Friday, January 22, 2016

Michter's Barrel Strenght Rye Whiskey

In May 2015 Michter's released a single barrel, barrel strength rye whiskey. The rye distillate for these bottles was entered into the barrel at 103 proof, which is much lower than the industry standard. The end product is a whiskey with a rich, smooth, and full body post-aging. 

-109 proof
-Barrel #15C217 no age statement
-Price: $65

Nose: Aromas of maple syrup, white grape juice, and honey float out of the glass. This is followed by a fresh breeze of cut pine trees and hefty rye spice. 

Taste: Sweet and spicy with mellow herbal undertones. Notes of butterscotch, honey, cinnamon, evergreen, black pepper, and cedar chips.

Finish: Long and warm, with a dry toasted oak spice.

Conclusion: This is the definition of a honey barrel! If anyone sees barrel 15C217 pick it up and thank me later. This is so delicious I may just go buy another bottle from another barrel. The overall product is so complexed and balanced, I would guess it's about 6-7 years old with a barely legal rye somewhere in the 51-53% range.

My Rating: A (Great) 

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

In late 2013, Heaven Hill surprised everyone with an uncut, unfiltered version of their 12 year flagship bourbon, Elijah Craig. Known as Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (or more commonly "ECBP"), this bourbon packs a full body and flavor. Lucky for us, Heaven Hill releases ECPB several times a year at a unique proof.

-12 years old
-128 proof, release #7
-Price: $45

Nose: Boston cream donut. Creamy vanilla, ovaltine,  and toasted oak. Fruit notes of apple and plum. 

Taste: A mix of vanilla and coffee ice cream. Sweetness continues with deep notes of brown sugar along with spices of cinnamon, black pepper, and tobacco.  

Finish: Long with a playful heat. Sweet vanilla fades slowly with spice and tobacco.  

Conclusion: Believe it or not, this is the lowest proof release to date. That being said, it's full of flavor and has a deliciously thick mouthfeel. ECPB is proof that great bourbon doesn't have to come at a high price!

My Rating: A (Great) 


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Friday, January 1, 2016

Elmer T. Lee Bourbon

Elmer T. Lee joined the George T. Stagg (Buffalo Trace) Distillery in 1949. Working as a maintenance engineer, he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Plant Manager and Master Distiller. He is credited with introducing the world’s first single-barrel bourbon, Blanton's. After retiring in 1985, he was commemorated with his own single-barrel namesake. He took part in hand selected the barrels of Elmer T. Lee until 2013, when he passed away at the age of 93. While he is no longer with us, his contributions to the bourbon industry will live on forever. 

-No Age Statement, rumored 7-10 years old
-90 proof
-Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2
-Price: $35

Nose: Initial notes of citrus are followed by sweet aromas of maple, honey and vanilla. This balanced elegantly by a subtle spice and toasted oak.

Taste: Rich and deep. The mouthfeel is extremely chewy. Very sweet with vanilla, caramel, and toffee, but balanced with a gentle mix of rye spice, black pepper, and cinnamon.

Finish: Moderate in length. Smooth, with a sweet and spicy dryness.  

Conclusion: This is honestly a bourbon unlike any other. When compared to other bourbons from Buffalo Trace Mashbill #2- Blantons, Rock Hill Farms, Hancocks Reserve- this is by far my favorite. Elmer T Lee single barrel has a lot of character without the rough edges. It's a delicious bourbon that is also a great value.  

My Rating: A (Great)


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