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Archive for the ‘Bourbon’ Category

Bulk Post #3

Bourbons and Grains:

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection ’09 (I think)

1997 Double Barrel 45%

Big spice: Dill, fennel. Cider Vinegar, sharp oak, spearmint, soft tannins, roots, light butterscotch, vanilla and cinnamon, cherry jelly.

1993 Double Barrel 45%

Much more traditional. Massive butterscotch pudding, vanilla, dates and a touch of brine.

Willets Pot Still Reserve:

Harsh nose. Some orange marmalade up front with heavy menthol and big wood. Cherry, vanilla, freshly sawn oak, weak and woody, tannic.

Hedonism 10th Anniversary Invergordon 38 YO Single Cask 46% 120 bottles world-wide:

Barrel char, anise, licorice root, musty oak, honey, caramel, pollen, beeswax, honeycomb, turmeric, gentian, thyme, caranne, peaches, vanilla, pecans, golden virginia tobacco.

SMWS Inchmurin 32 YO 56%

Strawberry, putty, big artificial strawberries like Laffy Taffy. Mouth is hot but yummy. Not overly sweet but a bit – on strawberry jam, strawberry ic ecream, but also a few pretty big grassy notes.

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I picked this bottle up at Blanchards in West Roxbury, which I ride my bicycle to whenever I run out of El Dorado 15 year demerera rum, which I’m sure I’ll be reviewing in the future. On my most recent trip, I picked up this bottle, from a barrel aged in warehouse CS, bottled at 100 proof.

I opened this bottle at a spectacular art gallery show (read: dance party) a couple weeks ago and unfortunately nearly killed it before having the opportunity to sit down and taste it properly. Last week I invited a dear friend over to polish off the bottle with me. In addition to being a lovely drinking buddy she was an admirable note-taker. I toyed with the idea of typing them up verbatim but then got bashful at my wandering musings. Like the Weller though, no opportunity to go back and taste this bottle again.

Consumed: Neat.

The nose starts out with honey, heather, and pepper with a sublte green plum scent being the only fruit to speak of. On the palate there’s still a big honey backbone with a little ginger and vanilla backed up by subtle notes of tobacco and leather. A very fresh and clean white oak flavor came through on the finish that was surprising and delicious.

There are few bourbons with a sweet honey backbone quite like this, I will certainly be buying a new bottle sometime in the future, as something unusual to have around.

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This wheat-recipe bourbon was distilled at Buffalo Trace in the fall of ’98, making it an 11 year aged bourbon. It’s unfiltered and bottled at the barrel strength of 67.4% ABV. As it’s a wheat-recipe bourbon it’ll show similarities to the likes of Makers Mark and Pappy Van Winkle.

I purchased this bottle at Bauer Wine and Spirits on Newbury St. in Boston, MA back in the fall when the Antique Collection was released. I was given a beautiful decanter for the holidays and this was the whiskey I chose to put into it first and it became my go-to when I got home from a long day and was just looking for a real stiff drink. Unfortunately I waited until the very last dregs of my bottle before I really sat down to compile tasting notes on it, as such I won’t have the opportunity to go back and taste it again later to see if I feel the same way, nor will I have the opportunity to try consuming it by other methods. No regrets though, I thoroughly enjoyed this bottle.

Consumed: Neat, though I wouldn’t fault anyone for adding a healthy splash of water to it.

The color is a very reddish auburn with the absence of filtration clearly noticeable in this, the last glass from the bottle. On the nose the alcohol was inescapable but served to bind all the scents together harmoniously. Demerera Sugar, caramel, dates and vanilla; then developing malt, red apples and oak. The palate followed suit initially, with stronger oak presence and adding to the mix some marshmallow and nougat with pepper on the back of the palate and a long maple finish.

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I honestly can’t tell you much about George T. Stagg. There’s no official website for the whiskey, other blogs mention that it’s an unfiltered rye-recipe bourbon distilled in the winter of ’92 and very little else. As such, we will happily describe it simply as ONE ENIGMATIC BOURBON.

I picked up this fine bottle, along with its cousin William Larue Weller (more on that at a later date) at Bauer Wine and Spirits on Newbury St. It’s pricey, but it’s being hailed as one of the five or so domestic whiskeys to come out this year that are really quite exciting.

Consumed: Diluted with filtered water.

This bourbon is 141.4 proof. Full stop. As a general rule, I prefer barrel strength bourbon (which this certainly is), because I value the freedom to taste it at varying strengths, and ultimately dilute it to a strength I find suits my mood. This particular vintage is characterized by a very intense, complex sweetness: caramel, toffee, molasses and maple sap at first, with vanilla and oak in a big way, and a long caramel finish. It’s very well balanced with subtler notes of mint, coffee, nougat and banana.

Personally, I really like this bourbon.

George T. Stagg 2009

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