Marianne Eaves Reinvents Kentucky Bourbon With Forbidden Debut

Today marks the debut of Forbidden, a revolutionary new bourbon from Kentucky's first female master distiller, Marianne Eaves. It's the first bourbon made from white corn and white winter wheat and comes after about ten years of work by Eaves. She has carefully moderated every step of the development of Forbidden and embraced techniques atypical of bourbon production — such as fermentation at a low temperature.

Bourbon's roots place it firmly in the American South, and Forbidden represents a new take on this unique regional spirit. Eaves says this license for doing things differently is key to her process. "Total creativity involves a certain degree of rebellion. To be completely creative, I tend to do things that are a little bit forbidden," Eaves said in a press release. "While creating Forbidden, I have had the freedom to cross deep into uncharted territory by using nontraditional ingredients and techniques. The resulting bourbon, on my palate, is perfection."

Forbidden defies expectations

The end result of Eaves' experimentation is a bourbon with leading whiffs of notes like vanilla and hazelnut. This bourbon is inspired by the flavor and complexity of Southern cooking, and it has a distinct balance of light floral notes, like citrus oil, with a smooth, dark taste that is both warm and layered. Other things that help Forbidden achieve its taste profile include being aged in charred barrels, and its unique blend of corn, wheat, and barley. The five-year-aged bourbon is 95.2 proof.

Eaves made and aged this bourbon at Bardstown Bourbon Company in Kentucky. This first release of Forbidden is a small batch and will only be released in four states: Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. You can also find it online for $129. With Forbidden, Eaves and her partners are attempting to defy expectations for what is typical bourbon, and creating new avenues of possibility for this spirit in the future.