Old Grand-Dad 114 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad Old Grand-Dad
NAS (No Age Statement)
Bottled at 114 Proof by Jim Beam in KY
I paid $26.99 in MA.  Uncommon to find on the shelf mainly because last year this was rumored to be going away, but in Feb. (2017) Beam announced more shipments would be available in Q2 of 2017.  Keep a look out!
Nose: Cinnamon and Lots of Rye
Taste: The Spice from the high rye mash bill is up front which really impact the taste at times, but once you get past the spice, it becomes sweet/fruity and lots of caramel with some burnt  sugar
Finish: Full, Long, Big Red Cinnamon with a little Oak
Value:  This was my first time having this one and I was really blown away by it.  Full of flavor, high proof and a great price!  If you see it on the shelf give it a try if you like high proof whiskey!

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Orphan Barrel – Barterhouse Kentucky Bourbon

Orphan Barrel – Barterhouse Kentucky Bourbon
Aged 20 Years in KY
Bottled at 90.2 Proof at Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co (Berheim Distillery)., Tullahoma, TN.
Paid $64, but I’ve seen as high as $99 they call it a limited release so it can be hard to find MA.
Nose: Sweet, Fruity, Vanilla and Oak
Taste:  Some Corn comes through, Cherry, Brown Sugar, and Spices
Finish: Thin and Short, a bit of Spice and Oak stays with you
Value:  If you ignore the story Diageo put out about this “limited” release over 45k bottles and focus on the really cool design on the bottle and the juice that’s 20 years old I think it really comes pulls together if you can find it for under $99.

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Smooth Ambler – Contradiction- Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Smooth Ambler – Contradiction– Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled at 100  Proof by Smooth Ambler Spirits, WV
This one is a blend of 2 bourbons.  First one is a 2 year wheat bourbon and the second one is a 9 year rye bourbon.
I haven’t seen this bottle in MA, but in my travels to San Fran was able to pick it up for $48.
Nose – Alcohol burn hits you right away, some dill spices
Taste – Refreshing, Good amount of oak, sweetness from the wheat comes through,a bit of spice from the rye and vanilla.
Finish – Long and a bit harsh, strong burn hits and stays with you, a bit of oak.
Value – This one’s a bit a rough to drink neat, but adding an ice cube really gets rid of the burn on the finish and makes this actually really tasty.

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Flag Hill – Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Flag Hill – Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled and Distilled at 90 Proof by Flag Hill Distillery, NH
Aged for 2 Years
This mash bill used for this one is 71% Corn, 15% Malted Barley and 14% Rye.  They procure all their ingredients locally and ferment, distill and bottle at their Distillery.  They also don’t use artificial coloring or flavoring.
Received this one as a gift.  I have not seen it on the shelves in MA, but  it can be found in NH.
Nose – Sweet, Tons of Caramel, Hints of Oak
Taste – Light and Fresh, Sweet,but not as much as the nose would suggest, Caramel and Corn comes through.
Finish – Pretty Smooth a bit of Oak and a slight kick at the end that tells you it’s young age.
Value – For it’s young age I was hesitant to try this one neat, but this actually holds up really well.  Would never guess it was only aged for 2 years.  Tastes like it’s been 6-8 years.  This would make a great nightly sipper!

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W. L. Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey

W. L. Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled at 90 Proof Distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY
Hard to find, but I have had a lot success lately with my local shops in MA for $18.99
Nose – Sweet Caramel, Vanilla, with a touch a Oak
Taste – Very Smooth, Honey, Vanilla, Little Oak comes through,
Finish – Warm, Sweet and then a quick Burn appears
Value – Can’t beat it for the price! One of the better values bourbons out there.  Great to sip neat or on ice. If you can find it on the shelf well worth to give it a try.

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Rock Hill Farms – Single Barrel – Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Rock Hill Farms – Single Barrel – Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bottled at 100 Proof
No Age Statement
Distilled and Aged by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY
Usually a regularly stocked in the larger MA liquor stores around $50
Nose – Corn, Honey and Oak
Taste – Spice upfront from the Rye,  Black Pepper and a hint of Mint,
Finish – Long, Sweet Fruit and Smooth
Value – If you’re a fan of Elmer T. Lee or Blanton’s then I would highly suggest giving this a try it’s the same mash-bill.  Personally I’m not a huge fan of this mash-bill, but this one has a lot more flavor to it then the others.  To the right person it’s definitely worth the price point.

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5 Bourbons and 5 Rye Whiskies ~ Under $30 for the Holidays!

Looking for a inexpensive, but good bottle of Bourbon or Rye to give as a Christmas gift or use as grab gift this holiday and don’t want to break the bank?  Here are a few bourbons and rye whiskies between $20-$30 price range that should be easily available that I would highly suggest purchasing!

Bourbon:

Evan Williams Single Barrel (86.6 Proof) – $24*

Makers Mark (90 Proof) ~ $26

Four Roses Small Batch (90 Proof) ~ $28

Elijah Craig Small Batch (94 Proof) – $27

Larceny (92 Proof) ~ $22

Rye:

Sazerac Rye (90 Proof)~ $24

Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond (100 Proof) ~ $23*

Bulliet Rye (90 Proof) ~ $28

Redemption Rye (92 Proof) ~ $29

Jim Beam Rye (90 Proof) ~ $22

* = My opinion out of these 5 best bang for the buck

 

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Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2016

old-forester-birthday-bourbon-2016Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2016
Bottled at 97 Proof at the Brown-Forman Distillery, in Louisville, KY
Each year they release this 12 year old Bourbon on September 2nd in honor of the founder George Gavin Brown.  Thought tonight was appropriate to crack it open and review it on Nov. 2nd to honor a great friend of mine’s Birthday Sully! Orange was it favorite color and this year’s Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ribbon just so happened to be orange, quite fitting for the occasion!
Pretty rare in MA was told only 42 bottles made it this year and nearly half of those bottles were allocated to restaurants.  If you see it on a shelf pick it up!
Nose – Strong oak, Citrus and Cinnamon (once you let it breathe a bit)
Taste – Spice from Rye, Sweet, Citrus, Cloves and Oak
Finish – Long and Lingering Fruit and Peppery
Value –  Pick this one up for a special occasion or someone who really appreciates bourbon!  Cheers Big Guy!

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Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon

michters-toasted-barrel-finish-bourbonMichter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon
Bottled at 91.4 Proof by Michter’s Distillery in Louisville, KY
This bourbon is blended.  They use bourbon barrel aged around 8 years and then placed to aged in a second barrel which is assembled from 18-month air dried wood and then toasted but not charred.
This one was quite hard to find in MA and probably is all over.  It’s small batch limited release in 2014 and 2015.  They just recently announced they weren’t releasing it this year for 2016 in order to keep up with the demand of their regular Bourbon.  I ended up finding a local store down the Cape that still had a few bottles left from last years batch. Priced in MA $50-$65.
Nose – Sweet, Some Oak, and Caramel
Taste –   Dry, Oily, Vanilla, Oak, a bit Burnt, Nutty, with bursts of Spicy Cinnamon,
Finish – Long Burst of Cinnamon lingers in your mouth
Value –  Pretty unique! If you see it on the shelf it’s worth the purchase to give it a try.

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Four Roses Single Barrel OBSF – Private Selection aged 11 years 9 months – Kentucky Straight Bourbon

fourroses-wolly-pick-11yr-9months

Four Roses Single Barrel OBSF – Private Selection aged 11 years and 9 months – Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bottled at 110.8 Proof by Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY
The normal Four Roses Single Barrel OBSF isn’t too hard to find, but this one was a store pick by Wollaston Wine & Spirits in Quincy, MA.  So that’s the only place you will ever be able to find this bottle from Barrel (81-4 P) while supplies last for $62.99.
Nose – Medium Oakiness, Light Vanilla, Maple Syrup, Hint of Medicinal (until some air opens it up)
Taste – Robust, Vanilla, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Pepper, Touch of Sweetness from Cherries
Finish – Big Spice comes through from the high rye, Hint of Mint Lingers until you take your next sip
Value –  Amazing! The extra proof in this one really brings out the flavors and holds up well on the rocks.  Highly recommend picking a bottle up if your passing through Quincy!

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