Clover Whiskey: Bourbon + Golf? Yes, Please.
You may not know this about me, but for as passionate as I am about golf, I’m equally passionate about spirits and cocktails.
No, not in an alcoholic kind of way. I prefer to think of myself as a connoisseur.
Breaking Eighty got it’s start with my quest to play the best golf courses in the world.
Depending on the list, I’m about halfway there.
Well, in 2014, I also quietly started another quest: to visit the top 100 bars in the world.
Based on the 2017 list, I’m at 59/100.
On the current list, I’m at 36/100. Damn you, COVID.
Either way, that’s a lot of cocktails.
But I tell you this to give you a little bit of extra insight for this review. I’ve never reviewed whiskey, or any alcohol on this site before – but once I heard about The Clover, it felt like the perfect time to start.
One of the things I’ve learned in my bar quest and diving into my knowledge of spirits is that in so many cases, story is more important than product.
Sure, a product has to be good as well, but it’s usually the story you remember more than the actual taste of something.
The time I did a flight of 4 50 year old scotches…
The vintage negroni in Japan that used all ingredients made in the 1960s..
The back to back tasting of 2004 and 2013 Leonetti in Coeur d’Alene.
All super unique experiences and stories I tell – which are far more interesting than the actual taste itself.
What is Clover Whiskey?
Ever heard of a “golf bourbon” before? Yeah neither had I, but that’s essentially what Clover is. It’s a whiskey company that has branded the entire business around golf.
Now you might be quick to write this off as a gimmick, and there may certainly be a little element of that, but the more I learned about the story of Clover, the more interested I became.
The whole Clover brand is an homage to Bobby Jones, which if you’re reading this blog, you probably don’t need me to tell you about his impact on golf.
But what you may not know is that he was born on St. Patricks Day and his mother gave him a clover pin that he wore in every match he played.
Each leaf of the clover has a different meaning: faith, hope, luck and love.
If that doesn’t apply to both golf and whiskey, I’m not sure what does.
But back to the brand…
Clover was started by the grandson of Bobby Jones as an homage to the game and to his family.
A portion of every sale is donated to the Bobby Jones Foundation to support their initiatives.
But is Clover Whiskey Any Good?
With all of that said, story will only get you so far.
You can have a great story and tie any product back to golf, but if the product isn’t any good, no one will buy it.
Fortunately, I’m happy to report that the Clover Single Barrel Bourbon is very good.
They have three products they sell:
- Clover Single Barrel Bourbon – A bourbon aged at least 4 years
- Clover Single Barrel Tennessee Bourbon – Aged at least 10 years, and also uses a unique process where they steep the whiskey in maple sugar-infused charcoal chips before it enters the cask.
- Clover Single Barrel Straight Rye – A rye whiskey aged at least 4 years.
Now I haven’t tried the Rye or Tennessee yet, but I was pleasantly surprised with the Clover Bourbon.
Part of the allure and story of Clover is that it’s not as easy to get as your typical bottle of Jack Daniels. It’s in a limited number of retailers on an allocated basis, but is most often found in golf pro shops and resorts.
Which might be a reason you question whether it’s any good.
I don’t fully know the details of the distillers they work with, but I have really enjoyed the final product.
It has a thick mouth feel when you first take a sip, and at 92 proof you can definitely feel a little heat from the alcohol. However, it isn’t so pronounced that you should have any issues sipping it neat…or from a flask on the course 🙂
One of the first things I noticed after smelling it and my first taste is that it almost had some characteristics of a rye. It wasn’t overly sweet, and had some cereal flavor that I usually get from rye more than bourbon.
Final Thoughts on Clover Bourbon
The challenge Clover faces is that there is a lot of competition at its relatively high price point of $70 a bottle.
But in the end Clover is a good whiskey with a great story. Many golfers who travel to the courses where Clover is sold have dozens of hats, shirts, and belts from the courses they’ve played.
But most of them don’t necessarily have a special bottle of whiskey from those places that they can look back on and enjoy while the reminisce about rounds past.
And that’s where I think the allure of this product is. It’s less than the price of a nice polo from any of those pro shops, and something you’re likely to get much more enjoyment out of.
This is a bottle I’m excited to have in my collection, and one I’ll be sure to share with my fellow golfing friends, both on the course and off.