It’s 2020. It’s December. Let’s shut this year down with a brand new whiskey (or whisky) every day. It’s my own personal whiskey advent calendar. +6! Dec. 24, 2020 Christmas Eve. Very Olde St. Nick. I’m currently being St. Nick. Destiny. Nose is extremely reminiscent of the 12-year antique barrel. So reminiscent that I’m now tasting them together. If there is a difference, I’d say this whiskey is a muted version of the antique barrel. Those same delicious notes are all there. Green apple, cane sugar, vanilla. I love this nose so much. Body is also delicious. Green apple, honey, mild anise. Cane sugar. Vanilla. These are a few of my favorite things. Back to back with the antique: this one is almost indistinguishable. It’s really something. If I had to draw a line, I’d say this whiskey has less of a bite on the sugar note, which turns into less heat on the finish (spoilers). I don’t stand by that distinction. Finish on this is very abrupt, which I don’t hate. There’s an extremely mild cinnamon, and this really lets the green apple continue through. (The bite on the antique barrel does not have an abrupt finish. There’s a cinnamon buzz that continues on, nicely IMHO.) This is weird. It really is the same juice, someone just turned down the dial on a few things. It tastes like the antique barrel has been refined, and if you’re the type that doesn’t like heat or a buzz on the end of a very delicious apple-themed bourbon, this has a leg on the antique barrel. $30 may seem like a lot for an extremely similar product, but is only a 17.648% increase. That’d be like spending $47 on a whiskey that’s only marginally different than the $40 version. If you’re already committed to shelling out $170 for a delicious VOSN bourbon, for a special occasion shell out the extra $30 at least once. You won’t be disappointed, but you also will see why nobody needs both the antique barrel and this estate reserve on their shelf. It’s redundant to even a very discerning bourbon palate. ‘Tis the season. I’m day-to-day on my whiskey selection, so if you’re reading this and there’s something readily available out there you’d like me to enjoy/suffer through this holiday season, leave it in the comments. Merry whiskey to all, and to all a beer flight!