri Bourbon Whiskey.


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Distiller: Coulter & Payne Farm Distillery

Owner: Coulter & Payne Farm Distillery

Location: Union, Missouri

Age: 6 Months Old

ABV: 40% (Non-Chill Filtered, No Added Coloring/Flavor)

Batch: 6 (Less Than 10 Barrels)

Mashbill: At Least 51% Corn

Price: N/A (Dram Purchased at Gamlin Whiskey House)


Super cloudy (I’m not sure if this is the unfiltered nature or if it had some extra exposure to oxygen). Classic, light amber.


Heavy on the new make. Tons of corn sweetness. Mixed throughout were notes of figs, plums, and a slight trace of vanilla.


Very thin mouthfeel. The corn sweetness dominates the palate as it did the nose. Here there is some vanilla and strawberries.


Medium-short. Vanilla and citrus. A little spice shows up at the very end. The corn sweetness holds on throughout the entire experience.


The typical price for a 750ml bottle is $35-40. While this is a much better price than most young craft whiskies ($50+) I would still be hard-pressed to buy a bottle. It’s definitely worth the price to sample a pour at your local bar. But, the age and corn-forward, new make heavy profile would prevent me from buying a bottle for anything more than $15-20.


This is an okay whiskey. There is nothing really off-putting about it. I did enjoy the evolving fruit element and I love that they are almost 100% self-sourced. But, I’m not a big fan of young tasting, corn heavy (bourbon) whiskies. I would love to see this one aged 4+ years though. I bet it would be a pretty tasty treat. Until then, there are other tipples I am going to lean towards in both this age, sector (craft), and price range. Cheers!


79/100 (An Okay Tipple)

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