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N: Mineral, dusty wood, light vanilla, a hint of orange. Some spices that are sort of light and bright. Ginger, clove, cinnamon, black pepper. Or maybe black pepper before the cinnamon. Eventually a light note of Jim Beam peanut comes out.
P: Fairly rich, but not super full. Surprisingly rich considering the highly mineral nose. It's on the bitter side, with notable licorice. There is some notable minerality here as well, but it's kind of a good, rich minerality mixed with some sweet water. Somehow it's actually a pretty good flavor. Some nice Beam peanut. A little peanut shell. Some spices, mainly in the ginger, black pepper, and clove spectrum. There's also some tart cherry mixed with some bitter herbs. It's slightly cloying (though not in a sweet way), but not too bad.
The alcohol really is present here, though not as present as in Booker's Pigskin. There's also more going on in this one. Despite the kind of light profile, the flavors here generally taste good. It's a shame that there's so much alcohol though.
F: Minerals with clean water, licorice, and ... not a whole lot out. It's an unfortunately short finish, though it's not bad.
- Conclusion -
Wild Turkey Rare Breed (18-19/23) is definitely better than this is, but not by a wide margin. I think a 17 seems about right here. I can buy an argument for an 18 and could be convinced to go down to a 16, though the latter is somewhat less likely.
This is really not delivering anything resembling a solid win over George Dickel Bottled In Bond (16/23), so now I'm questioning whether this deserves a 17. Certainly, a 16 is back in play. I'm now leaning low 17. I'm sticking with that. Yeah, I'm now feeling that this is farther from the Wild Turkey as well because the Wild Turkey has more decadent fruit flavors.
I also prefer Old Forester 1920 (18/23). Both have good some good flavor, complexity, and alcohol presence (and burn), but I'd take the Old Forester over this. They aren't that far apart though. Still, the Wild Turkey is much more decadent than this is. My Wild Turkey may have oxidized more into the high 18 or 19 range.
On a final sip, this just isn't as good as the Old Forester, but it's also a bit better than the Dickel, which is a high 16. A 17 it is.
Thank you @jdriip for sharing this!
August 26, 2021 (edited September 3, 2021)
3.75 out of 5 stars
Soft and sugary with ethanol on the nose. Rich, sweet and hot on the palate with barrel spices and char. Finish is long with some bitterness. A good splash of water brought out some fruit notes.
So Booker's is a favorite brand of mine and when I am at any location with a great whiskey collection I'll ask which versions of Booker's they have. Husk in Savannah had this so I had to try it. I'll admit I saw the score and saw this version is amongst the lowest Booker's scores ever. After having the glass I have to say, I don't understand that. So it's not among the best, but still very enjoyable. This is the most caramel that I've ever tasted in a Booker's. Salty, Peanut and caramel. Decent finish. Glad to have tried.