1792 Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Everything points towards banana bread mash; vanilla extract, sugar, overripe banana, ground cinnamon, almond flour, and egg. Hints of sour green apple slices and apple blossom start coming out after you get acclimated to the banana notes. This throws you a curve ball compared to your traditional bourbon notes. Palate: The banana bread mash flavors transfer to the palate predictably. This lays out under your tongue and in the back of your throat. Sour green apple leads the charge and stays pretty sharp. Finish: Again, that banana and cinnamon with a sharp green apple hangs in the back end of your mouth. There is definitely a alcohol swell that rises up from your chest. You notice the proof for sure. This feels a tad young and aggressive, but a damn fine dram. Honestly, for the money, I would go 1792 Full Proof all day. For the extra like 5-10 dollars, the Full Proof delivers more complexities and is very nuanced. *Bourbon Street Wine and Spirits Barrel Selection #1
Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Apple spice cake with a big influence of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, vanilla spice tea, citrus flower, spicy caramel popcorn, and Red Man chewing tobacco. Palate/Finish: The apple and citrus notes really pull through to the finish. This has a BIG mouth feel and cinnamon swell. Fruit dominant, but you get vanilla and tobacco for days. Nothing subtle here. Hot as hell. Honestly, this is a majorly beefed up version of Buffalo Trace. Which, for me, is delicious. Super dramatic and loads of flavor everywhere. No disappointment here. When you come across this, it is a must pick up. Album Comparison: Nirvana’s Nevermind seems to resonate with me on this one. Feels aggressive, but you tend to find subtleties peppered throughout the album. Seems to go from in your face rawness to introverted drama. Batch 10 - 126.4 Proof
Wild Turkey Bourbon 101
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Upfront, you get those classic Wild Turkey notes of vanilla bean, light brown sugar, and home-made caramel candies. Underneath all that, warm cherries, light peanut brittle, citrus oil, saddle leather, and allspice start to spread their wings. Palate: In classic Wild Turkey fashion, this stays clingy and oily. The mid-palate is coated with vanilla and brown sugar, but later finds those sour cherries and cedarwood oils. Finish: This is no where near a short finish. The 101 proof stays with you and gives something to contemplate. All that allspice and citrus develops alongside a warming chest bump. This is so versatile, cheap, classic, and never gets old. Album Comparison: 101 is like Fleetwood Mac’s White Album. You keep coming back for more and you seem to find something new and exciting every time you take a listen.
Old Forester Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedNose: This pops out of the glass. First notes mimic a banana split; banana, cherry, neapolitan ice cream, chopped peanuts, and whipped cream. But, then the malt makes it presence with Golden Grahams and watermelon bubblegum. Lastly, the rye finishes up with cracked black pepper and cinnamon candies. Palate/mouthfeel: The mid-palate is super concentrated and focuses on fruity flavors. I can’t help but to quote Fred Minnick’s “Watermelon Jolly Rancher” note when he reviewed this. I get the same thing. Solid baking spices alongside black pepper translate on all angles. All those wonderful flavors from the nose start dropping down under your tongue. Finish: Medium to long finish that gushes with watermelon, cinnamon candy, toffee, and cracked black pepper. This is honestly dangerous. I got a lot left in this bottle, and I have a feeling the best is yet to come.
Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: Red delicious apple, orange marmalade, cinnamon stick, caramel popcorn, chocolate vanilla pudding, cotton candy and cigar box. Palate: Initially you’re flooded with cherry cola, but then the vanilla and caramel takes over and coats everything. The viscosity hangs at medium, and all the flavors from the nose transfer nicely to the palate. This is simply a sweet, delicious delight. Finish: Sweet vanilla and caramel candies alongside a healthy dose of cinnamon. The finish plants itself and shifts into 5th gear. Everything shines and stays sparkly. If you can find this for under $40.00, this is the steal of the century. You can tell this is from the Buffalo Trace family, and that is something I can’t help but love.
Rebel Yell Single Barrel Bourbon 10 Year
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNose: orange cake, Almond Joy, vanilla bean, wheat muffin, black jack (burnt sugar), honey roasted almonds, black tea, clove, and fresh cut cedar Palate/Texture/Mouthfeel: medium-bodied, creamy and somewhat oily core with orange citrus and vanilla extract notes around its edges Finish: medium-long loaded with bright orange cream, almond bitterness, and well-integrated barrel spice (cardamon, clove, and orange zest) Summary: Time spent in barrel really shows up and allows this to unfold and become complex. Lots of spice gained in the process. Young wheaters can be super sweet, but this expression gives you so much more to chew on. Barrel #5083234
Maker's Mark Cask Strength
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedFirst introduced in 2014, and thank the Bourbon gods for this one. This is the epitome of “sipper” or daily go-to-dram. Cask Strength not only amps up the mash bill, but takes it to a whole other planet. The nose starts out jammed packed with sweet vanilla, peach preserves, pancakes, and toasted bread. Let that sit for five minutes, and the nose morphs into butterscotch, toffee, and maple syrup. On the palate, you’re shown creamy fruits alongside wheat dough. Finish is long and chewy with flavors of sweet tobacco, red apples, and cinnamon. Every time you go back for another sip, it changes on you. Add some drops of water to allow all those notes to pop. Water also brings out the oiliness on the mouth feel.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed 116.8
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedThe underdog mentality simply oozes out of the bottle. For the price this sits on the shelf for, its remarkable that it competes with the likes of Booker’s, Stagg Jr, and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. Upon the first nosing, you find blueberry cobbler, Snickerdoodles, and pine needles. After 10 minutes, aromas of figs, corn pudding, and mint chocolate chip ice cream creep in. You can distinguish all the notes with ease. Then on to the palate. Initially, you feel how oily this is. You first pick up those figs, but the mid-palate transitions to charred pie crust and leather. The finish cleans everything up with vanilla butter cream and pine sap. If you’re ever in a bind and need a barrel proof expression, you can always count on Rare Breed. Delicious!
Evan Williams White Label Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedNo Heaven Hill BIB 6-year around me. So, I picked this up for $15.99, and to be honest, it’s solid. I get cherry cough drops, corn pudding, peanut butter, ginger snap cookie, vanilla extract, caramel dip, and cracked black pepper on the initial nosing. The palate is bright, sweet and spicy, but hangs out in one gear and one gear only. The finish is where all the barrel bite comes out. All in all, this stays cohesive and has character. In no way will this change your life, but if you’re looking for that bourbon that doesn’t make you feel like shit when you pour too much, you’ve found a contender. New label on this one: “100 Proof” on the front label.
Glen Moray 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedSpeyside all the way down to the last drop. The nose shows dried red fruits, Berry Captain Crunch cereal, honeycomb, caramel, fresh spicy herbs, and saw dust. Something keeps reminding me of an oaked Chardonnay. The palate is malty, sweet, and light, but the finish isn’t cut short or dead. It’s actually quite involved and engaging with the ability to be a background piece. Benchmark Speyside for sure.