Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon Review

Hailing from a bottler and blender in Austin, TX comes the Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon. A 4-year-old MGP  bourbon from a 21% rye mash that was distilled in Indiana… but aged in the aforementioned Texas. An interesting way to leverage the distilling expertise of MGP, but still hold on to a more-local story with the aging. Though you might not, immediately, pick that up that from the label.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon Review

Like with the Kooper Family Rye, if you just read the back-label text it’s easy to get the idea that they distilled this whiskey even though they don’t expressly say it. The full disclosure is on the website, which is fantastic, and they do include state of distillation on the back label, also fantastic. Though, if you missed that at the bottom you could be forgiven for thinking it was an all TX product from the wording.

That covers what’s on the bottle… but what about the liquid in the bottle? Let’s dig in.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon – Details and Tasting Notes


Whiskey Details

Region: Indiana

Distiller: MGP
Bottler: Kooper Family Whiskey Co.
Mash: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malt
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 4+ Years
ABV: 45%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $45*

White background tasting shot with the Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon bottle and a glass of whiskey next to it.
“Distilled in Indiana from 75% Corn, 21% Rye, and 4% Barley, barreled in the finest #3 Char American White Oak casks, and slowly matured in the extreme Texas climate. Our climate, marked by wild temperature swings and extreme summer heat, pushes our Bourbon deeper into the oak and draws out richer flavors as the years pass.” – Kooper Family Whiskey Co.

Tasting Notes


Caramel, baking spice, oak, vanilla, butterscotch, toasted grain and maple oatmeal with a touch of dark fruit and sweet peas.

Tart caramel apples, cinnamon, butterscotch syrup, dark fruit and toasted nuts.

Medium -> Caramel, grain, spice and oak.

Good sense of balance, medium body and dry feel.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon – Overall

Aroma comes together like a caramel pie with a touch of corn and orchard fruit with a light vegetal quality, but for the most part comes through like a standard bourbon; Palate hits with a high-rye-style profile with a good hunk of spice coming through and hits just the right “standard bourbon” notes; Finish is sweet and simple with just the right amount of spice and oak to keep it interesting.

I’m enjoying this bourbon. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s perfect for both sipping and mixing; a nice workhorse bourbon.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon – Final Thoughts and Score

Sourced whiskey is everywhere and it’s not going away anytime soon. It hasn’t in the last 100+ years of American whiskey, so why should it disappear in our lifetime? I’m not opposed to it, but I am opposed to some of the shitty shady practices that often go along with it. Like hiding that it’s sourced, or making up a stupid story to justify a 3x price increase or a 6 month finish in a wine barrel with a 6x+ increase. Thankfully none of that is present here.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon plainly states that it’s sourced (website + state of dist on label) and is delivered simply at 90 proof and non chill-filtered. It’s a good, standard bourbon with a familiar profile whiskey lovers and cocktail aficionados alike can gather around. Here’s to keeping it simple.

SCORE: 3/5

*Disclosure: The bottle for this bourbon review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon Back Label

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon Review


A nice, flexible, standard bourbon that’s enjoyable neat or in a cocktail. A true workhorse of a bourbon.


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