Booker's Bourbon Batch 2020-02 "Boston Batch"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed August 1, 2020 (edited August 29, 2020)I’ve heard good things about this one. Time to get on with it. The nose is sweet and rich with can of roasted peanuts, barrel char, dried fruit (apricot and raisin), rye spice, milk chocolate, chewy caramel, dusty wood shavings, light baking spices. The palate is sweet and oily that tingles the tip of the tongue. There are roasted peanuts, barrel char, rye spice, rich caramel, vanilla, dried fruit and dusty wood shavings. The palate is a little drying, but really not bad considering the proof. The finish is long and hot at first that lets roasted peanuts, rye, caramel and dried fruit ride it out. Man, this has to be one of the most well balanced bourbons I’ve ever had. Basically everything I picked up on the nose, I also got in the palate and finish. Also, it’s delicious!! Edit: Since my review, Distiller has put their official review up. Whoever did it must have eaten a hot tuna sandwich for lunch before trying it because their review does not resemble this whiskey at all. I know everyone has their own likes and dis-likes, but to not even pick up some of the most prominent notes (peanuts for example), tells me something was off. Oh well. Now you have two totally different opinions.80.0 USD per Bottle
T. W. Samuels
Bourbon — Bardstown, KY, USAReviewed July 29, 2020 (edited August 7, 2022)Since I’ve been on a Heaven Hill bottom shelfer kick lately, I thought I’d finally go for this one. It only comes in a plastic 1.75L bottle, built in pourer and all. All of that for $22 doesn’t really scream quality, but Heaven Hill has proven me wrong before. Let’s see. The nose is sweet with vanilla custard, light gingerbread, plumb, barrel char ash, and sweet corn. The palate is sweet and a little oily with gingerbread, barrel char, sweet corn, slight cardboard/nuttiness and a hint of rye. The finish is medium in length with lingering sweet corn, vanilla and very light gingerbread. After a while there is a remnant of barrel char. Heaven Hill comes through again! Man, these limited distribution/KY only releases are all very good (T.W. Samuels, J.T.S. Brown and J.W. Dant, all BiB of course). They spend $0 on marketing for these products, so it’s up to us to discover them. Do not let the giant plastic bottle fool you. It is quality bourbon, especially for the price!22.0 USD per Bottle
Port Charlotte 10 Year
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed July 28, 2020 (edited November 29, 2020)After throughly enjoying the non-peated The Classic Laddie by Bruichladdich, I thought I’d go for a heavily peated offering by them, for a contrast. *please note, I am a Bourbon fanatic and have spent much less time with Scotch, but enjoy it now and then* The nose has an upfront cloud of smokey peat, which I often associate with the medicinal note of a first-aide kit with bandaids. Underneath that there is light citrus, pear, vanilla, a little wet hay and some shoe leather. The palate is sweet a little oily and slightly a briney with vanilla, peat smoke, pear, light lemon and malt. The finish is long with sweet vanilla and smokey peat and char. The peat goes on like a never ending ember. This one does not disappoint on the peat! Or flavor for that matter. Very nice. But I do have a tip, do not sip this one in bed with your wife. She’ll threaten to throw the bottle away because of how strong you smell while drinking it. What can I say, she’s used to smelling bourbon on me!68.0 USD per Bottle
George Dickel 11 Year Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whisky (Fall 2008)
Tennessee Whiskey — Tennessee, USAReviewed July 27, 2020 (edited August 29, 2020)I was actually a fan of the 13yr old 1st batch (seems like I’m a minority). I’m excited to see how this 11yr follow up batch will compare. The nose has dusty buttered corn, dried apricot, caramel, a slight alcohol burn on the nostrils, brown sugar, oak spice and vanilla. The palate is sweet and oily with sweet buttered corn, quite a bit of dried fruit, oak spice, leather. Some of the sips I pick up a little ethanol, but not always. The finish is long with lingering with dried apricots and apples along with corn and some spicy oak. Then there is some nice barrel char later on. There is an ethanol burn up into the nostrils when you first swallow which makes it come off a little hotter than 100 proof (as did the last batch), but it didn’t bother me. Ok, I was expecting this to be fairly similar to the last release, but it is pretty different. The last one was very artificial buttered popcorn and caramel (which I liked), where this one has real buttered corn but has nice dried fruit and oak spices (which I also like). I think this batch will appeal to a wider group of people and might possibly help turn the negative associations some people have with the brand.40.0 USD per Bottle
Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond
Rye — Kentucky, USAReviewed July 26, 2020 (edited December 24, 2020)So my first tasting of this was at a bar in a rocks glass almost a year ago. Today I’m trying this at home in a glencairn, as I try to do for most of my tastings. The nose has an obvious rye spice punch along with a pleasant floral note. It’s on the semi-sweet side. Hidden under the rye is some corn sweetness along with raisins and a touch of vanilla. The palate is sweet, creamy and oily. The combination of rye and a floral note jump out at first, followed by sweet corn, vanilla, light dried fruit and oak. The finish is on the shorter side of long with lingering sweet vanilla, rye, cinnamon and corn. This is a very pleasant rye that is perfect for sipping or in a cocktail. It wouldn’t be a Heaven Hill product with out that corn note coming through, even in a Rye Whiskey. Also a trait of Heaven Hill is the bang for buck, and this one has it!26.0 USD per Bottle
Wild Turkey 8 Year 101 Proof (Old Label)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed July 24, 2020 (edited August 29, 2022)I’ve been waiting to try my first dusty wild turkey, and here she is. Someone sent over this sample and am excited to check it out. This one happens to be from a 1991 bottling at 101 proof and is an Italian export. I will be comparing it to a modern 2020 101 equivalent. The nose is sweet and rich with slightly dusty corn, dried cherries, a little cooked plumbs, oak, milk chocolate, baking spices, brown sugar/maple syrup, and a light leather note. The color is noticeably darker on this one compared to the 2020, and the nose is fairly different. The ‘91 is a lot less spicy on the nose. The palate is sweet and very oily with corn, light oak, dark fruit, caramel, a floral note and some nice baking spices. The 2020 has more pronounced spice and dark fruit, as well as that wild turkey funk, which I surprisingly didn’t pick up on the ‘91. But the ‘91 has a noticeably thicker mouthfeel. The finish is on the shorter side of long with a nice initial spike of old leather and then fades into sweet corn and some lingering spice and some vanilla. The 2020 might be slightly longer of a finish with a lot more spice until the very end. This was a fun comparison. It’s clear how things have changed over the last 30 years at Wild Turkey. The ‘91 had a darker color and much thicker mouthfeel than the modern one, but I think I prefer the modern profile. The 2020 has a more prominent nose and has nice spice, dark fruit, caramel sweetness throughout and some nice Wild Turkey Funk. I guess that would be the only thing I was surprised/let down by on the ‘91, the lack of the funk. I was under the impression that was a classic part of their profile. Maybe it was just this ‘91 batch. Either way, I enjoyed it, but I think I’ll save my pennies for now and utilize the modern offering.
Evan Williams 12 Year Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed July 23, 2020I’ve heard of this one but never had the opportunity to try it. Being a Heaven Hill fan, I was happy to be sent a sample of this one. This particular bottle was the Japanese export, but I know you can also pick it up at the distillery. The nose is sweet with vanilla icing, toasted pecans, sweet corn, caramelized red apples and caramel. There is also some dusty grain, baking spices and baked bread. The palate is sweet and quite oily with bitter oak, a nuttiness, sweet corn, dried fruit and some spices The finish is long with an initial spike of baking spices then corn and dried fruit and then eventually to some bitter oak. Then after a while you get some nice lingering barrel char floating around on the cheeks and tongue. This is by far my favorite of all of the Evan Williams line. Now I need to get a bottle!
J.W. Dant Bourbon Bottled in Bond
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed July 22, 2020 (edited June 5, 2023)I’ve been on a Heaven Hill bottom shelf expedition lately. This is another one that is not sold in Tennessee, where I live. So I had to cross the border into Kentucky to pick this up. After about 10mins rest in the glass... The nose has the classic heaven hill sweet corn with a slight nuttiness (peanut), followed by some nice dried fruit, vanilla frosting and gingerbread. There is also some rye spice, though some of that comes across in the gingerbread. The palate is sweet and medium bodied and slightly oily with sweet corn, an early kick of baking spices, vanilla frosting and gingerbread, as well as a light nutty note. The finish is long, with a slight burn right as you swallow. Baking spices show up initially and then fade into lingering sweet corn and vanilla. Finishes out with a tingling on the edges of the tongue with some barrel char/nuttiness at the tail end. Another pleasant surprise from this bottom shelfer from Heaven Hill. I only wish it was sold everywhere. I still think J.T.S. Brown is my favorite of these. But this one is right up there, and for the price, way better than some bourbons 3x the cost.15.0 USD per Bottle
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 13 Year (Spring 2019)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed July 17, 2020 (edited October 27, 2020)I have not had any of the Old Fitzgerald offerings. Though I’ve had Larceny which sort of counts, John E. Fitzgerald is written on the front of those and shares the same mashbill. This was given to me as a sample and I can’t wait to try it. The nose has sweet buttered corn, vanilla, light old leather, baked bread, light chocolate dust, a floral note and a hint of dried fruit and a little pear. I know I’m going to get dinged for saying this but the buttered corn note I got really reminds me of a similar note I get in Dickel Bottled In Bond, which I also enjoy. The palate is thick and oily with buttered corn, light oak, light leather, light baking spices, toasted nuts and nice dried apricots. You could say it’s viscous and polite. The finish is the shorter side of long. There is a lingering vanilla, oak, nuttiness, light spices and sweet corn that remains on the tongue. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Though I’m glad I didn’t have the pretty bottle in front of me so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy one on secondary. I think the combination of the pretty bottle and the liquid justify the price at retail, but not more than that.
1792 Aged Twelve Years
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed July 17, 2020 (edited January 4, 2022)This is a sample that was sent to me. And for clarity, this is a 2019 distillery pick. So it’s also a single barrel as well. I’ll keep that in mind and so should you. The nose is sweet with a nice sweet vanilla floral and dried fruit note at the beginning. Then I pick up some definite oak that leans on the bitter side, corn and some pear juice, specifically the kind at the bottom of a aluminum can of pears. The palate is sweet and oily, but on the lighter side. Vanilla, a floral note and oak dominate the palate. There is also some corn and a light spice but turns bitter right as you swallow. The finish is medium in length with sweet vanilla and bitter oak lingering until the end. I’m glad I tried a sample of this one first. This one is just fine, probably worth retail but not more than that.