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November 21, 2020 (edited January 17, 2021)
4.0 out of 5 stars
My initial thoughts: Leather and black tea on the nose. Spicy on the initial sip. Midway through the palate, you obtain some gorgeous notes of golden raisins, allspice, with a creamy, almost nougaty finish. You don't experience much heat on the back end that you may anticipate for a 128 proof bourbon.
You get more sweetness of figs and almost molasses on the nose after letting it sit for 10 minutes. You get more of the wood on the initial sip followed by candied yams and buttered bread with cinnamon sugar. The finish is more black pepper as you let the pour sit over time. The pour is a definite enhancement over the single barrel 90 proof picks I have.
November 12, 2020 (edited August 5, 2022)
4.25 out of 5 stars
Kroger Wine & Spirit Shop pick! 2020, the scourge of years. Grew up on floor 8 of warehouse K. This monster clocks in at 134.4 proof and looks ready to wrestle. The legs are whisky and quick.
This color is beautiful - a deep red-copper color. The nose is great - cinnamon, cherries, vanilla custard, tobacco... I hate to disappoint myself but there is a clear resemblance to Stagg Jr at this point. Did I forget to mention that my nose burns from the ethanol? Because it does.
Bracing myself, oh this is a party in my mouth... a riot of spicy, sweet, woody, earthy goodness. The burn is there but takes a minute to set in. The mouthfeel is heavier and oily as it finishes making its way around the palate. The finish is delicious but gains a bit of slight bitter almond that didn’t quite reveal itself earlier.
Going back in, cinnamon churros, pecans, almonds, anise, toffee, vanilla, cherries, ripe banana (to let you know it’s OF), pipe tobacco and some wet leaf/fall funk!
I’m not disappointed in the least. Oh no, I embrace this bottle. Others have had bad experiences and as regrettable as those are I will say this experiment works out at least sometimes. The finish of vanilla, banana, anise... it’s all still going.
The proof could be part of the difference and explains some of the Stagg Jr magic. I would honestly equate the two and am happily unapologetic. It’s like rolling a Jeep down a hill as the flavors are ejected - somewhat quickly but each one discrete. The thing lands at the bottom, upright and you grip the wheel and think “damn it’s good to be alive!”