Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot "B" 12 Year
Bourbon — Kentucky, USA
Reviewed August 14, 2018
First sniff screams wheated bourbon, not surprisingly in the same ballpark as Weller 12 yo. Same mash bill as Weller and Maker's, goes into the barrels at 114 proof (57% ABV). Interestingly, back in the 1950s both Stitzel-Weller and Maker's went in to the barrel at a very low 103 proof (51.75 ABV), which was lower than the industry norm at the time of either 110 (55% ABV) or 115 (57.5% ABV) proof. The nose is pleasantly sweet, with caramel candies, baked apples and milk chocolate. Not a bad combination. It is not astringent On the palate there is a creamy smooth texture, some strawberry enters the scene, a hint of bubble gum (baseball card type), yummy apple cake, caramel and at the end a very pleasant shortbread cookie taste that lingers on the tongue. It is nice, not spicy, sweet, but not overly so. Although, it is just on the verge of being too sweet. The finish is nice, no burn, a slight minty fresh feeling, with some pastry topped with sugar icing. Again just short of being too sweet. A very nice whiskey, may not be for those who like spicy, less sweet, offerings. I like it slightly better than the Weller 12yo. It seems slightly more approachable.
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