It smells really sweet, like Balcones Baby Blue. There some malt on the nose, but it seems like at 49% malted barley the balance is out of whack. The palate initially tastes like young malt with its sweetness, but then some viscous corn sweetness comes out and a surprisingly fierce burn ensues. I'm not a big fan of the young flavor (not a fan at all actually), but the complex actually does increase a fair bit. This is substantially better than Balcones Baby Blue with its fruity flavors the come out toward the finish, adding richness. Still. I would have guessed that this was a young malt-heavy whiskey (which I guess it is actually) and placed it in the bargain bin. I have mixed feelings about this one: it's better than the Barrel Raider II with its added complexity, but it still tastes young and reminds me of stuff like Shieldaig Class (a.k.a. the bottom shelf stuff). The execution is better than for bottom shelf scotch, but I wish it didn't remind me of it at all. The nauseating Sherry sweetness is minimized here, but not eradicates. This definitely tastes like young bourbon, which is a shame because it isn't terribly young. Still, there is more complexity here than in young bourbon and the balance is better despite its flaws. The flavor here is also on the light side. I'll be intrigued to try a more mature version of this at some point, but for now it's not that great and very expensive. The complexity seems good, so it definitely has potential. At 12 years, this could be quite good.
53.0 USD per Bottle