Sunday, December 29, 2013

Four Roses Small Batch LE 2013 (125th Anniversary)

Hello from The Blundon Bourbon Review!  Four Roses is known for using a multitude of recipes in their small batch bourbon and the 2013 vintage contains the following: OBSV- 18 years/ OBSK- 13 years/ OESK 13 years.

As with all four roses LE releases, this 750ML bottle is barrel strength (uncut w/ water) and is 103.2 proof. It was purchased for $89.99

Color: Caramel and Amber

Nose: Sweet corn, creamy vanilla, cherries, cigars, oak.

Taste: Rye spice from beginning to end. Raspberries, cherries, apricot. Brown sugar, vanilla. The 18 year old in the blend adds a little oak tannin but it is balanced fairly well by the sweetness of the other two 13 year old blends.

Finish: Sweetness and fruitiness linger for gentle yet warming finish. 

Conclusion: There are a lot of subtle flavors that create an overall balanced bourbon. The fruit notes are delicious and live up to the Four Roses brand. It falls short on the depth expected for a limited release. This is very good and I enjoyed reviewing it, but It doesn't hold a candle to vintage 2012.

 My Rating: B+ (Very Good)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

George T. Stagg (2013 Release)

Happy Holidays from The Blundon Bourbon Review! Another cold, snowy day in Baltimore means bourbon in the belly. Tonight it is my pleasure to leave you with a review of the 2013 release of George T. Stagg. I'll tell you what, this bad guy was a tough one to find, but the hunt paid off (as it always does)!

This 750ML bottle of uncut, unfiltered bourbon whiskey is 128.2 proof- making it only the second time in the fourteen releases that it has dropped down into the 120′s . This 2013 release is 15 years and 11 months old. Purchased for $99.99

Color-A dark, rich amber

Nose- Sweet yet balanced. Caramel candy, bananas foster, rolled tobacco, vanilla, maple syrup, cherries. There are certainly some floral notes roses.

Taste- (Neat from a Glencarin Glass) At the tip of my palate is dark fudge, sweet vanilla and brown sugar. Notes of black pepper, tobacco, and rye follow on the back end. The heat is there, however, the flavors present themselves with very little burn. I don't normally comment on texture, but this has a great thick mouthfeel that coats the tongue in an elegant manner. The legs are long and beautiful in the glass.

Finish: Fudge and black pepper prevail with the classic rye spice and a little bit of corn.

Conclusion- I was really excited to get my hands on a bottle of GTS, and I must say it has lived up to my expectations. The sweetness is perfectly balanced and I look forward to hunting down the 2014 release next fall.

My Rating: A+ (Premium)

Video Review:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thomas H. Handy (2012 Release)

Good Evening from The Blundon Bourbon Review. 
I've got a special review to celebrate Baltimore's' first snow of the season!
This 750ML bottle of uncut, unfiltered rye whiskey is 132.4 proof (2012 release), and was purchased for $79.99. I walked into my local store and they had 3 of these just sitting on the top shelf behind their counter, so I had to pick one up.

Color- A beautiful dark, deep amber- There is a nice amount of sediment in the pour, which I love. It really adds character to an already great whiskey.

Nose- As if I dove into a swinning pool of fruits- Black cherries, raisins, candied oranges, and baked apples dance on my tougne. Cloves, spice, and mint follow their lead. After ten minutes of breathing in the glass, the prodomindent notes-vanilla, carmel, pepper- really start to pop.

Taste- (Neat from a Glencarin Glass) Hot but not overwhelming. Sweet, burnt surgars with intense notes of marmalade, mint and cinnamon. Sweet vanilla, caramel, and black pepper.

Finish: Really long- I was tasting notes of malpe sugar, baked apples and pepper for minutes after my glass was empty.

Conclusion- Certinaly one of the hidden gems of the Buffalo Trace Antiuqe Collection (BTAC). For such a young rye (6 years old), there are so many rich and elegant flavors. One of the coolest asepcts of this rye is the story behind it- Thomas Handy came to New Orleans, where he worked at the Sazerac Coffee house. He was the one to suggest that the infamous Sazerac cocktail would taste better with American rye whisky instead of French cognac (he was right!). If you see this on the shelf- don't think, just pick it up and thank yourself later!

My Rating- A+ (Premium)

Video Review: