Tastes

jsk

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  1. Peerless Kentucky Straight Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    Appearance - copper hue, a quick swirl coats the side of the glass, leaving plentiful legs. Nose - Leads with notes of caramel, peanuts, cinnamon, and a bit of oak. But there's also ethanol, and that grainy note and wet cardboard funk you get in young craft bourbons. Palate - fairly thick mouthfeel, it definitely coats your tongue. The first thing I get is peanut brittle. There are also some baking spices. Sweet notes linger on the finish, along with some funky /grainy notes that unfortunately bring the finish down. Overall it's decent, probably about as good as you can expect in a four year bourbon. They're doing a lot of stuff right from a quality perspective (sweet mash, low entry proof, NCF, etc), but for me there's just no getting around the fact that bourbon needs more than 4 years of age to be really good.
    69.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Widow Jane (The Vaults)

    Blended — USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    "The Vaults" is a new annual limited release from Widow Jane. A 20-barrel blend of 14+ year old straight bourbons from IN, KY, and TN, that were finished in eight-year air-seasoned American oak casks. 500 cases released in 18 states. Nose - dark brown sugar, oak, red delicious apples, tobacco, leather, cinnamon and cloves Palate - brown sugar, sweet oak, semi sweet chocolate, vanilla, and baking spices. A hint of that earthy note I often get in well-aged MGP bourbons. Finish - the chocolate and sweet oak linger with some smoky charred notes and make for a nice finish. The baking spices are also there faintly (wish there was a bit more). This is quite good, definitely more complex than the regular 10yr old product. Not exactly a value at the asking price though. I have a WJ 12-year MGP Single Barrel from a local store that's almost as good, and was considerably less expensive.
    140.0 USD per Bottle
  3. Rebel Yell Single Barrel Bourbon 10 Year

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    I've had my eye out for this for a while, but have never actually seen it on shelves around here before now. Interestingly, the label says this was barreled in 2006, so I guess some cases of the original 2016 release were "lost" at the distributor for 2+ years before showing up in a store now (Sept 2019). Nose - First nosing was a little hot, but after a few minutes that faded and was followed by subtle notes of red apples, graham crackers, caramel, spices, and oak. Palate - medium bodied, the palate follows the nose with apples, a bit of orange citrus, caramel, and honey grahams. Drier and spicier on the back end than expected. Finish - quite spicy, with cinnamon, baking spices, and drying oak that trails off rather quickly. Adding a few drops of water didn't really change the nose, although it brought out some sweeter notes on the palate. This was a surprise to me. It wasn't as rich/sweet as Weller, Maker's, etc. Oak and spice played a much bigger part, and it was drier than I would expect even for 10 yrs of aging. It also didn't really have much of the character I expect from wheated bourbon (I always get graham crackers in the good ones, and bread dough in the not-good ones). While there was a hint of graham, I'm not sure I would have guessed this was a wheater if I'd tasted it blind. Of course being a single-barrel product it's hard to know if this bottle is typical for the expression or slightly off-profile. All in all it's pretty good if not exactly what I was expecting. I liked it, but found myself wishing it was a little richer and not quite as dry. At $60 I don't regret the purchase, but probably wouldn't buy another.
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Wild Turkey Master's Keep Cornerstone Rye

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Picked up a bottle of this in Amarillo on our way home from vacation in Colorado. I'm more a fan of KY-style ryes than the MGP 95% (can't stand that MGP dill flavor), with RR SiB and WFE 4-year being two of my favorites. I've also been a big fan of the last couple of Master's Keep releases, so when this Cornerstone Rye was announced I knew it was something I wanted to try. Nose - baked apples, oak, leather, a hint of butterscotch, and some of that earthy WT funk. Greener notes of rye spice are lurking underneath, but they're subtle. No noticeable heat/ethanol on the nose. Palate - Rich mouthfeel with toffee and baking spices up front, then it transitions into mint, buttered rye toast, and some faint pepper and oak on the long finish. The rye flavors are stronger that I would have expected given the nose. All in all I'd say it's an excellent rye. It has bolder rye flavors than I expected from a "barely legal" rye, and plenty of depth and complexity from the extra aging. It's hands-down better than the standard RR SiB rye IMHO. Whether it's worth 3x the price is a slightly tougher call. The $129 price point of previous MK releases would have been more appropriate to me, but I guess it's just the reality of the current market that prices keep escalating. Bottom line, if you're a fan of rich, well-aged ryes, or just older/premium WT expressions in general, this should be right up your alley.
    174.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Redemption Barrel Proof 10 Year High-Rye Bourbon (2017 Edition)

    Bourbon — Indiana, USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Just picked a bottle of this up (6/5/2019), so I'm guessing it's not the 2017 edition; but it's 10yr Barrel Proof High-Rye Bourbon, 114.4 proof. The nose is classic MGP bourbon - oak, brown sugar, orange peel, baking spices, leather and some varnish (but in a good way). Enough heat to let you know it's barrel proof, but not to the point of being harsh. Palate follows the nose - brown sugar, oak, and baking spices dominate. There's an earthy quality but not to the point of adding off-notes. Finish is oaky but not astringent, the sweetness lingers along with some rye spice (but none of the herbal/dill notes that I get from MGP straight ryes). After adding a few drops of water and giving this some time to breathe in the glass, it just got better, with the brown sugar notes becoming more prominent (but without diminishing the oak and spice). All in all this is a really good example of well-aged MGP bourbon, and at $75 it was a relative bargain compared to similarly aged offerings from other NDP's. Stuff like Boone County and Widow Jane are a few bucks cheaper but also substantially lower in proof. Belle Meade Cask strength can be found for under $70, but it's NAS and obviously younger. Strangely, this was $20 cheaper than the Redemption 9yr low-rye barrel strength on the same shelf.
    76.0 USD per Bottle
  6. Booker's Bourbon Batch 2018-1 Kathleen's Batch

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Nose - Roasted nuts, caramel, orange peel, oak, and vanilla. Was expecting more heat/ethanol given the proof. Palate - that Beam peanut note is definitely there, along with caramel and some baking spices. The finish lingers with vanilla, oak and some cinnamon. Not as concentrated (or hot) as I've come to expect from Bookers, I'd say this is a kinder, gentler Bookers (which is not a bad thing, I quite like it).
    70.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Barrell Craft Spirits Dovetail

    Blended — USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Dovetail is another showcase for the blending talents of the folks at Barrell. It's a combination of 10yr MGP whiskey finished in cabernet barrels, along with 11yr TN bourbon finished in black strap rum and port casks. 122.9 proof cask strength bottling. Color is reddish-copper, and a quick swirl shows medium-thin legs that dissapate fairly quickly. On the nose, rum notes hit up front - molasses, raisins, banana, and some vanilla. There's also some oak along with ethanol/heat (reminds me of varnish). Finally some more fruit notes become apparent: apples, cherries, even rasperies. Not the dark fruits I would have expected from the port/cabernet casks. Palate follows the nose. If anything the first impression is even more rum-like than the nose, with burnt sugar, vanilla, and some nuttiness and funky ripe fruits. Mouthfeel is creamy, and after the rum notes I get red fruits (dark cherry, raspberry again). The finish lingers with toasted marshmallows, vanilla, and some faint baking spices. There's not much in the way of bite/burn, the finish is smoother than the nose suggested. Given that part of the blend comes from Dickel, I was worried this might have the dreaded flintstones vitamin note that I can't stand, but fortunately it was nowhere to be found. A few drops of water intensified the nose without really changing the balance. On the palate the water increased the sweet/creamy notes. I could see this being polarizing. There's a lot of complexity, and some really interesting flavors; but it's different from pretty much anything else I've tried. I think anyone who has dabbled in rum will find this interesting, but the slight funkiness could throw some people for a loop. While this isn't something I'll necessarily on a regular basis, I think it deserves a solid 4 just for the sheer uniqueness. Sourced MGP/Dickel whiskies are a dime a dozen in today's market (despite being massively overpriced in a lot of cases), but with Barrell you're getting something beyond just a NDP label.
    82.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Maker's Mark Private Select Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    There have been several releases of the Makers Private Select hitting the Houston area recently, and I've been sampling a few of them. This is one was picked by Nasa Liquor. The stave selection is as follows: 2 x Baked American Pure2 3 x Seared French Cuvee 3 x Makers 46 1 x Roasted French Mocha 1 x Toasted French Spice 110.9 proof/55.45% ABV This was tasted neat in a Canadian glencairn Nose - Leads with creamy vanilla, apples, cherries, and graham crackers. More faintly I also get orange peels and varnished oak. The creamy fruit notes actually remind me of the 'V' recipes from Four Roses, but the graham cracker note makes this recognizable as wheated bourbon for me. Palate - Starts with rich butterscotch, vanilla, and cooked pastry dough. Also some of the same fruit notes from the nose, especially the apple. The sweetness lingers on the finish, where the baking spices finally start to show up. My only criticism is that I feel like there could be a little more spice; this one is all sweetness up front, with the baking spices arriving a little too late to keep things balanced. Overall I liked this one quite a bit. I definitely seem to have a preference for the selections that are heavier on the first 3 stave choices, with the French Mocha and French Spice used sparingly (the first Private Select I tried was a 0/0/2/4/4, and it was just too bitter and tannic).
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 9 Year (Fall 2018)

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    Getting down towards the bottom of my bottle of this, and realized I never got around to reviewing it. Nose - cinnamon graham crackers, apples, pie crust, lemon zest, vanilla, and oak Palate - Rich, mouth-coating flavors of caramel, graham crackers, cinnamon and baking spices. Lingering finish follows with brown sugar, cinnamon and oak. Not hugely complex but there's enough spice to balance the sweetness and keep it interesting. This is a really great bourbon. I'd say it's easily the second best wheated bourbon I've had, behind William Larue Weller.
  10. 1792 High Rye Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Tasted neat in a glencairn. Nose - Dominated by the standard bourbon notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla with some faint varnish. Also some fresh apples and . Palate follows the nose with caramal, oak, baking spices and orange peel. The rye spice lingers on the moderate finish without being harsh. Not much bite at all. As it had a chance to breathe in the glass, caramel and vanilla became more prominent on the nose while the palate become a bit sweeter. This is a good example of a well-crafted KY bourbon. I'd rate it better than the 1792 Small Batch or Single Barrel - the rye spice and heavier oak make this more interesting to me. Previously the BiB was my favorite from 1792, I'll need to do a side-by-side to see if this one edges out the BiB.
    34.0 USD per Bottle
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