Pure Kentucky XO
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed April 16, 2022 (edited January 1, 2023)Ooof. Had this in a blind tasting and several of us who tasted it found an assortment of notes relating to canned green bean juice, new garden hose, menthols, and hand soap. 🤣 10/10 Do not recommend.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch A119
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed April 10, 2022 (edited April 20, 2022)Not many ECBPs score less (or more) than a 4.5 for me. Ordered this at “The Quiet Few” in East Boston. (Highly recommend. Great whiskey selection.) Much like the description. Sometimes its fun to just drink and not worry about nerding out. Figgy, red sour punch straws, deeper fruit sweetness than most ECBPs, and at a proof point that is exciting. Good bourbon. Great bar.The Quiet Few
Old Forester Single Barrel Bourbon Barrel Strength
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed April 6, 2022 (edited April 19, 2022)Old Forrester Single Barrel Barrel Proof - CLAWS Pick 134 Proof - 67% ABV NOSE: Oh wow. Rick house. What I imagine a cherry pound cake with perfectly browned crust and cherry glaze would smell like. Very faint nutty dust. Cherry candle. This is the most cherry I have found in a whiskey in a while. Incredible!! TASTE: Cherry butter!! Silky smooth entrance on the palate. Does not feel like 134 proof to start. MORE CHERRY!! Dang I am loving this!! Frosted Flakes. Dang there is also a floral aspect to this (cherry blossoms???). Deeper sweets begin to emerge as my palate acclimates. Brown sugar, oak, bruleed sugars (a lot like JDSBBP, thanks Brown Forman). FINISH: While it does not feel like 134 Proof it finished like it in the best way!! Cherry turnover, oaky oaky caramels, and that dusty nuttiness among baking spices. I honestly came in to this thinking OFBPs were over hyped and for flippers... but no. This generous sample from @tbran19 has solidified my love for Brown Forman products. The have the best American cooperage in my opinion and make some of (if not the) best bourbon (Tennessee whiskey) for the money. I am sure there is a lot dependent on the barrel, and I have heard mixed reviews on OFBP, but CLAWS picked a winner here. A real delight!! Thank you, sir!! SOLID 4.5 in my book. 90/100
Stagg Jr Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 15
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed April 2, 2022 (edited June 22, 2022)Stagg Jr. - Batch 15 131.1 Proof // 65.55% ABV Neat - Rested 15min. Nose: This is the first time I have been able to pick up a “grape jelly” note in a whiskey. However, the Welches jammy sweetness is almost like smelling a spoonful of jelly that was dumped into a copper mule mug. There is something metallic to the rich sweetness. Oak. Dried cranberries, luxardo cherries, and faint mustiness. Great nose. 2nd nosing: Grape jolly rancher!! Powdered sugar and ever-so-slight ceylon cinnamon. Taste: Good golly. This is dense and proportional. Not the most viscous (though still oily and full), but an incredible mouthfeel. I *feel* the flavors just about everywhere on the palate. Grape jolly rancher, luxardo cherries, burnt corner of brownie crust, caramel coated oak. In fact the oak becomes more prominent in successive tastings. A minerality or metallic quality also appears later in the glass. Back to the nose: sweet syrupy cherry candy oak. BT profile through and through. American nostalgia at it’s finest. Finish: This is good. Even warmth from the top of my throat to chest. Just a few degrees below a Kentucky Hug. Yeasty, oaky, grape. Dense woody syrupy fruit sweetness. I have now tasted Stagg Jr batches 14, 15, 16, and 17. Thank you to the friends who have shared. I believe 15 is my favorite. The deep grapey candy oaky sweetness is very good. This is a good bourbon. 90/100
Kentucky Owl 11 Year Rye (Batch #2)
Rye — Kentucky , USAReviewed March 22, 2022 (edited June 9, 2022)Kentuck Owl Straight Rye - Batch #2 11 years old - 101.9 Proof Have had this open for nearly a year and wanted to finally give this a proper review. Nose: One of the few American whiskies I have been able to smell prominently away from the glass. There is a sweet cherry yeasty-ness wafting while I pour and then stand just a few feet away. Smells like if you take a cherry sour candy and crush it between your fingers after hauling hay in an old barn. Tangy-sweet, dry vegetation, and worn oak. Deep sweet caramel bordering on cream soda. Butterbeer! Thats it! Cherry Sours, Butterbeer, honey, and old barn hay (in a great way). Taste: So composed. No one thing immediately jumps out but rather the mouthfeel is what is appreciated first. Typical “rye spice” and punchiness is much more subdued than other ryes. Cream soda effervescence. The cherry turns darker almost burnt, oak is more prominent, and the tingly herbal qualities are much more prominent. Oak tannins finish out alongside warming baking spices. Finish: After I swallow the experience of this whiskey settles under my tongue and I feel a little Kentucky Hug. This is a friendly and warming rye. A “log cabin up in Aspen” rye. There is kind of a “grass in the pool water” note I get when I chew. I read a review that mentioned honey drizzled over a slightly green haybale and that is accurate. Cherry Sours come back only in the retro-nasal. TLDR; Tangy syrupy sweet, butterbeer, honeyed hay, and oaky. All bound together with rounded cohesion. I was generously gifted this bottle by someone I have come to know through work. A very kind and generous man. Thank you, RS. Fun fact: I had a blind rye night with the boyz a while back and this ranked number one overall that night. First place was this Kentucky Owl, second was JDSBBP Rye, and third was WT Rare Breed Rye. We wished we had included one of our bottles of Alberta Premium CS in the line up, but still felt decently confident this still would have finished first. [Caveat: that many ryes in succession and doing the tasting blind broke us on enjoying rye for a bit. Not that we got shlammered, but that we realized how great bourbon really is.] All in all as far as ryes go I dont think there is much better except for THHandy and *maybe* some other aged stuff. JDSBBP Rye, Rare Breed rye, and Alberta Premium are the only other ryes I think I’ll ever reach for when this goes. 89/100 4.25 is not enough but 4.5 is too much.
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed March 19, 2022 (edited March 27, 2022)Had Uigea in a line up of scotches last night with my boys @tbran19 @TravHernandez @thechad and this was my favorite!! This may have swung me over to enjoying peated scotches. Wow!! Bacon, figs, char/smoke, briney, peat! I was less interested in getting all the notes because the experience was too good to let slip. I will eventually buy a bottle and review it formally. But for now all I have to say is “wow”. 94/100 [EDIT] It has been a few days since tasting this whiskey and I am still thinking about it. Low on “folding money” at the moment, but this is one of the first whiskies I have craved in a while simply because of the impression it made. Bumping up from 4.5 to 4.75. What dreams are made of.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B521
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed February 25, 2022 (edited March 23, 2022)Nose: Pure vanilla extract, I could be convinced I was sniffing a fresh opened bottle of Adam’s. Rick house funky oak. Heaven Hill salted peanut shell nuttiness. *Very* faint Tabasco red pepper vinegary-ness in the very back of the glass. The nose is decadent. Palate: Surprising heat for being the lowest proof ECBP. I feel this on the front of my tongue and in the corners of my jowls. There is a baker’s chocolate bitterness that isnt unpleasant, but not what I associate with traditional ECBP. Tart Granny Smith apple skin. And the vanilla extract lands low and flat across the back of my palate as the taste fades. Finish: Drying cocoa smackiness. Oaky. Vanilla on the the retro-nasal. Dusty peanut shells and plenty of oak tannins present. Definitely not as bad as haters want to make it out to be. Most vanilla influenced ECBP I have tried. However the cocoa powder bitterness distracts this batch from delivering the ECBP “wow”. Still... ECBP is one of my favorite bottles for the money (if/when you find it at MSRP). Don’t get FOMO if you missed this, but DO enjoy it if you find it or mooch a taste. ECBP is always a win. Cheers!
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Coy Hill High Proof (2021 Special Release)
Tennessee Whiskey — Tennessee, USAReviewed December 31, 2021 (edited February 25, 2022)JACK DANIEL’S COY HILL Barrel No.: 21-08151 139.3 Proof // 69.65% ABV Appearance: Dark ruby/brown hue. Incredibly thick legs. Love to hold this up to the light. Like the hue of holding black coffee up to the light in a clear glass. I will say that I held this next to a new bottle of the normal JDSBBP and there was little to no difference. I have heard note that it is “much darker” but I would not necessarily say so. It is dark, but not more than the regular barrel proof. Nose: Ethanol is there but really isnt punchy. Let is rest a few minutes. Charred oak is the most impressive characteristic of the nose. The oak notes also smells like if you could brûlée brown sugar on a plank of musty oak wood. Welch’s grape jelly rides out on the first waves of ethanol. Burried beneath is charred oak and burnt sugars. Very very faint nuttiness and cinnamon when you get brave enough to take bigger whiffs. Little to none of the typical JD banana notes. Taste: Woah. This. Is. Big. (Cue Michael Scott...) Huge flavor just rolls and expands across the palate on the way to the back of the throat. Rich, oily, viscous. It is “big”, but it isn’t “hot”. I have had much lower proof bourbons bring tears to my eyes, but this does not. Burnt sugars (cream brûlée crust, charred marshmallow, burnt brownie edges) dominate. Delicious delicious charred oak tannins slap the bass notes on this jam sesh from start to finish. There is something savory at work as well, like sweet teriyaki beef jerky strips. Maybe overripe banana as my mouth acclimates to what is happening. Finish: Longest finish I’ve ever experienced. ECBP B520 previously held first place for my favorite Kentucky Hug, but this “Tennessee Tackle” is as much or more enjoyable. Long finish. Charred oak, burnt sugars, milk chocolate/cocoa powder, cinnamon stick, and burnt bread finish. Maybe some more of the slight grape jelly notes I got on the nose on the retro nasal. Overall: This is an experience. This is like trying whiskey again for the first time. Personally, it reminds me of the first time I tried barrel proof bourbon. You dont “treat yourself” to this whiskey. It treats you. Everything in the nose and on the palate carry through on the finish. What I love about regular JDSBBP gold label is that it doesn’t get too fancy, but does what it does best with extraordinary power. This is more “different” than it is “better” than JDSBBP gold label. On that note, if you cant find CHHP go buy Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof. The Bourbon Judge on YouTube has my favorite comparison. JDSBBP is like Mike Tyson today, you see him on the street, are impressed, and may chance saying “hi”. Coy Hill is like Tyson in his prime with the little black shorts pacing the ring with that crazy look like he might just kill his opponent. Coy Hill High Proof is a phenomenal experience. Happy New Year! Coy to the World!
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Cask Proof
Rye — Virginia, USAReviewed December 11, 2021 (edited February 26, 2022)Nose: Maple syrup, Arnold Palmer effervescence, mixed berry jam, rye bread dough, wood polish, and youthful grain. Taste: Bright light lemon, oak tannins, full mouthfeel, Swedish Fish, drying spices. Finish: Spices, lemon, oak, oversteeped black tea, full mouthfeel but short finish. Swedish Fish again! Fun! Overall: I think the youth of this spirit is the greatest detractor from the overall experience. It tastes full of potential. Looking forward to great things from this distillery. I purchased this bottle after having tasted a buddy’s store pick which initially blew my socks off. If you purchase this in the immediate, I would recommend buying a special pick rather than the standard bottling. Good things are coming for Catoctin Creek.
Benchmark Full Proof Bourbon (125 Proof)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed October 25, 2021 (edited January 10, 2022)Benchmark Full Proof (125 Proof) [Neck Pour] Screw Top: I had a hard time getting this sucker opened. The lack of perforation made things harder than they should have been. I am usually fan of screw tops, but this one was definitely cheap. The lid is there. Rests atop the bottle with an apathy beyond that of most nihilistic 19 year olds. ISO cork. Nose: Very Buffalo Trace. Smells like EHT Small batch with more sweet caramel, and way more ethanol. Cherries, werthers caramel chews, and oak. I was surprised at the nose. Woah just came back and nosed it after 5 or so minutes and it is very caramely (and doughy?) Taste: Full caramel! Oily cherry entrance. High heat. Very sweet and sugary. Not very complex and a little rowdy, pretty thin, but fun nonetheless. Finish: Quicker to finish than most, but although hasty in its exit, it is intentional with the Kentucky Hug it leaves behind. This is where the price point shows, but it really isnt terrible. This has me all over the place. Disappointing lid. Incredible nose. Sweet palate. Short finish, but long hug. For the price, I rate it 3.75. Gonna give it more O2 and see how it develops. Delicious treat from BT. All in all incredibly high VFM. FOR THE MONEY: This is a great time for anyone who loves high proof whaskey. Just buy this and enjoy it for what it is; barrel proof BT for under $20!19.96 USD per Bottle
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