Monday, April 25, 2016

Willett Family Estate 11 Year Bourbon

The Willett Distillery in Bardstown produces a variety of nice products. Their Willett Family Estate line is more or less a gift shop/Distillery only release of exclusively sourced whiskey. The downside of the WFE line is the price; you are you are paying for the limited release factor. That being said, these are very quality products and are usually worth seeking out. 

-Barrel 1681, bottle 99/158
-11 years old
-117.2 proof 
-Price: $110

Nose: Sweet with initials whiffs of vanilla cream
and fudge. Powdered sugar toasted bread, and cinnamon spice balance a very bold yet elegant aroma. 

The flavors on the nose culminate into a french-toast style note on the palate. It's complex, with a strong herbal presence, baking spices, and vanilla flavored tobacco on the back end.
Finish: Warming with hard-candied sweetness and spiced tobacco.
A friendly heat lays in your chest for a long time. 

Conclusion: This is a smooth and complex bourbon. It balances most of the flavor spectrumsweet, spicy, and herbal notes combine for an enjoyable drink. In addition to the juice, I must say I love the labeling/packaging.
If you are on the bourbon trail, make sure to stick your head in the gift shop early in the morning and you may get lucky.

My Rating:  B+ (Very Good)

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Old Scout TEN bourbon

Smooth Ambler Spirits Company is a craft distillery located in Maxwelton, West Virginia.  While they distill a variety of spirits, they also source a significant amount of the whiskey they sell. They refer this sourcing as "scouting", thus all the whiskey they source is labeled under the sub-brand "Old Scout". The label on Old Scout TEN states it is at least 10 years old, suggesting it is certainly some type of blend.

-2013 release, batch 14  
-10 years old
-100 proof 
-Price: $50

Nose: Whip cream and salted caramel create the base of this bouquet. Peanuts, coffee
bean, and leather also surface for a pleasant aroma. 

Taste: Sweet corn unfolds into a heavy nutty-vanilla note on the palate. Toasted oak combines with a significant earthy tone and a unique clay note. 

Finish: Medium in length with a sweet barrel char finish. 

Conclusion: This is a difficult bottle to find in my area so when I saw it at MSRP I picked it up immediately. Unfortunately, Old Scout TEN fell short of my expectations. It's smooth and the flavors are bold, however the overall taste doesn't  do it for me. It's not bad by any stretch, but at $50 a bottle, there are many other bourbons I would recommend. 

My Rating:  C (Decent)

Bourbon Brothers Review:

Monday, March 28, 2016

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon

Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. is a legend in the bourbon industry. His legacy began at O.F.C. aka Old Fire Copper distillery (which is now Buffalo Trace). A man of many talents, he was a strong advocate of the Bottled-in-Bond Act, and along with George T Stagg, grew the  distillery that makes some of my favorite bourbons to this day. This small batch bourbon is one of many releases in the E.H. Taylor line, so keep an eye out for future reviews, including the E.H. Taylor barrel proof, rye, cured oak, and single barrel. 

-Bottled in Bond, No Age Statement
-100 proof 
-Price: $40

Nose: Caramel candy is the initial scent that floats out of my glass. Vanilla wafers and green apple follow along with a subtle herbal bouquet. 

Taste: A soft mouth-feel with burnt sugars and sweet corn. Subtle spices of black pepper and tobacco combine with a gentle juicy fruit gum note to add an unique depth of flavor. 

Finish: A short, warming finish with subtle spice and toasted oak.

Conclusion: I am a huge fan of these bottled in bond bourbons. This is a sweet, well balanced whiskey with a unique character. At $40 a bottle, I would rather spend some extra cash and grab the E.H. Taylor Single Barrel or Barrel Proof expression, but this is still a good bottle and is worth a try.

My Rating:  B (Good)

Bourbon Brothers Review:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Quiet Man Single Malt Irish Whiskey

In honor of the upcoming holiday I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and review an Irish whiskey! Bottled in Derry, Ireland and imported by Luxco, this single malt was released in February 2016, aged in oak for 8 years and finished in first fill bourbon barrels. 

-8 years old, single malt Irish whiskey
-80 proof 
-Finished in first fill bourbon barrels
-Price: $50

Nose: A sharp aroma full of floral notes and sparkling apple cider. A bouquet of liquid smoke follows to create a gentle balance. 

Taste: Applesauce, banana, and honey are easily identified on the palate. There is a nice balance of sweet and pepper spice, followed by wood chips and a thick liquid smoke. 

Finish: Mellow with a sweet, smooth finish. 

Conclusion: While light, there are a variety of flavors to enjoy. The sweet and spicy notes combine for a well balanced pour. I don't plan on reviewing other Irish whiskey in the future, but this almost makes me want to. 
I hope you enjoy the review, and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

My Rating:   (Good)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pikesville Rye Whiskey

Pikesville is a brand of rye whiskey with a longstanding history in Maryland. There are essentially two families of rye whiskey 1) Maryland style which is a barley legal rye, meaning its hardly over 51% rye with a decent bit of corn and 2) Monongahela rye, is a very high rye (up to even 100%). These are usually very spicy whereas the Maryland style has much more sweetness to it. Released in Summer 2015, this is the latest Maryland style rye whiskey from Heaven Hill. 

-6 years old
-51% rye 39% corn 10% barley
-110 proof 
-Price: $49 

Nose: Heavy aromas of cocoa powder and earthiness. A variety of baking spices (prominently clove) float out of the glass and are followed by sweet vanilla, subtle mint, and barrel char.

Taste: Extremely herbal with freshly ground green leaves and mint.  It's a well balanced Maryland style rye that is both sweet and spicy. Notes of vanilla, honey, and caramel are followed by cloves, anise, and oak.

Finish: A subtle bit of anise makes its way onto the finish. Warming and dry, it's slightly shorter than expected. 

Conclusion: I've grown to prefer the Maryland style rye from the Monongahel. This bottle really hammers that home. If you've enjoyed Rittenhouse or Pikesville Supreme Ryes, then I highly recommend giving this bottle a try! 

My Rating:  B+ (Very Good)

Bourbon Brothers Review: