Hotel Tango Bourbon, Ready-To-Drink
Bourbon — USA
Reviewed August 17, 2022
Rating: 11/23 Aside from the fact that this has been finished in red wine barrels, I know very little about it. Oh, and it's about 2.75 years old. N: Dry with an herbal tartness that makes me think of rye, before rolling into tannins and punches of red fruit. Some dry earthy barrel must comes out, along with an occasional hint of sweet sawdust. It doesn't smell super old, but it doesn't smell nearly as young as it is either. It's a bit funky and out there, but it still holds itself together while maintaining distinct scents. P: This doesn't taste super mature. It's not super young either since it mostly lacks the new make flavors, but there still is a faint hint of squash to it. There are more tannins than the nose led me to believe, but there is still some sweetness. It''s kind of like light caramel mixed with tart red fruit, like red currants or something. There is a definite spiciness that tends toward pepper, but lacks a lot of real flavor. Digging in deeper, I get some black licorice as well. This palate is unfortunately not that interesting or mature or hedonistic. It's not bad, but there isn't really much going for it. It's a bit thin and light, with a bit too much tannins. F: The spicy tannins linger, along with a hint of light caramel that has just very faint red fruit. Not a bad finish, but forgettable at least. - Conclusion - This isn't bad. Honestly, it's solid for its age. It just isn't good. This lacks the boldness of Russell's Reserve 10 (15-16/23) and doesn't have its sweetness or roundness either. I do like that bit of bold sweetness this has, which I presume is from the red wine casks. Earl Settler (10/23) Is sweeter and richer than this is, with more corn and vegetal notes. I kind of find myself wanting to give the higher grade to the Earl Settler. The two are honestly quite competitive. They might both be 11s. There is no way that this is higher than a 13, nor is is lower than a 9. Coming back to this a few days later, I'm liking it better than I did before. I'm getting some subtle red wine fruit. It's still on the light side, but it's pretty clean. Earl Settler has a weird vegetal tinge to it that this doesn't have, so this is clearly beating the Earl. This isn't a whole lot better though. So a 12, perhaps. A 13 still seems ambitious. Trader Joe's bourbon (11/23) is quite competitive with this. There are some nice flavors here, but there is also tannin and heat that I don't think really help to push this past the Trader Joe's. The two are similar in quality. Honestly, I think that the Trader Joe's might be a bit better. Earl Settler is worse though, so this is definitely a 10 or an 11. Maybe the nice notes from the wine finish are causing me to give out pity points, but I'm thinking that this is closer to the Trader Joe's than it is to the Earl Settler. I do like the nuances from the wine, which really do add a nice range of fruit, rather than overwhelming this like many red wine casks do. This is very borderline though. Thanks, @Milliardo , for sharing this. Despite the shortcomings, I found the subdued nature of the wine finish to be quite well executed.
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