Tastes

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  1. Rowan's Creek

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Right after the pour a strong nose of cherries, vanilla, raisin, oak, and while some reviewers get orange, I got white grape. Definitely fruit forward. After it's been sitting a while, some buttered popcorn notes appear. Cherries and a date/fig flavor up front. Mid-palate features some peanut, rock candy, and smoky barrel char. Bold and punchy. Finishes spicy with cinnamon and clove. Remnants of oak after everything else fades. Medium length. Definitely has a sharp bite and brings an enjoyable slow burn especially for a 100 proof'er; drinks a little hotter than expected but that's not a negative with the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very oily; coats your entire mouth. This one hit my palate just right; cherries, peanut and oak are always going to be winning combo in my book. While it lacks a little refinement, it makes up for it in flavor pop. At a $42 price tag it is a decent value; the only thing questionable is that you can score it's slightly superior big brother Noah's Mill for about $7 more so I would probably just go with that. But if Noah's didn't exist and/or if this was marked down a little? Oh yeah, re-buy all day.
    42.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Redemption Straight Rye

    Rye — Indiana, USA

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    My first foray into an MGP 95/5 rye. Nose has some interesting elements; some floral notes (lilies maybe?), and remember those orange slice jelly candies with the sugar on them? Lots of that. Light toffee note underneath. Palate opens with some brown sugar and nutmeg, but quickly switches to mint/eucalyptus mid way through. The finish is where this really excels. It’s a blend of nearly every kind of spice you can think of; black pepper, chilies, candied ginger, clove, spicy wood/barrel notes, and mustard seed. The only type of heat not in the finish is ethanol, which is gloriously absent. That spicy finish lingers for quite some time. Mouthfeel is nothing special, but does not detract. I would be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the fact that I have read other reviews on this whiskey and the results have been...not good. Lots of complaints of plastic and other off flavors, of which I got NONE. I don’t know what some of these reviewers tasted; it’s almost like they are drinking a completely different whiskey. Maybe I just got a good batch. Criminally underrated. Is it top notch? No. But is it solid for $27? Hell yes. Looking forward to trying more 95% ryes.
    27.0 USD per Bottle
  3. McKenzie Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Bourbon

    Bourbon — New York, USA

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Powerful nose on this one! Pecan wood, juicy red apple, and fresh hay hit you with force. Also some ethanol, but thankfully does not show up later. On the palate we get pecan nut, oak, cocoa, caramel, and honeycrisp apple. Flavors are bold and rich. Medium to long finish features oak and spicy cinnamon. Not the most complex finish, but appreciate the fullness of it. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, which compliments the bold flavors very well. Much to do has been made about this being a wheater, but don't buy it as a substitute for Weller; the flavors couldn't be more different. Buy it because for the price it offers a richer experience than many other wheated bourbons on the market (looking at you Maker's) An overall solid offering. It would also be worth noting that this changed dramatically from the neck pour, which was much more chocolate forward and less complex. Of yet further note would be that the plastic cap/cork doesnt seem to make what I would consider a great seal, with the cap basically sliding out with no resistance on subsequent openings. Whether this played a role in the development of the flavors I can only speculate, but felt it worth mentioning.
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Woodford Reserve Straight Rye

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Nose features a moderate strength aroma of cedar wood, rye seeds, ripe pear, and black pepper. Palate features undefined cereal grain, honey, and black peppercorn, leading to a mid-palate of cherry liqueur and wood that is equal parts oak and cedar. Kind of missing the bready note I have enjoyed in other ryes. Not very herbal, and more sweet than spicy. Mouthfeel light and airy (not a bad thing given the flavor profile). Overall finish is short and very mild with no burn whatsoever, with a lingering spearmint note that remains after all other flavors are ancient history. There's nothing off putting here, but also nothing to write home about. Slightly misses the mark for what I am looking for in a rye. At $35, it is an ok value but when you consider that Rittenhouse and baby Saz are considerably cheaper, well...this probably doesn't make the cut for re-buy status for me.
    35.0 USD per Bottle
  5. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    I've enjoyed some other 1792 store pick offerings in the past, finding them somewhat flawed but funky and unique and a decent value option. So with that in mind, I decided to try the base bourbon and see if the theme holds true. On the nose we have typical 1792; butterscotch, caramel, banana, and buttered dinner rolls. Not a particularly powerful aroma, but pleasant enough. Palate brings some green apple, sweet corn, clove, and cinnamon, along with all the sweet notes also found in the nose. Lacking a little bit of richness, maybe Finish is where things take a real downturn. Medium length and nutty, but with some ethanol astringency not found in the higher proof 1792 products. Mouthfeel is thin. Overall, I feel that maybe the proof point of just under 94 proof is not the best vehicle for the flavor profile. While cheaper, there is a significant drop off here from both the Bottled In Bond and Full Proof store picks that seem to be prevalent in my area. Next time I'm in the mood for the unique flavor of a 1792 product (and that day will come) I will just shell out the extra $14 or so for one of those rather than re-buying this one.
    26.0 USD per Bottle
  6. Maker's Mark Cask Strength

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    I'd like to start this off by saying this one was initially SO hot for the proof it was ridiculous. But after just the a couple days of air in the bottle it mellowed out dramatically to the point where I can give it a fair review. So if you try it and it seems super hot at first...it gets better. Remember those Rolo candies with the caramel wrapped in chocolate? Well the nose on this one is like melted Rolos. Caramel for days. There's also some raisin and date in there as well as green oak and barrel spice. On the palate we get an exact match of the nose, so not much to say here other than I found a similar experience to the Private Select; caramel and vanilla sticky sweetness upfront followed by spicy heat, and not much in the mid-palate. Just a characteristic of the brand that I find to be a detriment. Finish is still hot; drinks like it's 125+ proof. And let me tell you, the heat is coming from unattenuated alcohol. But it's not excessive once that bottle has had a chance to breathe. Finish is long I'll give it that, and the Kentucky hug is real. There is a hint of hazelnut once the heat fades which is nice. Overall, too many flaws to be great. I can't think of any reason that I would pay $53 for this instead of bottles like Old Forester 1920, Old Ezra Barrel Strength, or Noah's Mill all of which are better and cheaper. So we will put this "no rebuy" list for me.
    53.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Russell's Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Nose starts off on the right note with and honey, graham cracker, ginger, and orange blossom. The power of the aroma isn't going to knock your socks off, but an interesting combination to say the least. On the palate, this is exactly what I am looking for in a rye; sweet start, spicy finish and not overly herbal. Opens with caraway seeded rye bread, cultured butter, honey, golden raisin, and licorice. Those flavors dance around the tongue for a second and then...whammo everything changes to spice notes of cracked peppercorn, clove, fennel, and just the tinniest hint of dill and eucalyptus. Medium length finish turns into soft aged oak and honeysuckle. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but it compliments the flavor profile well. I'm really a fan of this, and enjoyed the journey from sweet to spicy to mildly sweet again. However, as a value standpoint it's not the greatest; not with some of the more budget ryes measuring up fairly well. That said, it's a delight and will most likely be a re-buy for me and I literally cannot wait to try the single barrel version.
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Elijah Craig Small Batch

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    3rd review of this whiskey, this time a Hundred North store pick from Gilbert AZ. (This is mostly a review for my own notes and may be of little value to anyone outside of AZ) One thing I have noticed about EC store picks is that they tend to be less oak forward and big upgrades over the standard offering and this is no exception. While the Liquor Express pick (also in the AZ area) is the “sweet and nutty” pick, this one is the “bold and spicy” pick. Big big baking spices all over this one in the nose and palate. Getting nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, clove, and candied ginger. Of course the standard vanilla/caramel and oak elements are there as well, but the spices are the star of the show for this pick. To be clear the spice is not “hot” just flavorful, and there is zero unattenuated ethanol. Pretty damn delicious. Finish is about the length of a shooting star, but hey it’s a minor gripe. For the money, these EC picks are hard to beat.
    33.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Jim Beam Distiller's Cut

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Since this is not sold in AZ, I couldn't pass up the chance to snag it while visiting Vegas. I will say in advance that I usually enjoy Beam whiskeys. They are very much like pizza for me; even when they're bad, they're still pretty good. So I'm probably going to be a little more forgiving in my rating than some. On to the review: Typical "Beam" nose of cherry, oak, vanilla, and a big dose of the peanut "funk" which luckily comes off as the peanut brittle of the higher end JB products vs the wet cardboard of the bottom shelf offerings. If you have ever had Beam products, you know what I am talking about. On the palate it's more of the same, matching the nose dead on which is positive. The finish is where things take a bit of a downturn. Some prickly ethanol heat and overly bitter oak come crashing in and harsh things up, which is a bit of a bummer. Might be a good thing that the finish is on the short side of medium. While this one is a step above some lower end JB expressions, it ultimately lacks the refinement of others. Kind of tastes like a watered down Old Grandad 114. And since that is the case, for the same price I'd rather get all the richness of flavor of the OGD114 if I'm going to have to live with some harshness either way. Going back to the pizza analogy, if this were pizza, it would be a Totino's party pizza. Not quite up to rebuy status for me.
    24.0 USD per Bottle
  10. Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye

    Rye — Tennessee, USA

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    So, the knock on this is that it smells and tastes like banana Runts candy. Legit critique or JD hate? Let us find out... On the nose, yes...it's there. Banana Runts. But it's not all that's there. Black cherry, spice cake, maple, and barrel char. So yeah not traditional for a rye, but inviting nonetheless. Palate hits you with (yes) banana, caramel and peanut before switching to a spice bloom of cinnamon and black pepper. Spice carries in the finish for a long time, and with a decent Kentuck...errr...Tennessee hug. There's a "musty peanut" (is that a thing?) note way back there at the end of the finish that is funky and enjoyably unique. Drinks a little hotter than it's proof would indicate. Mouthfeel is medium. Truth? This is closer to "JD made an awesome bourbon" than "JD made an awesome rye", but as you can guess by that comment I liked this a lot. Definitely the best product I ever had from Jack Daniel's by a large margin, and I bet most would have a hard time guessing it was from JD in a blind testing. Side note: I like the way JD does the pricing on their 375ml bottles, which is only a buck or two higher than half of a 750ml. So, would I buy this again at $25 for a 375ml? Yes...yes I would.
    50.0 USD per Bottle
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