Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 9 Year (Fall 2018)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedGetting 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.
1792 High Rye Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedTasted 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
Michter's 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedHad a pour of the 2018 M10 at Whiskey Cake. Nose - Pretty standard bourbon nose of oak, vanilla, and a bit of ethanol. Maybe a hint of leather. Palate - Caramel, vanilla, baking spices, toasted nuts/toffee. Moderate finish was on the dry side, and a little hotter than I would expect for the proof. Overall it's was nice but nothing extraordinary - not worth chasing down IMHO and definitely not worth secondary prices. The taste profile reminds me a lot of Heaven Hill; this drank like a proofed down, slightly older version of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof.
Boone County Eighteen 33 - 12 Year
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose - caramel, apples, and varnished oak Palate follows the nose with caramel, vanilla, apples, and baking spices Finish is pleasant but short, with some creamy vanilla and spice
Balcones Texas Rum
Aged Rum — Texas, USATastedReviewing what I believe is the 2017 release, at a near-hazmat proof of 137. Color - really dark, if this was labeled as a Caribbean dark rum you would assume the color was artificially added, but all Balcones sprirts have this color due to the small-barrel aging. Nose - Definitely more oak than molasses. Nothing funky - to the extent it smells like rum it's pretty clean. But mostly you get the barrel here: smoky & woody along with some ethanol/varnish. Palate - Some sweetness and burnt sugar show up initially, but are quickly overwhelmed by bitter dark chocolate and dark-roast coffee. At over 68% ABV the heat is no surprise, but the larger issue is the bitter/astringent finish which pretty much ruins things for me. Some water or ice tames the ABV heat but doesn't really help with the finish. Balcones is really frustrating for me. As a semi-local distillery that takes their craft seriously and releases a lot of interesting products, I really want to like them. Unfortunately they insist on aging everything in small barrels, and I just can't get into the bitter, woody flavor profile this results in.59.0 USD per Bottle
I.W. Harper 15 Year Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedTasted this a little while back (not my bottle) so I don't have detailed notes. This one surprised me, not at all what I was expecting from a 15-year old KY bourbon. Sweet and herbal/floral both on the nose and palate, not nearly as much oak influence as I would expect for the age. Mouthfeel was thin, but it had a nice mint-chocolate finish. I think this would have benefited from a higher proof. It's just too thin at 86, and a higher ABV would have balanced the sweetness and hopefully added some complexity. Should make for an easy sipper for anybody new to whiskey, though.
Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Oat Grain Kentucky Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedTasted at a friend's a few nights ago (along with several others). Nose - started with chewing tobacco, seasoned wood (but different from the typical bourbon oak note), leather, and baking spices. With some breathing time the tobacco faded and the wood/spices became more prominent. Really unique nose, hard to describe but I liked it. Palate - Followed expectations from the nose, except drier than I expected, without the sweetness that most Woodford expressions tend to have. Some sweetness did show up just before the finish, just not as much as I expected. Mouthfeel was a bit thin. Medium finish was dry but without a lot of bitter tannins. I didn't get the 'oatmeal cookie' flavors that Woodford talks about in their marketing materials, which was a little disappointing because that sounds really good. Overall I liked this a fair bit, it was really unique. A bit drier on the palate than I might prefer, but still enjoyable; and the unique flavor profile was a nice change of pace. At $110-130 I think it's substantially over-priced, unfortunately. I'd probably pay $75-ish for it just due to the uniqueness.
Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedColor - copper brown. A quick swirl shows sparse legs in the glass Nose - maple syrup, vanilla, varnished oak Palate - maple, caramel and baking spices, with a fairly rich mouthfeel for the proof. Finish - pretty quick, some lingering spice but more subdued than I usually get from OF A few drops of water muted the maple/oak on the nose but brought out a hint of dark stone fruit and more vanilla. On the palate, the water brought out more sweetness, with the caramel coming to the front and lingering a bit on the finish. I liked this both ways, although I think the nose was better neat. I'm not really a huge OF fan. I like Statesmen and 1920 OK, but not nearly as much as other brands. To me this 1910 is a bit darker/richer, with the spice softened a bit compared to other OF expressions. For me that's a good thing. People who love 1920 probably won't like it as much due to its lower proof and lacking that bright/spicy character.51.0 USD per Bottle
Wild Turkey Master's Keep Revival
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose - oak, leather, stone fruit, vanilla Palate - toffee, creamy vanilla, cinnamon, cooked fruit Finish - medium, a bit on the dry side but with some lingering sweetness from the sherry influence. What a I really like about this is the balance between the sweetness, spice and oak. I haven't been a huge fan of some of the other WT expressions I've tried, too much pepper/heat; but for me the sherry finish here smooths out the rough edges without completely taking over. If anything is a bit of a letdown it's the finish, it just doesn't have the richness that some higher-proof bourbons do on the finish. So I have to take a 1/2 star for that and say this is a solid 4.5129.0 USD per Bottle
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedTasting the standard OBSV release (not a barrel select). On the nose - caramel apples, vanilla, chocolate, and a faint whiff of varnish On the palate - sweet and fruity with creamy vanilla up front, before the spice builds into the finish along with some oak and heat. Finish is pleasant but doesn't really linger. Really solid bourbon for the money, looking forward to trying a barrel-proof private selection in the future if I can find one.35.0 USD per Bottle