Friday, October 24, 2014

William Larue 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 belief 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: A+ (Great) 

Bourbon Brothers Video Review: 

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: Its easy to understand why this is the flagship product for Buffalo Trace; 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: B+ (Very Good) 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Barrell Bourbon Batch 002

Today we are drinking the second release from Barrell Bourbon. These guys aren't distillers, but rather producers out of New York, NY. Batch 002 is blended from whiskey distilled in TN and later bottled in KY. Batch 002 hit shelves August of 2014 and is similar to Batch 001 in many respects; while slightly lower in proof, it shares the same mash bill and age statement. 

Bottle #431
70% corn, 25% rye, 5% malted barley
5 years old
117.8 proof

Color: Dark Amber

Nose: Intense cream of corn flows heavily through the nose. Vanilla jellybean, rye, and pecans waft from my glass but are quickly overtaken by thick leather and heavy oak. 

Taste: While slightly lower in proof than Batch 001, the heat found in Batch 002 is without a doubt more abrasive. Buttered corn dominates the front palate with a nutty presence on the mid palate. Rye spice starts to dominate and is followed by a healthy dose of toasted oak. 

 Finish: My favorite part of any barrel proof bourbon is the lingering and warming finish. At 117.8 proof,  Batch 002 has a fairly long and dry finish with notes of rye spice and toasted oak. 

Conclusion: This is a good whiskey with a thick mouthfeel and bold flavors. That being said, Batch 002 is less complex than its predecessor and is a bit more abrasive in terms of heat and rye spice on the palate. Keep a look out for this limited release as well as future whiskeys from Barrell Bourbon.

 My Rating: C  (Decent)

Video Review