Booker's Bourbon Batch 2021-01 "Donohoe's Batch"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USA
Reviewed July 13, 2021 (edited February 2, 2023)
Nose: It's Booker's - dense, rich oak, brown sugar, and French vanilla ice cream. Barrel char and a little smoke. You get a sense for the rye in the mash bill, with warming baking spices. Roasted peanuts and almonds. Dusty corn, leather, cocoa - walking through a used bookstore with Parisian hot chocolate. Grilled apricots and peaches drizzled with honey. Just a little bit of cherry. Not the sweetest, not the driest - this sits right in the middle. Definitely presents as high proof, but it doesn't singe your nasal cavity nearly as much as you'd expect. Palate: Warming, with oak, char, molasses, sugar, and vanilla. Swirls of apples with natural peanut butter, those grilled peaches topped wiuth honey, and some whipped cream. Proof is much more evident on the tongue. That, along with the tannins, gives this the classic texture you want from this line. Hot cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little fennel. Again, sits about in the middle of the sweet/dry spectrum. Banana pudding, mixed chocolate/carob/white chocolate chips, Nilla Wafers. Great balance overall, with everything cranked up to 10, though the treble is up to 11. Hits all over the palate. Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Finish: Ethanol followed by exactly what you'd expect - charred oak, molasses, vanilla, and brown sugar. Apple pie, but with extra spices in the mix. Leather follows suit while the proof calms down. Roasted nuts, buttermilk biscuits, and dry coffee grounds. Tannin shows up late but is a welcome addition. And that's how we fade out. Medium-long length. Other notes: It's Booker's. Felt right to wrap this up starting with the same two words I began this with. While there's obviously variation from batch to batch, the profile fits within a particular bandwidth. This one does a fantastic job not letting any particular element dominate, giving a great sense of what this line is all about. While not my personal favorite release (2018-02), this is a great intro to the experience - if you wanted to know of a batch to start with, you'd be hard pressed to do better than this. I may re-buy this, something I tend to avoid in the post price-hike era. Good stuff.
“It's Booker's” 👈🏻 and that alone has me sold!