A few years ago Pabst Brewing Company entered the spirits category with the launch of Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey. A perfect companion to its no frills PBR beer, this whiskey also comes to market in a similar approach.
Back in 2017, Pabst entered a distribution partnership with New Holland Brewing from Holland, Michigan. Known for its Dragon’s Milk Stout, New Holland also has its own distillery that produces all sorts of spirits including Beer Barrel Bourbon, a bourbon we reviewed a while back.
With this partnership, it is at New Holland Brewing where Pabst distills its Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey. It took the team two years to come up with the recipe they wanted. It is also where it ages this whiskey…for 5 seconds!
Using a mash bill of 52% Corn, 28% Malted Barley, 17% Wheat, and 3% Rye and very little aging, Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey is a white dog whiskey that sits at 80 proof. Nothing special, just a whiskey that offers its own unique flavors, but more akin to that of moonshine than that of a bourbon.
Pabst markets this whiskey with the tagline of, “We created this whiskey to be drunk, not judged, just like our beer.” Yes, it is a bottle that stands out on the whiskey aisle. It is clear and the packaging is very well done.
The 750mL bottle features an embossed glass with a wax(ish) circle around the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon logo that is front and center. An historic font details the history of Pabst to make this whiskey feel special and unique. And unlike many other distillers, Pabst proudly places its mash bill on the label and touts that ii is aged for 5 seconds!
When it comes to the whiskey itself, it is nothing special, just like other white dog whiskies. They do have a following, it’s just not something that we usually chase down.
Since its essentially un-aged, Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey pours a very clear color, similar to other clear spirits. Flavors of corn and alcohol are quite prominent. Even with a mash bill of over 51% corn, there is little complexity to this whiskey that if aged could be a bourbon. It does have some meandering low shelf bottle tequila flavor on the finish. Yes, a bit strange yet intriguing.
One shining star of this whiskey is to make the most Pabst Boilermaker possible. Just grab a tall boy of Pabst Blue Ribbon and pour it into a 20 oz glass, fill a shot glass up of Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey and drop the shot in and chug!
Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey retails for $24.95 here in Oregon and can be located by visiting http://www.oregonliquorsearch.com. The whiskey can also be found in Washington, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.