Monday, April 14, 2014

Bulleit Rye Whiskey

Tom Bulleit, Master Distiller for @BulleitUSA has created a great product in Bulleit Rye. It is said to be a 19th century family recipe. It is a small batch, 95% rye whiskey bottled at 90 proof with no age statement. The juice is sourced from Midwestern Grain Products (MGP) and is made in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. 

Color: Damp Copper

Nose: Lots of herbal notes. Evergreen, mint, cut grass. Neat nostalgia factor here- it reminds me of playing in the grass as a kid. Sweet caramel is hidden under the leaves somewhere. 

Taste: Heavy rye spice with a smooth and delicate mouthfeel. Evergreen, green tea. 

Finish: Herbal notes wisp away for an extremely short finish. 

Conclusion:  Be it hard pressed to find a better rye whiskey at a $20 price tag. That being said, the blade cuts both ways, and Bulleit Rye has a fairly one-dimensional presence on the palate. It is very drinkable and was fine when drinking neat, however, I recommend it be mixed in cocktails (manhattan for instance). I would love to try this at a higher proof and older age statement. 

My Rating: 8.2 (Good)

Video Review: 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Michter's Small Batch Bourbon

Michter's Distillery has been churning out products rather rapidly over the past two years, recently receiving the recognition as 2012 Distiller of the Year. This small batch bourbon is my first Michter's product. There is no age statement on the label (however it is "matured to the peak of perfection"). This bottle is from batch No. 1272 with a proof of 91.4.  
Color: Late summer honey

Nose: Extremely sweet, floral and elegant. Vanilla, maraschino cherries, cream of corn, brown sugar, Dr. Pepper. 

Taste: Subtle sweetness that fades rapidly and transitions into a rocky crescendo of earthy and leathery notes. Straw, rye bread, charred oak and tobacco dominate. 

Finish: Short finish. Very smooth and extremely easy to drink neat at 91.4 proof.  Oak lingers and my palate is left dry as if I just smoked a cigar.

Michter's claims to use "pre-revolutionary war quality standards" dating back to 1753. Well, it should be a crime against humanity to present such an elegantly complex nose yet leave such a flat presence on the palate. While this is a very smooth bourbon with an decadent nose, the lack of intrigue on the palate and the flat "dry mouth" finish leave a lot to be desired. For me, this was a must try; however, at $39.99, I won't be buying another bottle in the near future.  

My Rating: 7.8 (Decent)

Video Review: Coming Soon! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

Elijah Craig was a Baptist preacher in the 18th century and is credited for making this wonderful bourbon. This small batch, 12 year old bourbon is a product of Heaven Hill Distillery (located in Bardstown, Kentucky), and is their flagship product. Bottled at 94 proof, this bourbon is well balanced and makes for a great daily sipper. 

Color: Citrus Gold

Nose: A very well balanced nose. floral, honey, vanilla bean, caramel, nuts, dark fruits, lots of wood.

Taste: Salted caramel, red hots, candied fruits, rye spice, oak.

Finish: Medium in length. Notes of salted caramel, rye spice and oak linger.

Conclusion: There is a lot of depth to be found in Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon. The age really expresses itself as  there is heavy oak presence throughout the nose, taste, and finish. The flavors compliment each other well and the 94 proof makes for a nice, warming finish. At $20-30 it's a great bang for the buck!

My Rating: 8.5 (Very Good)

Video Review: 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wild Turkey Forgiven

Wild Turkey Forgiven is a blend of six year old bourbon [78%] and high proof, four year old rye [22%]. The back story behind this product is that the Wild Turkey Distillery staff accidentally mixed the two whiskies.  When Master Distiller Eddie Russell tasted it, he deemed it "exceptional whiskey more than worth of bringing to the market", and thus "Forgiven" was born. It is bottled at 91 proof. 

Color: Amber

Nose: Vanilla, Ginger, Cinnamon, Rye Spice, Oak

Taste: Creamy Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Ginger, Spearmint, Clove, Oak

Finish: Short and Smooth. Brown sugar, oak, peppery. 

Conclusion: Personally, it matters not whether this is a true story or just a creative idea from their marketing team; I like the story and I like the whiskey. It is a limited edition offering (unless the distillery crew happens to make another mistake), so I suggest you pick it up if you can find it. 

My Rating: 8.5 (Very Good)

Video Review: 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jefferson's Reserve Very Old Very Small Batch Bourbon

 Founded in 1997, Jefferson's is a bit of a newer company. Trey Zoeller is the "Master Blender" (not Master Distiller) as Jefferson's sources their juice rather than distill it themselves. They have a variety of products and are doing some very innovative things.

This bottle is No. 1952 of 2400. Batch No. 115. Proof is 90.2%. 

Color: Light Gold

Nose: Floral, Butterscotch, Creamy Vanilla, Raisins. 

Taste: Very smooth. Brown Sugar,  Tobacco, Rye spice, Oak. 

Finish: Short and crisp. Tobacco and Oak lingers.

Conclusion: Very smooth and easy to drink however the flavor profile is quite subtle. While I recommend you give this try at a bar or pick it up on sale,  at $50-60, this is not something that I would keep stocked at the home bar. 

My Rating: 8.2 (Good)

Video Review