Age: 4.2 years
Nose: Allspice, apple, butterscotch, burnt caramel, cherry syrup, nutmeg, charred oak, sweet vanilla, pipe tobacco, coffee, cornbread, heavy ethanol.
Taste: Velvety, astringent mouthfeel. Coffee, bitter oak, cinnamon/clove combo (almost Christmas like), black tea, slight grassy note (young rye grain poking through), candied orange peel, heavy caramel, brown butter, dried fruit, honey, artificial sweetener, light vanilla.
Finish: Medium-long. Bitter oak sticks with you most of the finish. Starts with sweet brown sugar and honey, before transitioning into black tea, candied orange, and caramel. The last little bit of the finish leaves you with a slightly sweet vanilla, dried fruit, hint of grassy rye, and a Splenda note.
This is a weird finish. The act of the sip itself is nice, astringent, but nice. Once the finish settles, the complexity and depth wow me, but then make me need a sip of water to cleanse my palate.
Overall: Everything that hits on the finish of this single barrel has a hint of astringency to it. It has so many good flavors, but it’s just too sharp with too much ethanol to really enjoy a full pour of it. I tried to curve this somewhat because I really enjoy the flavors inside of this pick, but the finish is horrible.
With it being just a hair over 4 years old, you never expect this much depth in a bourbon. This has tons of flavor – good flavor, great flavor – but the underlying pungent ethanol really burns the palate and leads to a weird finish.
This is something that I think was picked and I am only assuming – but if multiple things were tasted, this was picked for the initial taste alone and the ethanol and weird finish were covered up by other barrels. It has potential, but thankfully I didn’t purchase this. This was a sample sent to me by a follower on IG (which I am so very grateful for!), who wanted me to review this and were very adamant about me doing it. My assumption is because they had a similar experience but wanted it justified.
They spent $124.99 on this bottle at their local store (which was not given to me) and I am sorry they had to do that.
Deserving score for a great palate with too much burn, a bad finish, and way overpriced for a 4 year.
(DISCLOSURE: The bottle pictured wasn’t the one reviewed. I only had a sample of the Single Barrel to review but needed a pic to use.)
Value Rating: 1/10
Total Score: 3.1/10