Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series 2019 RC6
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: This is a fruit bomb. Similar in style to Maker's 46, but this tends to leans towards fruit notes of pineapple bake, strawberry jam, and underripe bananas. Sweet aromas of cool whip and confectionary sugar surface once the fruitier notes blow off. Then, in the background, green woodiness gives this a little more complexity. Palate: All these bright red and yellow fruits pop on the sides of your palate. The characteristic of this tends to be light on its feet, leaning towards a medium viscosity. The fruit notes turn into cream, but it tends to get a little spiky with the alcohol leading into the finish. Finish: Actually a fair amount of spice rises towards the front of your palate. But, red fruit notes covered in white chocolate save the day and don't allow this to get too funky or harsh. Finish is about medium in length. Best way to describe this is fruity, spicy, and creamy. Personally, I'd add water to this. As soon as I did, I got a much more complete picture of this bourbon. The water got rid of those alcohol spikes and spicy undertones and made it more cohesive in general. It became even more creamy and allowed those fruit notes to shine without interruption.
J.W. Dant Bourbon Bottled in Bond
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Sweet peach, dusty corn, cinnamon candy, salted caramel, and green wood notes push out a little aggressively. Young corn notes are there, but there seems to be enough spice to help push it past. Palate: Fruit notes pop on a lighter mouthfeel. Cinnamon spice starts to spike while musty barrel notes surface. Finish: Cinnamon forward with sweet corn and caramel notes pushing towards the back of the palate. Great budget bourbon. I drank this alongside Fighting Cock, and the corn notes were definitely apparent. Yes, this is young, but it really holds its own.
Fighting Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Cinnamon powdered donut, corn syrup, double mint gum, cashew butter, sweet grass, and black pepper Palate: Lighter mouth feel than one would expect from a 103 proofer. The corn syrup note pushes on the initial and mid-palate, but the spices and nuttiness are prevalent as well. The spice notes keep this bourbon alive. Finish: The finish really focuses on bitter green notes and cinnamon powder This is definitely sweet, however, it retains its spiciness. The finish leans on the front of your palate and is a little short. Overall, for being 103 proof and under $20.00, this is worth grabbing. You can tell they have some younger juice in here. It was originally produced to compete with Wild Turkey 101, but in my eyes, it is not quite there.19.99 USD per Bottle
Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Oatmeal raisin cookie, French vanilla jelly beans, cinnamon spiced pecans, caramel drizzle, corn fritter, and chai tea Palate: The raisin note really shines on the mid-palate and the cinnamon really cuts in sharply after swallowing. Finish: This bottle is a little past the neck, and I feel it gained a bitter cherry cough syrup taste on the finish. However, this lies in the dryer side of the spectrum with lots of earthy tonalities in the form of old leather. It seems to be in a dumb phase right now. Might have to give this more time and revisit farther down. OGD114 is an amazing value driven bourbon that has a cult following. I have to admit, I quite enjoy this for $24.
Ezra Brooks "Old Ezra" Barrel Strength Bourbon 7 Year
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Extremely accessible for sitting at 117 proof. You can really dig your nose all the way into the glass without feeling like you burned off your nose. Notes of brown sugar toffee with nuts, creamy corn, fig newtons, and spicy Mexican vanilla engulf the nose. Underneath, the oak stands it ground with remnants of nutmeg and burnt toast. Palate: All the fig, corn, nuts and toffee transfer to the initial and mid-palate. The notes stay centered as well. This is mouth watering and savory, accessing umami flavors. Even though there is a lot of flavor here, it still stays lighter and more inviting than most barrel proof expressions. Finish: A nice Kentucky Hug takes its grip on your chest, but the burn is surprisingly minimal. The flavors from the nose linger past your bedtime. The spicy vanilla and toffee notes swell and stick with you for at least a minute or two. Overall, this is solid as they come. The price point keeps you coming back for more. I like seeing a respectful age-statement, 7-years, which in today's world is a good age. I believe this is sourced from Heaven Hill by Lux Row Distillers.39.99 USD per Bottle
Evan Williams Black Label
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Cherry Airheads, sweet corn mash, honeyed granola, and some slight ethanol pops through. Simple, inviting, and sweet. Palate: Honey sweetness loads up the initial palate, but the cherry notes climb and climb in the mid-palate. Sweet corn and barrel bitterness pushes in the back. Thin to medium viscosity. Finish: Some bitterness sticks to the finish, but mainly this finishes grain-forward and without much sustain. Sitting at 86 proof, however, allows you to feel some heat and get some barrel spices along the way. I would recommend this as a casual mixer that would give you a nice punch of proof compared to your standard 80 proofers out there. For the price, this gives you some character.10.0 USD per Bottle
Jack Daniel's Old No. 7
Tennessee — Tennessee, USATastedNose: This is leaning to the sweet side. Banana flavored Runts, vanilla pudding, and Popcorn flavored Jelly Beans. If you let this sit in the glass undisturbed, I tend to get a little chemical thing going on. The wood notes are buried 6-feet under, but if you’re really digging, you can find them. Palate: All the corn notes rush up front, and towards the mid-palate underripe banana takes over. Extremely spiky and rough. Drinks aggressive and hot. You can tell there is a lot of young juice in here. Thin viscosity as well. Finish: Banana seems to dominate once again. Oddly, you get a lot of burn and heat in your chest. On the tail end of the finish, it gets a little metallic. All the harshness of this Whiskey would be alleviated in a cola. For the price point, I would try some other expressions from different distilleries. But, having this on the shelf is always a good idea because of the name recognition. It serves as a good starting point for people to compare other whiskies to.
Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: You can tell this is Jim Beam right away. Roasted peanut comes to the forefront followed quickly by marzipan, pumpkin roll, buttered corn on the cob, dried cherries, and fresh saw dust. Palate/Finish: The viscosity is a little thin, but is quite balanced. All the notes creep onto the finish, but ends up staying really nutty with accents of bitter cherry. Overall, 100 proof really does this bourbon good. I think this doesn’t get enough credit. If nutty is your thing, go no further.
Elijah Craig Small Batch
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedDisclaimer: Bourbon Street Store Pick - Serial Number 5704956 Aged 12-Years Nose: Stands it’s ground with root beer barrels, brown sugar, chocolate coated caramel, kettle corn, swisher sweet tobacco, peppercorn medley, sassafras wood, and new leather. Palate: Firm wood tannins with a high enough viscosity to coat all angles of your tongue. The root beer notes really transfer to the flavors on the palate and eventually the finish. Velvety like mouth feel. Superb. Finish: Medium to medium long with lingering notes of creamy corn, caramel and spicy root beer barrels. This all finishes up with a lingering chocolate leather note in the back end. Simply delicious. As you work this bottle down, tons of sweet caramels start to come to fruition. This barrel pick really offers a solid amount of spiciness and structure. I get a lot more on the finish with this compared to the regular small batch expression. These store picks of Elijah Craig can be something special, and I found just that with this bottle.
Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon 90 Proof
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: It’s got this yeasty dough thing going on at first, but then the cocktail peanuts, sweet corn, and coconut step up. For me, after a couple minutes of getting used to the nose, Arizona’s Honey Green Tea came on strong. In no way is this off putting or reminiscent of anything crappy. Considering I picked this up for $9.99, I was happily surprised. Palate: Palate is a little thin, but there is absolutely no burn at 90 proof. You can tell this is some young stuff. All the flavors kind of remind me of a beer mash. However, you get some good nuttiness. There is also a cool sparkly and fizzy feel. Finish: Creamy coconut on the tail end, but quite a short finish. There isn’t much to write home about. But, you’re talking about a $10.00 bourbon here. You can’t complain, and it out performs its price point for sure. I feel very strongly this is from Heaven Hill, and no wonder I like it. Solid outing for Luxco.