Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 Review [In Depth]

Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 Bourbon

Alex author
Founder, writer
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Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 Details

Distillery: Milam &  Greene

Type & Region: Bourbon, USA

Alcohol: 58.8%

Composition: Blend of a bunch of stuff

Aged: Blend of 2-14 year old bourbon

Color: 1.3/2.0 on the color scale (russet, muscat)

Price: $90-100

From the company website:

To create Unabridged Volume 2, Milam & Greene harvests bourbon that they distilled in the small copper pot still in Texas and in larger column stills in Kentucky, both using malted rye in the proprietary mash bill. Tennessee barrels of different ages add structure and tannins to round out this exciting blend. This cask-strength blend incorporates some of the rarest casks from the distillery’s library.

This beautiful bourbon has fragrant aromas of dark cherry, fig, sweet almond, menthol, fine boot leather, anise, and caramel candy. It is full-bodied with a viscous mouthfeel carrying bold flavors of dark cherry cola notes characteristic of well-aged bourbon followed by dark brown sugar, sweet black tea, marzipan, and oak. The whiskey’s flavor develops into a round smooth oily finish with fresh bread, licorice, and citrus oil. It packs a punch at 58.8% ABV / 117.6 Proof. Let it rest in the glass to breathe for a moment before enjoying it neat, on ice, with a teaspoon of water, or in a cocktail.

Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 overview

I’ve seen Milam and Greene whiskeys here and there for a few years, but their Unabridged Volume 2 is the first one that I’ve ever reviewed, or even drank for that matter. And so this bottle is my introduction to them, Marsha Milam, Heather Greene, and Marlene Holmes who founded the company. One thought though, it’s curious that the name of the brand doesn’t include Holmes.
Milam and Greene takes a broad approach to whiskey creating, utilizing all the experience that the three of them have. What they do is quite unique – they distill their own whiskey, have whiskey contract distilled in Kentucky, and still source some whiskey to create various expressions.
This particular Unabridged was release to celebrate Heather Greene’s book called “Whiskey Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life”, which was released in 2015. Fun fact, I was gifted a copy of this a few years ago…although admittedly I haven’t read it yet. It’s also meant to highlight her blending skills.
I’m going to borrow some stuff from Milam & Greene’s website because they state it better. Here goes.
“To create Unabridged Volume 2, Milam & Greene harvests bourbon that they distilled in the small copper pot still in Texas and in larger column stills in Kentucky, both using malted rye in the proprietary mash bill. Tennessee barrels of different ages add structure and tannins to round out this exciting blend. This cask-strength blend incorporates some of the rarest casks from the distillery’s library.
  • 11 casks of 14 year old Tennessee bourbon
  • 18 casks of 7 year Tennessee bourbon
  • 5 casks of 4 year Tennessee bourbon
  • 9 casks of 3.5 year Kentucky bourbon with malted rye
  • 11 casks of 2 year Kentucky bourbon with malted rye
  • 2 casks of 2 year old Texas bourbon with malted rye”
I’m guessing that the Texas bourbon is homemade, the Kentucky bourbon is contract distilled, and the Tennessee bourbon is sourced. The Texas and Kentucky bourbon with malted rye is unique, and I don’t think that many distilleries produce that type of bourbon. But hey, I always appreciate something new and unique.
Let’s find out what’s the result of this blending in this Milam and Greene Unabridged Volume 2 review.
Thank you to Milam and Greene for providing this bottle. All opinions are my own.
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As an FYI, I bought and use these Glencairn glasses for everything (they’re the best): Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass Set of 6, Set of 4Set of 2, or just one. Full transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.

Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 smell

On my initial sniffs, I get a pleasant orange-y and floral honey with pumpernickel earthiness / vegetalness mixed into it, followed by red apple, vanilla, orange peel, roasted oak, more earthiness (think pumpernickel bread), pine, dried ginger, cinnamon, toasted nougat, and herbal licorice with a little bit of roasted grain. I’m surprised at how in your face the earthiness is at first, but that could be the malted rye coming through. It’s more unexpected, and it’s not at all unpleasant.
The mixture of underlying darker sweetness and oakiness makes it feel mature, so thankfully the 2-4 year old components don’t dominate with youth. The older components are plenty able to express themselves, and the overall blend has good body and richness with some layers around every corner – really nice stuff.
If there’s Dickel in here (there probably is), it’s not screaming overly mineral-y Dickel. Then again, I enjoy Dickel’s stuff, especially the 15 year single barrels (often older than 15 year old). That’s for another review, but don’t sleep on those.
Milam Greene Unabridged Vol 2 more or less smells the after after swirling and about 20 minutes of rest, which is a great thing. It has that great orangey and floral sweetness and fruitiness with pleasant and fragrant oakiness and rye earthiness, making it smell well-blended and mature. It’s not super rich or all that complex, but it is varied and interesting so I enjoy it a lot. Well done.
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Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 taste and aftertaste

The flavors have a bunch of orange-y honey, vanilla, and more orange at first, but then comes this overbearing dryness, earthiness, and heat, followed by cinnamon, caraway seed, pine, and grain. The balance is strange for this one, starting sweet and fruity, then quickly turning really earthy and oaky.
It’s like the old components appear first, but younger bourbon components, with all that malted rye, quickly take over the flavors while they’re quite tame and behaved in the scents. It tastes nice at first but changes gears very quickly to be not as good. This isn’t a good start.
With “chewing”, I first get pleasant earthy sweetness with honey, pumpernickel, orange, and apple, then again this surge of earthy gumminess and dry woodiness that take over the back half of the flavors. It’s jarring and not really enjoyable. Again, it starts off really nice with that orange-y and slightly herbal honey, but then it falls apart and I have to battle through it.
That’s what it is, there’s this sappy and gummy woodiness and earthiness that’s really confusing and jarring. This is when I wonder if the younger bourbon is causing this disservice to this blend. This could be great if it was under control. Whatever it is though, it throws off the balance for the worse.
The finish starts with caramel and caraway seed, then that sticky dry oak, then cinnamon, and dried orange peel with a lingering dryness and orange sweetness. After “chewing”, it leaves honey, floral and vibrant orange, that weird earthy gumminess, roasted oak, caraway seed.
Here’s the thing though, once the gumminess fades after a few minutes, the finish is actually really nice. It’s delicately sweet and citrusy, which is all I wanted from Milam Greene Unabridged Volume 2.
Milam Greene’s tasting notes seem delightful, but I don’t get any of that. I wish I did though because that sounds like something I want.
I’ve unfortunately lost some Glencairn’s while in transit, and that made me very sad. So, I wised up and bought this Glencairn Travel Case that comes also comes with 2 glasses so I don’t need to worry so much about them breaking. I think it’s great, and I think you’ll love it too. Seriously, if you already have glasses, protect them.

Milam and Greene Unabridged Vol. 2 Rating

Mid shelf+
Milam Greene Unabridged Volume 2 feels like two completely different experiences in the same glass, and it’s jarring and a letdown when put together. It genuinely smells delightful, an earthy, orange-y, and floral burst of honey. It would be in the running for “Top Shelf” if it tasted like it smelled. Unfortunately that is not the case.
The flavors really let this down. It starts off fine, quite sweet and fruity, but is quickly overtaken by youth, gumminess, and dryness that catch me off guard; and it was consistent across multiple tastings too. I seems like the young malted rye bourbon brings that weirdness because 7-14 year old Dickel doesn’t do that.
Two to four year bourbon might though. It’s such a bummer because I was looking forward to the flavors, only to be smacked with a totally different, I’d even say somewhat flawed, experience. I’ve never had anything with that sappy and dry kick.
The reason this still barely holds onto “Mid Shelf+” is because it smells so good and there are some positive qualities in the flavors. Like I already wrote, this could have been a “Top Shelf” bourbon if it didn’t have those off notes. There’s a lot of good in there, but it doesn’t come together in the way that it could have.
To be honest, there’s always the chance that the bourbon is fine and I’m the problem. It happens every now and then, so I even took the time to check just to be sure. After I took my notes, I tried something else to see if I tasted anything strange / off. Turns out that the other spirit was fine, so there’s something weird lurking in this bourbon and not in my head. It’s even possible that this bottle somehow went bad, although the scents would likely be off as well.
I even had some 17 year old Hardin’s Creek Clermont, and that very old, oaky, and tannic bourbon didn’t have any weirdness either, so the oak tannins aren’t the issue. I’m struggling to understand why Milam Greene Unabridged Volume 2 is so off to me, but maybe that’s just how it is.
Based on my experience, I think that you can do a lot better for $80-100. It’s not terrible, but why spend that much money on a bourbon that often tastes weirdly young and out of control? You have tons of big distillery and craft options out there that are better put together, so get those instead.
Alex author
Meet the Author: Alex

I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.

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