Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bomberger's Blend of American Straight Whiskies

Today I am delighted to share my review of a special, limited release from Bomberger's Distillery. This blend of American straight whiskies- courtesy of Dick Stoll, the Master Distiller for Pennsylvania's Mitcher's- was released to support the construction of a brand new Bomberger's Distillery in Lancaster County. As the Nation's oldest distillery [dating back to 1753], Bomberger's was a catalyst for the growth of whiskey distilling to a large scale industry.

Batch 1, bottle #1339
86 proof
An 89/11 percent blend of 2 year bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malt) and 3 year McKenzie rye whiskey

Color: Yellow gold

Nose: "Yes, I have room for dessert"! Chocolate covered cherries in a glass. Semi-sweet chocolate. Thick butter, corn and baking spices create a rich, dessert like aroma. 

Taste: Similar to the nose, many sweet notes initially grace the palate; sweet corn, chocolate, cherries, buttercream. Rye spice sneaks into the flavor profile to add depth to a already uniquely complex whiskey. 

 Finish: Fairly quick and smooth with subtle notes of buttercream sweetness, rye and pepper spice with the faintest amount of oak.

Conclusion: This blend of straight American whiskies is an excellent example of an ole style whiskey. It's very drinkable and makes me want to come back for another glass (and then another)! At such a young age, many of the barrel flavors that we know and love are curtailed, but overall a good whiskey that is certainly worth a try! 

My Rating: 83 (Good)

Video Review:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jefferson's Ocean

Calling all Captains, Pirates and Scalleywags! Thanks for checking in for another Blundon Bourbon review- today we are drinking Jefferon's Ocean, aged at sea. This whiskey is a great example of how the environment can affect the taste of whiskey.

Voyage [batch] 3
90 proof
Aged 6-8 years in a traditional rick house;
then aged for 6 months at sea, stopping at 5 different continents and crossing the equator 4 times.

Color: Bronze

Nose: Brown sugar splashes out of the glass and brings with it a general airiness for a very unique bouquet. Waves of toffee, raisins, and sea salt quickly permeate the glass. A healthy dose of cinnamon and aged rum create a delicate aroma.

Taste: Salted caramel, rum raisin ice cream, and oak create the base of the palate. Baking spices float on the mid palate with salty brine to combine for an extremely unqiue flavor profile.

 Finish: The sweet notes fade quickly, but you are left with an everlasting dry and salty mouth-feel.

Conclusion: It's a very interesting dram. A general saltiness stays with you from start to finish. I love bourbon with character and I can only think this hits the mark for what Master Blender Trey Zoller was hoping to accomplish- I'm really glad I experienced it. That being said, a bit too satly for my taste; and for the price, I will not seek out voyage #4.

My Rating: 85 (Very Good)

Video Review:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Burnside Bourbon

Today we are featuring a straight bourbon whiskey from Eastside Distilling, an up and coming producer located in Southeast Portland's Distillery Row. They have been producing a variety of small batch rums, vodkas, and whiskey since 2009. For this review, we are drinking Burnside Bourbon, "put some sideburns on your face"! 

96 proof
4 years old 
Mashbill: Spoke with a team member on the phone, he said that Burnside bourbon was at least 75% corn, and that the rye and barley vary (interesting).

Color: Bright amber 

Nose: Sweetness in the form of fluffy vanilla icing and sweet corn. Fruity and floral notes express themselves with apples and rose pedals. 

Taste: A light mouthfeel with a dry, subtle sweetness. Tart maple, sour applesauce, and cherry syrup. On the mid palate there is Captain Crunch cereal with a bit of cream corn, cinnamon, and bitter oak. 

Finish: Moderately quick in length. Heavy ethanol reminiscent of a shot of vodka with sharp rye spice and slight oak.

Conclusion: Right out of the glass you get the sense of a young, hot bourbon. The subtle sweetness, dominant ethanol and bitter oak may indeed just leave some sideburns  on your face. At 4 years old, the $30 price tag on burnside bourbon is a bit more than I'm willing to pay. I hope that in the future, they age this bourbon for a few more years to give it that boldness it currently lacks. For now, I recommend trying this at a bar before picking up a bottle.

My Rating: 76 (Decent)

Video Review: Coming soon! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

William Laure Weller 2014

Born in 1825, William L Weller was a distilling pioneer and credited for being the first distiller to use wheat (grain) in the mashbill instead of rye. He is also remembered for his strong believe in the aging of whiskey- to this day no Weller bourbon is younger than seven years of age. 

Only 39 hand-picked barrels were selected for the 2014 release of William Laure Weller. It is the only wheated bourbon in the Buffalo Trace Antique collection. 

I try to hold BTAC bottles for special occasions and as many of you know, my wife and I have been training for the Baltimore Half Marathon since February. Oct 18th was race day and we completed the half and had a great time. We celebrating this accomplishment by opening this great bourbon. 

140.2 proof
12 years and 3 months old
Buffalo Trace wheated mashbill

Color: Mahogany 

Nose: Burnt sugars, sweet vanilla, black cherry, plums, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, pipe tobacco.

Taste: The heat is the first thing you notice and at 140 proof, it's got an extremely chewy mouthfeel. Red hots up front followed by vanilla, toffee, dark fruits and molasses on the mid palate. Toasted oak and aged leather on the back end.

Finish: Long, rich and hot. It seems to linger forever as sweet, spicy candy with notes of tobacco and oak.

Conclusion: Yes it's hot, but it's delicious!  I have two rules in life: never pay a cover fee to get into a bar and always drink your whiskey neat. Today I have found an exception to my second rule. At 140 proof, the alcohol detracts from the taste, so adding a few drops of filtered water per ounce is a must. All in all, a great whiskey; the nose is robust, the mouthfeel is thick, and the finish will stay with you forever.

My Rating: 94* (Great) 

*3 drops of filtered water per ounce added

Video Review: Coming soon! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Autumn is such a great time of the year; leaves begin to tumble and a faint chill sneaks its way into the air. Mid October means bourbon hunting season is in full effect with annual and limited releases, barrel proof offerings, aged ryes, etc! 

While this season just started for most, it is already one for the record books for the Blundon Bourbon Review in regards to Buffalo Trace. Maryland was the first state to receive its allocation of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC), and luckily for me, I got my hands on a complete 2014 set. Before I start to review some of those gems, I wanted to share my comments on their flagship product. 

90 proof
No Age statement
Mashbill #1 (low rye)

Color: Bright amber

Nose: Creamy vanilla, cinnamon sticks,   nutmeg, roasted sweet corn, cherry pie, molasses. 

Taste: Delicate sweetness up front with brown sugar and caramel. It's moderately spicy and ends with bitter oak. 

Finish: Medium in length with spice and oak.  

Conclusion: This is the flagship product for Buffalo Trace. It's my favorite distillery and I have yet to try a product of theirs that I did not enjoy. This is a well balanced bourbon with a nice depth to it. At $25 a bottle, Buffalo Trace is a very good everyday sipper that can also mix for an awesome cocktail. 

My Rating: 86 (Very Good) 

Video Review