Horse Soldier Bourbon Review

Horse Soldier Bourbon Review

Our verdict

Horse Soldier Bourbon is a good whiskey with a great meaning – one of the best ever produced and made by true American heroes. The taste is pleasant with hints of vanilla, oak, some mild black pepper spice, and honey. It’s smooth enough to drink neat and has an undeniably lovely finish. It also tastes fantastic on the rocks or in a cocktail.

Overall rating

The longer review

Horse Soldier Bourbon History

Horse Soldier Bourbon is a project started by veterans whose history goes back to the infamous 9/11 terrorist attack.

Days after the events of September 11, 2001, a small US Army Special Forces unit answered their nation’s call to defend it. They found themselves riding horseback in a Green Beret insertion in Northern Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. With the support of these brave men, the Northern Alliance successfully overthrew Mazar-i-Sharif, a Taliban stronghold. These incredibly patriotic men were given the nickname “The Horse Soldiers” and were honored with America’s Response Monument at Ground Zero, New York, in 2011.

The four ex-Green Berets later came together to create the 16,000 square-foot American Freedom Distillery in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they distill their Rekker Rum. Their whiskey is made in Ohio in collaboration with Middle West Spirits. A portion of the proceeds from every bourbon bottle sold goes towards maintaining America’s Response Monument.

Where is Horse Soldier Bourbon Made?

Currently, Horse Soldier Bourbon is distilled in Columbus, Ohio, in Middle West Spirits Distillery. Middle West Spirits Distillery is a partner distillery as its main facility is being built in St. Petersburg, Florida. The collaborative distilling allows the distillers access to multiple stills, invaluable insight, and experience from world-class operators.
Ohio offers an ideal climate for aging the bourbon.

How is Horse Soldier Bourbon Made?

Horse Soldier Bourbon is a unique whiskey made in the heart of America with pride and patience. It’s distilled from a mash of 70% yellow dent corn, 20% red winter wheat, and 10% malted barley, using carefully filtered water from limestone aquifers. The liquor is matured for eight years in new, charred American oak casks before being bottled.

The bourbon is bottled in American-made glass vials pressed in molds made from steel salvaged from the World Trade Center site after 9/11. The forging of the steel in fire is to honor the spirit of resilience and service that arose from the terrorist attack.

horse soldier bourbon bottles

Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey Variations

The Horse Soldier Bourbon is available in three expressions: the core Wheated Bourbon (47.5%), Barrel Strength (56.5%), and Commander’s Select (58%).

The three Horse Soldier Bourbon variations are:

American Freedom Distillery Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey – White Label

This bourbon is made with 70% corn, 20% red winter wheat, 10% barley, and has no age statement. At 95 proof, it has dark chocolate and hazelnut notes with hints of red pepper and a subtle menthol note.

American Freedom Distillery Horse Soldier Premium Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Copper Label

This bourbon is made with 65% corn, 30% rye, and 5% barley. It’s aged for at least 2years. The spirit’s fruit character is pumped up with cherry, plum, and grape notes. At 87 proof, the palate is both fruity and nutty, while the finish sees leather emerging more clearly.

American Freedom Distillery Horse Soldier Barrel Bourbon Whiskey – Silver Label

This bourbon is made with 70% corn, 20% red winter wheat, 10% barley, with no age statement. This spirit is a barrel-proof version of the first whiskey on our list. At 111 proof, it’s a bit of a blazer without water, a fireball of red pepper, cinnamon spice, and smoldering lumber on both nose and palate. The high proof gives you more flexibility to toy with and coax out some slightly different elements.

horse soldier bourbon bottle and glasses on hand

Tasting notes.

What to expect

One of the reasons why Horse Soldier Bourbon is a lot of people’s favorite “go-to” is because it’s not too sweet and approachable and finishes with an impactful pop.


A soft sweet aroma makes up the heft of the nose, with touches of caramel, apple, and slight cherry in tow. A touch of buttered corn rounds up the fruitiness very nicely.


A nice deep amber hue


You can taste toasted nuts, oily toffee, and oak, then cherry and spice followed by a smooth finish. The finish is woody with lingering notes joined by a hint of leather.

How to Drink Horse Soldier Bourbon

Horse Soldier Bourbon is an easy sipper that even non-bourbon drinkers find very approachable. Thanks to its easy drinkability, Horse Soldier Bourbon may be enjoyed however you like. It’s good neat, with ice, or in a cocktail.

horse soldier bourbon cocktails


Ideally, this is how most bourbon-drinkers like to enjoy their bourbon.

With ice cubes or with cold water

You can add about 4-5 ice cubes to 2 oz in a highball glass. Alternatively, you could add a few drops of water to your whiskey to open up the flavors.

With soda

A lot of people mix Horse Soldier Bourbon with soda to sweeten the bourbon and make the taste a little bearable. The soda that mixes best with Horse Soldier Bourbon is Coke.


There are a bunch of elegant cocktails that can be made with this bourbon. Different people have different preferences – while some people use lemonade, other use orange juice, red bull, etc.

horse soldier bourbon bottle on hand

The Whiskey Rocks verdict.

Is it good?

Horse Soldier Bourbon is a carefully distilled spirit with a great story behind it. The bottle looks amazing too. Honestly, Horse Soldier is one of the best bourbons you’ll ever have. It’s a drinkable whisky and we highly recommend it and if you haven’t picked up a bottle you should.

You will love this bourbon if you are a patriot who enjoys drinking good bourbon. Horse Soldier Bourbon isn’t for you if you don’t like bourbons bottled at high proof. The Horse Soldier Barrel Bourbon is bottled at 113 proof.

Ashleigh Cain

Ashleigh is a key part of the editorial team at Whiskey Rocks. You'll often find her either writing educational articles or reviewing the latest artisan whiskeys. Her favorite drink? Ashleigh loves smokey scotches like Laphroaig, but you'll also often find her with an old fashioned in hand.

Pepperjam Verification

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