20 years old
Wheated mash bill
Color: Red wood
Nose: One could easily pick this nose out of a lineup. The bouquet is soft yet rich. Vanilla and cinnamon spice can't be contained in the glass. Caramel is right behind along with a healthy amount of toasted oak- simply delicious.
Taste: Sweeter than expected. The mouth feel leans towards the thin side, but it is exceptionally smooth. While oak is prevalent throughout, vanilla, toffee, and caramel popcorn grip the tip of the tongue. The mid palate transitions with swirls of cinnamon spice and an endless pit of aged tobacco.
Finish: 20 years in the wood is no joke for a wheated bourbon. This has a medium finish with sweet-spice, dry tobacco, and bitter oak.
Conclusion: Wheated bourbons have a much softer flavor profile than your typical high rye bourbon. After 20 years of aging, this soft, wheat profile is heavily influenced by the dry, oak barrel. In efforts to reverse this effect, it's my belief the proof has been cut-significantly- to 90.2 proof (Pappy Van Winkle 15 year is 107 proof). While it's still very good bourbon, I would take proof over age any day.
My Rating: B+ (Very Good)