Distillery: Old Pogue (contract distilled by Heaven Hill)
Nose: Allspice, black pepper, burnt match, ethical, butterscotch, burnt caramel, honey, nutmeg, musty oak, leather, tobacco, dried fruit
Taste: Metallic/oily. Black tea, bitter oak, musty tobacco, clove, cinnamon, fig, honey, vanilla, brown butter, brown sugar, almond, chocolate.
Finish: Medium length. Bitter oak leads the way to a subtle and sweet brown sugar, brown butter, and leather – followed up by cinnamon, honey, and dried fruit, and vanilla. The bitter oak is the foundation for the finish, I enjoy those tannins – they pair very well with the sweet notes of dried fruit and baking spice. The earthy tobacco and leather could be too much for some, but I really enjoy what they add to this somewhat dessert based profile. The finish is medium in length. I wish it could last longer with those older, bitter/tannic notes as those are right in my wheelhouse.
Overall: This is a unique bourbon. Somewhat of a mix of two brands almost. It has the nuttiness of Heaven hill but the bitter oak of Wild Turkey. To me, it brings in the best of both worlds from each distillery. Reportedly contract distilled at Heaven Hill, this is said to be made up from the same recipe from the olden days.
It is a great combination of notes you would find in an older Bourbon but with the sweetness of something younger. The exact age is undisclosed, but has been rumored to be around 9 years old. The batching in this leads me to believe it would be 4-9 years or maybe older. The strength it has with the bitter oak just reminds me of much much older products I have had, but the color does not show heavier oak whiskey.
This is a win for me, while heavily allocated due to the small size of the brand, I am always happy to purchase a bottle when I find it. For $80-$120, I would like to see more information on the bottle, while still maintaining the classic look and style it has. The bottle just looks like something you would see in the 40s or 50s and stands out on the shelf. Price is where it takes a hit, I get it that they have cost to cover, but is something I would like to see improved on in the future.
It you enjoy Wild Turkey’s bitter oak funk and tobacco and Heaven Hill’s dessert notes with some nuttiness splashed in – give this a go at a bar if you can find it, but also, support the little guy and buy a bottle if you like it!
Value Rating: 5/10
Total Score: 6.25/10