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I was excited to try this one. Found it on sale for $12. Normally $15. From the nose, I thought I was going to be disapointed. Uncomfortable high alcohol burn with cinnamon, burnt sugar and oak in the background. Let it sit for a few minutes and no change. Neat it enters sweet with oak and cinnamon (and a new assault on the nasal passages from the alcohol). Pleasant warm finish with earthy oak tanins lingering. A splash or a couple cubes does tame the nose slightly and gives it a creamier mouthfeel. Once I got used to the nose, this was the best bourbon I've had in the $15 price range, and a down right steal at $12. Definitely worth the buck or two extra over the Black label. However, with BIB demand on the rise, I wouldn't be surprised to see the price on this one take a jump ala Old Granddad BIB. If it weren't for the nose, this one would get 5 stars from me, based on the quality of the juice and the incredible value.
Smell is nutty (cashews, pecans, peanuts), caramel corn, slight maple syrup, corn, faint wood sap. Fair amount of spearmint as well. Taste is surprisingly soft considering the ABV, mildly flavoured, but with a slight sour-bitter wood, maple syrup, caramel, corn character. Aftertaste is quite corn-heavy. Like George Dickel, EW BiB is one of those whiskeys that insists on reminding me that many American whiskeys are really just alcoholic corn water. And yet, ultimately, it's not bad--much softer than the ABV and age would suggest, much better-rounded than the price would. I don't really want to drink this neat, but on ice it can hold its own, and in classic cocktails (the old fashioned, for example) it really shines as a bottom-shelf option.