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St. Elmo’s Cherry Vanilla Infused Bourbon

St. Elmo Steak House Cherry Vanilla Bourbon Shelf
Fits Nicely On Any Bourbon Shelf

What better way to start my reviews than with an Indianapolis Original!
A Bit of History

Given that Beef & Bourbon originated with a group of people from Indiana, I wanted to pay tribute to arguably the most historic steakhouse in the capital city of the flattest and most corn abundant state in our great Union!

St. Elmo's is a steakhouse located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, cooking meats for well over 100 years. The steaks are cooked to perfection, Dry-Aged and delicious. This landmark is now equally as well known for its housemade ridiculously Horseradishy Horseradish Sauce. It is served with Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. The combination will clean your sinuses so thoroughly that you can probably skip your next flu shot. But alas, my review today is not focused on the excellent dining experience unfortunately. I will save that for another day.

What does this have to do with Bourbon?

What goes better before, with, or after a fine cut of beef? Bourbon! I imagine that the proprietors of this fine restaurant have sold a lot of cocktails in their century of operation and saw an opportunity to go upstream. Their signature cocktail is a finger (or few) of their Cherry Vanilla Infused Straight Bourbon, a splash of cola and cherries. This must have been a huge hit, and I can attest to the delectability of this fine cocktail after many samplings. It sold so well that they now bottle and sell locally their own brand of bourbon which you may not have heard about outside of the Indianapolis circle.

The Best Part, Sample Time!

I will discuss this drink in two forms, On the Rocks and mixed at home in the "Signature" style.

Beef and Bourbon D&D Dragons
B&B and D&D Go Together Well!

On the Rocks

I prefer to drink almost all of my bourbon on the rocks, unless we get into a real special bottle. This may be blasphemous. I do not disagree. If you find something that I am reviewing would benefit from being consumed in the neat form, let me know!

Upon first pull, I am definitely getting the cherry and vanilla. Make no mistake, this puppy is sweet on its own. There is minimal initial bite and smooths out nicely as the ice dissolves elegantly into this rich dark reddish liquor. The aftertaste is strong and overwhelmed by the cherry with a hint of alcohol from that 88 proof rating. If you are a fan of the sweeter things in life like I am, this is very dangerous and you may as well lock up your car keys.

"Signature" Style

I refilled my glass with ice and poured another generous finger for round 2. Adding the soda is just so satisfying for me. Listening to those bubbles just makes me happy, but not quite to the level of sharing a flute of bubbly with my wonderful wife. Drop a couple of cherries in, mix it up and here we go!

I will not lie, I am a sucker for soda on its own, so adding this bourbon just enhances the flavor with the strong cherry vanilla infusion. The small bite when on the rocks disappears completely in this cocktail and you literally are left with a glass of cherry soda with a hint of vanilla. It essentially doesn't matter how you balance the mixture when crafting this cocktail (unless you take it to an extreme). This is absolutely delightful if you are a soda fan. I know a number of people who have forgotten that this is a full on 88 proof alcoholic cocktail, myself included, and had a few too many. Be safe and enjoy!

Is it any Good?

Let's start with the obvious. If I did not thoroughly enjoy this drink, I would not have picked it first! Is this something that is easy to pick up and drink? Absolutely. Is it an instant classic? In my opinion, it is an unbelievable value for the money. I am a sucker for the sweet flavor profile and the way it disappears when mixed. Will this be at the top of the bourbon purist pyramid? Definitely not. I do not believe anything with this much infusion could be considered the top of the heap for a high end masterpiece bourbon. However, it is damn drinkable and worth a shot if anything I have written here raised an eyebrow. At only $26.99 a bottle, it is a steal.

Color - 4/5 - Beautiful dark red, but not traditionally enticing.

Nose - 3/5 - Soft smell that is overpowered by its additives.

Body - 4/5 - I highly enjoy the rush of cherry and vanilla, but it is not for everyone. Mixing with soda puts it into the upper tier for me!

Smoothness - 4/5 - Hardly any bite means I can take this on all night.

Finish - 3/5 - The aftertaste when not mixed is a bit too strong with cherry.

Value - 5/5 - The value on this Bourbon is off the charts in my opinion.

Overall - 3.8 - Definitely grab a bottle at least once in your life if you see it!
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