Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon

If I had a dollar for every time I said "this is good, however I'd love to see it at a higher proof", I would be a rich, rich man. Well, it's about time, and Master Distillers have listened to our requests, and are recently starting to respond with these awesome cask strength releases! 

111.6 proof 
Batch  15-02
Wheated mash bill

Nose: This is definitely an amped up Maker's Mark! Sweet wheat on the nose with heavy hints of creamy vanilla, caramel, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

Taste: Candied red hots with a slight yet sharp burn. The chewy mouthfeel is great, with wheat sweetness up front followed by bold notes of vanilla, butter and cinnamon sticks. There is plenty of sweet spice to keep things interesting on the mid palate.

Finish: Long and warming with a spicy, cask strength kick.

Conclusion: The first time I tried Maker's Mark Cask Strength bourbon was during my trip to KY for the bourbon trail. We visited Loretta and the beautiful MM Distillery back in October 2014. I remember it being just as sweet, spicy, and delicious. If you are a Maker's fan, this is a must buy bourbon! That being said, at a pricetag of $65, it's hard to keep choosing MMCS over the cheaper yet just as good (dare I say better) Weller Antique 107 proof. 

My Rating: B+ (Very Good)

Bourbon Brothers Video: 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blade and Bow Bourbon

Blade and Bow is the latest KY straight bourbon whiskey from Diagio. Two Blade and Bow bourbons were recently released (this no age statement bourbon and a 22 year old bourbon) to pay homage to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. B&B bourbons are unique because they use a Solera system aging process to preserve some of the oldest whiskey stocks. 

91 proof
No age statement  (research says least six years old)
Suggested retail is $50

Nose: Pecan pie is the first thing you notice, sweet and delicious. Next is an abundance of red fruits in the form of plums and cherries- almost as if you're walking through an orchard. Caramel and cinnamon are also present, though faint. The flavors blend elegantly and create a lovely bouquet.  

Taste: Similar to the nose, lots of red fruit soaks onto the tongue for a unique yet pleasant pour. The sweetness presents less on the palate with faint hints of chocolate, candied pecans, and cream- this is due to an overwhelming amount black pepper spice that takes charge and leads its way onto the finish. 

Finish: The mouthfeel was fairly light so I wasn't surprised by the short length here. The sweet and fruity tones dissipate rather quickly before ending with black pepper spice and a bitter, bitter oak.

Conclusion:  I'll make this one short and sweet: the nose on Blade and Bow is fantastic, the taste is good, and the finish is a huge letdown. If I had to spend $50 on a Diagio product, I'm going to take Bulleit 10 over this everyday.

My Rating: B (Good)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blood Oath Pact No. 1

Blood Oath is the first limited edition whiskey brand from liquor giant Luxco, headquartered out of St. Louis MO, and made famous by bourbon brands like Ezra Brooks and Rebel Yell. Pact No. 1, was just released (Spring 2015) and is a blend of three bourbons, ranging from six to twelve years old. For all my non science readers, Blood Oath's proof matches that of the normal human body temperature. I was grateful to be sent this bottle as Blood Oath bourbons will be released annually and in very limited quantities.

98.6 proof 
Blend consists of the following:
-A wheated bourbon aged six years
-A high rye bourbon aged 7 years
-A high rye bourbon aged 12 years 

Nose: Heavy caramel with vanilla cream lead the way for a fairly sweet aroma. Sweet spice, apricot, and oak are present along with a slight varnish.

Taste: On the tip of the tongue there is a wheat sweetness that is quickly overturned by a deep peppery spice. Cream soda, caramel candies, and honey blend lightly on the mid palate. There are nice herbal and mint notes present.  Finally, the 12 portion of the blend year shows itself with a heavy dose of tobacco.

Finish: Smooth and medium in length. The wheat sweetness and rye spice return along with a touch of oak.  

Conclusion: Blood Oath Pact No. 1 is a very unique bottle; the four grains (corn, wheat, rye, barley) really show themselves in this bourbon. It's a nice pour with a unique complexity- the awesome branding doesn't hurt either- but at an MSRP of $89.99 a bottle, it's not a purchase that I can recommend. That being said, I am looking forward to Pact No. 2, coming in 2016 and consisting of an entirely new bourbon blend.

My Rating: B (Good)

Bourbon Brothers Video: Coming Soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked begins its aging process just like the Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select bourbon that we have all come to know and love. However, after the standard 7-8 years, this is then re-barreled in a second, deeply toasted oak barrel. This "double oak" process produces a whiskey with unique and dessert like character.

90.4 proof
Aged in two separate charred oak barrels
No Age Statement 

Nose: Extremely sweet with notes of chocolate, honey, vanilla, and deep oak.
While slightly diminished, I also noticed some coffee bean and cherry soda. It's very nice, and I wish it was a cologne.

Taste: The palate is savory, creamy, and soft. Chocolate pie, sweet corn, nutmeg, maple syrup, and honey. Hints of cherries, spiced apples, almonds, and toasted oak combine for a well balanced and uniquely sweet bourbon. Honestly, it tastes like dessert, and I don't share my dessert.

Finish: Medium in length; fairly dry with lingering notes of marzipan, coffee ice cream and toasted oak.

Conclusion: As I really enjoy Distiller's Select, this Double Oaked bourbon did not disappoint. Try to pour yourself a glass and let it sit under your nose for 5 minutes- it's a daunting task only men with an iron-will can accomplish. The price tag is a bit heavier ($55) than the Distiller's Select, but the over-toasting of the second barrel produces a sweet, savory and intense bourbon full of flavor which is certainly worth a try. 

My Rating:
B+ (Very Good)

 Bourbon Brothers Review:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Larceny Bourbon

Larceny is a wheated bourbon made by Heaven Hill distillery. The story goes that John F. Fitzgerald, a treasury agent trusted with the keys to the rickhouse, would sneak in at night and drink from the best of the bourbon barrels; some call him a thief, others call him a very intelligent individual...I wanted to share that story because it's of the best or the worst marketing stories for a whiskey that I've ever heard – I can’t quite tell (probably the worst).

92 proof
Wheated mash bill  
No Age Statement

Nose: Detecting a lot of fresh baked wheat bread at the top of the nose. There is some cinnamon swirling around here and this combination is reminiscent of cinnamon toast crunch cereal. Sweet aromas quickly follow- brown sugar, vanilla, some fudge. It's also fairly nutty.

Taste: Sweet spice is the first thing noticed on the palate. Much more on cinnamon than the nose revealed. The wheat bread and nuttiness combine with honey for a unique but well balanced profile.

Finish: Medium in length with sweetness, baking spices, and slight oak. 

Conclusion: Trying new wheated bourbons is always on my to do list. Larceny is a solid whiskey with a flirtatious price tag around $25. It's very drinkable at 92 proof, and if you like sweet and spicy bourbons, definitely give this a try. 

My Rating:
B (Good)

 Bourbon Brothers Review: