Benchmark Single Barrel Bourbon (95 Proof)
Bourbon — Kentucky , USAReviewed June 11, 2023Alert! For a limited time buyers in the state of Georgia should be able to get the Benchmark series at a fantastic deal. If your store isn't selling the Benchmarks including the Single Barrel and Full Proof for around 10$ YES TEN DOLLARS a bottle then be sure and look at some other stores near you. This is due to the on going legal battle between Sazerec and RNDC,,, it apppears RNDC is literally dumping their warehouse stock of BT products, naturally they have very little of the higher end labels but fantastic deals on the Benchmark series exist and continue until ??? Pretty sure this is ONLY in the state of GA, but if anyone knows of other areas doing this feel free to chime in.
Oak & Eden 4 Grain & Spire - Torched Oak
Bourbon — (bottled in) Texas, USAReviewed October 26, 2022 (edited November 8, 2022)Really rich bold profile, I like this 4 grain mash a lot. It really needs about 2-4 years more aging to turn this into a top shelf bourbon whiskey but for what it is, a sugars forward dram, they did well. I get a bit of toasted or burnt butterscotch and certainly dry molasses, the bit-o-honey wheat sugar notes are dark and subdued, it's a much hardier rich sugar middle style of bourbon. I wish more startups and established distillers alike would try this, I know the new J.D. 4 grain(rye) is in this category, and it's excellent btw. I find this spiral cut barrel inset a bit gimmicky but nothing really to complain about, the idea it's going to actually help "age" this liquor in the bottle is a stretch Gumby wouldn't try to make. With their large number of finishes, Oak and Eden seems to be throwing everything at the wall to see what works and with the 4 grain addition they found something. Cheers!
Joseph Magnus Straight Bourbon Finished in Sherry & Cognac Cask
Bourbon — USAReviewed October 25, 2022 (edited December 8, 2022)Sampled at cigar bar, doesn't disappoint.
Woodinville Straight Bourbon Port Cask Finish
Bourbon — Washington, USAReviewed July 26, 2022 (edited October 26, 2022)Washington, hmm the state known for glacier water(beer), IT companies and some very cold ocean frontage, now wants to be a "bourbon" state? Yea ok, well we'll see about that. Having tried the standard Woodinville earlier I procured a few samples of the port finish, maybe it can impress where the plain jane failed. Indeed from the top you get a nose of vinted grape sugars, in fact a lot of port on the nose and maybe just hints of vanilla and honey creep up along with a bit of astringent barrel tones. It's not at all bad. The first sip reveals a good bit of that barrel wood astringency, apparently a good effort to live up to the "Wood" in the name. The port sugars are feint, in fact very faint, and are quickly drowned out with a bitter leather note. Even with extra port finishing this still comes off as a very dry bourbon. The "fruity" profile claimed on the bottle notes just don't seem to be there for me. The barrel wood tones just dominate and finally on the finish I get a bit of the vanilla and sugars. Giving this a bit of time with a few drops of water in the Glencairn this just does't seem to have much else to offer. I'm sure some might find more value in this than I, but then I am a bit spoiled on the good stuff from Kentucky. Maybe it's the Non-limestone glacial water, the colder climate, the fact it's a startup on the left coast, or all of the above, you be the judge. There just isn't anything here that I would pass up a 6 year old Kentucky bourbon for. This will be a pass for me. Cheers!
Still 630 rally point rye
Rye — St. Louis, MO , USAReviewed July 20, 2022 (edited July 26, 2022)nose: rich herbal and ripe fruit sugars, hints of lemon grass and ginger, anything with a nose this good can't be bad front: baking spice and black pepper, slight oily component with only a little heat, a bit of rye bread and dill salt then finally citrus sugars. the fade out is fairly quick and and tapers out nicely free of burn or bitterness, this is a "smooth" (sorry to go there) 90 proofer. This turns out to be an exceptional young rye from a newer distiller, whoever the ADI is, they've named this best in class apparently, I can't argue. This is a 90/10 rye that stands out in both note profile and clarity, I'm thinking it's probably better than I'm giving it credit for, likely because I've never heard of Still 630 before. I'm hoping to try some of their whiskey soon, given they clearly know how to produce some quality rye, Missouri does share a good bit of the limestone basin that has helped make Kentucky water the choice for bourbon. The unambiguous arch(they are out of St Louis) makes me think of quality baseball and this Rallypoint Rye seems to live up to some of that expectation. cheers!
Jack Daniel's Triple Mash
Blended American Whiskey — Tennessee, USAReviewed June 22, 2022 (edited July 26, 2022)Nose: Banana nut, chocolate cherry sugars, lemon grass. Loaded with banana cola nut on the front side and some familiar JD brown sugars on the way out, this is actually quite a concoction.. other than the really fantastic single barrel JD rye, nothing from JD comes close to the triple mash. This is of course technically a rye, as it's 60% rye mash, the remainder of corn and malt is probably really the key, as it just doesn't stand out as a rye, but a sweet and tasty jumble of rye and whiskey. Outside of the traditional JD purists, I can't imagine anyone not finding this a better or at least, far more interesting whiskey than what JD traditionally offers. It's much more enticing than the new, straight bonded JD, and represents a real continuation and improvement in the JD rye lineup. Either someone at JD is looking ahead and see's a future of rye and mash blends or they simply rolled the dice and got lucky, no matter props to JD for producing something that the average bourbon muckaluck should be happy to have in hand, a new product from a familiar name, that isn't short changed on age or hastily thrown together. Well done Jack Daniels Distillery. Cheers!
Jack Daniel's Bonded Tennessee Whiskey
Tennessee Whiskey — Tennessee, USAReviewed May 9, 2022 (edited July 26, 2022)First of all a fifth is 757 milliliters or 752 depending on who you ask, so they're obviously not talking about the traditional 1/5 packaging that some of us olds grew up with, back when standard Jack was 86 proof. I know the legacy editions have been 700 ml in the past, so this is not new. Right off an interesting aspect is a bit of the iron water on the nose, the one normally associated with all things Dickel, seems to have got through the filters in Lynchburg. Certainly less pronounced than Dickel, but it's there however feint. The nose also offers up some traditional sour(mash) the part I personally like best. The high corn sugar is evident and early, just as you would expect, the char residue taste that is so distinctly JD, is a bit less in your face. Oh it still has that rough edge of char on the way down. The shorter cutting to 100proof is easily noticed with the extra corn syrup sugars and I find it a bit mellower on the finish, maybe a by product of some extra aging. This is a bit reminiscent of the JD Century offering. As only a rare imbiber of Jack, at least outside of the barrel rye which I will drink daily as it's really that good, this is clearly an improvement over standard and legacy edition Jack, the real question is,, "minor improvement" or "major upgrade". One thing I would insist on is this upgrades the JD line up, much like their Rye editions did. Cheers!
Peg Leg Porker 12 Year Tennessee Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — Tennessee, USAReviewed April 18, 2022 (edited July 6, 2022)Seems like every other person I talk to returning from Vegas mentions Peg Leg Porker with a fond recent, but somewhat cloudy memory. Imagine that. I decided to head down to the local cigar bar and waterhole and order up one of these, not sure how they got it as I've been told it's out of stock for some time now. Right off the top this is some Dickel juice. It has that distinct nose note of vitamins(iron) that all Dickel juice seems to have. It seems a little warmer and sweeter than some of the aged BiB Dickel releases, and yes a little smokey too, not sure if this is "real" smoke or the liquid kind added, (If I have a headache in an hour I'll know). I like this finish, it takes that big pronounced corn sweetness and mellows it a bit and also rounds it out with some barrel sugars, maples and such, almost a cured sugar ham sweet note, which might have been the plan all along given the name. It's a pretty good rendition of Dickel whiskey and if you like said product, esp the 12ish year releases seen of late, you'll probably like this too. Cheers!
Pinhook Bourbon Heist
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed March 22, 2022 (edited April 1, 2023)My first foray into the Pinhook brand, found this modest priced pint bottle on a trip through Kentucky. Honey spice cake nose, hints of clove, caramel and vanilla. This nose is a winner, (by a nose). Not quite as rich as the nose but at the front I get a good healthy corn sugar dose with some barrel oak bits and really a rich finish for a younger dram. The light amber color is somewhat representative of the profile it has some nice notes but not as many as some of the well known heavy weight players in the field. The finish is pleasant and only the tiniest of bitter notes blend in with the warm spice sugars. This Castle and Key juice is certainly a well crafted mash. I like what they have done here as the proof(96) is right in the sweet spot for delivering flavor without pounding your taste buds. If this is Pinhooks entry level bourbon, sign me up for more.
Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon (90 Proof)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed October 30, 2021 (edited April 8, 2023)So this Benchmark series tasting run has been a fun ride, but now, unfortunately, the fun is over. The Small Batch, unlike it's pricier, higher proof shelf mates, will be where we draw the line on this group being a good, reasonable knock off of a better label, and the point where we've landed. This is just basically the Buffalo bottle juice in a Benchmark bottle. Nothing really to see here unless you are some gullible noob that thinks the BT namesake bottle is some great thing. This average BT juice is likely straight from the Buffalo barrels and nothing different, if you need some Buffalo Trace to mix with your coke, this bottle will suffice for you. I see no reason to bother with reviewing standard fare Buffalo Trace yet again, already been there, done that. I will say "hats off" to BT/Sazarac for the nice series and the nice juice you can get from this line, I think the 3(Full Proof,Single Barrel and Bottle and Bond) are all worthy and admirable offerings that you probably shouldn't overlook. I just have zero feeling toward the basic Benchmark and BT bottles, as they are the mix w/ cola and drink average stuff that warrants no real notice. I'm unlikely to bother reviewing the Top Shelf now as it's almost certainly to be another Benchmark/BT rickhouse barrel that just isn't anything special. After all it is the lowest proof and lowest msrp. But it was a fun respite from the normal sturm and drang grind of Saz/BT allocation madness. Cheers!