Named after early 1800’s bourbon pioneer Joseph Washington Dant, the bourbon now known as J.W. Dant was introducted a little over 50 years ago. After a few uneventful decades of existence, J.W. Dant was purchased by the fine folks at Heaven Hill in 1993 and added to their stable of average, low end bourbons.
J.W. Dant is an inexpensive offering that has a mellow flavor of sweet corn and vanilla. It is not necessarily tasty or smooth enough to consume neat, but it’s not a bad choice for mixed drinks if you’re planning on consuming a lot in one night and want to be economical. That being said, I’ll probably never buy another bottle because there are at many other choices in the ballpark and I like trying new things.
My biggest issue with J.W. Dant bourbon is that it isn’t fabulous and I think that given the man’s history and contribution to the bourbon world, he deserves a much tastier bourbon named after him. If people like Thomas Jefferson, who had practically nothing to do with bourbon, gets a nice one named after him, why can’t one of the pioneers of the Kentucky bourbon scene gets something delicious with his name on it? Come on, Heaven Hill! Dant deserves better.