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Michter’s announces 1st release ever of Toasted Barrel Rye.

Michter’s Distillery Offers First Release of US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky., September 6, 2017 — This month Michter’s Distillery is releasing a limited amount of US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye for the first time.

“This innovative release is the culmination of two years of maturation research conducted by our Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann and our Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson,” said Michter’s President Joseph J. Magliocco. “The result of their work is a uniquely flavorful rye that we are very proud of.”

Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye is made by taking Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye at barrel strength and then aging it for an additional period in a second custom-made barrel. This second barrel is assembled from 24-month air dried wood and then toasted but not charred. The toasting profile was specifically designed to enhance the spice character in the rye while adding hints of dark toast and smoke. Because Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye is a barrel strength product, the proof varies a bit from barrel to barrel. The average barrel proof for the toasted rye barrels bottled for this release is 108.6.

 Master of Maturation Wilson commented, “It is remarkable how much simply finishing our rye in a uniquely toasted barrel can further enhance depth and complexity.” Master Distiller Heilmann agreed and remarked, “I love good rye, and this one is terrific.”

Michter’s has a rich and long legacy of offering traditional American whiskeys of uncompromising quality. With each offering aged to its peak maturity, Michter’s highly acclaimed portfolio includes single barrel rye, small batch bourbon, single barrel bourbon, American whiskey, and sour mash whiskey.

Because Michter’s does not have adequate stocks to meet demand for its items, the release will be on a limited basis. The suggested retail price of Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye is $75 for a 750ml bottle in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.michters.com, and follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Review of the new Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Batch 878.

Death, taxes, another batch of ECBP.  All are inevitable, one is preferable.

Faster than you can say, “Pappy 25 sold for whaa”, a new batch of ECBP is introduced.  No longer being referred to in the mainstream by their proof, the new batches of ECBP actually come with a batch number now.  The newest one is B517 which means May of 2017 (I don’t know what the B stands for, the previous one was A so one can assume this simply means the second batch of 2017).  Based on this batch numbering system, I would imagine there will not be a C3PO batch, but that would be cool as hell, especially if it was like this December with the new Star Wars movie (marketing team take note and see how Old Forester paired up with Hollywood recently…just sayin…).  Anyway  per the Elijah Craig website, all batches have always had batch codes, but they really didn’t start using them until this year.

So yes, there are a lot of ECBP releases.  But in all seriousness it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that ECBP is still one of the absolute best deals in bourbon.  Barrel proof, 12 years old, and with a price in the mid $50’s, Heaven Hill seems content on keeping the cost the same, which is awesome for the consumer, and awesome for them as this product doesn’t sit on shelves.  To me, two bourbons that are comparable in nature are Stagg Jr, and Booker’s.  The latter is about 6 years old and does sit on shelves, the former is about 7 years old and underwhelming to me.  Of course that’s not to say that every batch of ECBP is stellar, some are not that great, some are decent, and some are really good.

This one, this one right here, is a really damn good release.  “The proof went down and the taste went up!” ™®  One of my favorite batches of ECBP was a 128.0 batch and this one beats it.  This might be the best batch of ECBP that has been released…….so far this month.

The nose on this one is like burnt maple syrup.  Coming in at 124.2 proof, it has absolutely no nose burn that I sometimes get on deep whiffs of strong stuff.  I like my nose, and I like when it doesn’t burn.

It’s got a delicious taste, caramel and honey, and it finishes forever.  Maybe it’s because I’m used to the 138+ commonly found with ECBP, but it’s just such an easy sipper at this proof.  Very smooth, very little burn, strong bourbon flavors, and a great price point.  What’s not to love?  And look, even if you don’t like it, you’ve got about 30 days until you can fall in love with another.

Grade = A

 

New Old Forester Product coming in August – OF Statesman

Long story short there is a sequel to Kingsman The Secret Service (really good under-rated flick btw but totally not safe for kids) called Kingman The Golden Circle (trailer).

For this follow up film, the movie studio partnered with Old Forester to use their distillery for a good portion of the film that takes place in Louisville.

With the partnership, OF decided to release a special bourbon in honor of it called the Statesman.  I don’t know much yet except that it’s available in August and is 95 proof.

Here is the video announcement from OF. (Linky)

 

(More details about the bourbon itself as it becomes available)

2017 Michter’s 10 year Bourbon and Rye Review

In October of last year, Michter’s named a new Master Distiller, replacing the long tenured Willie Pratt with Pamela Heilmann, the first female master distiller of a KDA distillery since prohibition.  Pamela formerly ran the Booker Noe Distillery and has a ton of experience in the bourbon world.  Following along the guidelines of now Master Distiller Emeritus Willie, Pamela is only approving the limited edition Michter’s products when she deems them ready.  The 2017 M10 Bourbon and Rye were her first two approvals and of course I had to have my hands on them.  I drank a good bit with friends, but decided to sit down with a nice pour of each to really get my perspective.

2017 M10 Bourbon:

I poured the M10 bourbon, and set it aside to write a little.  The bourbon is a good 3 feet from me, but I can smell it over here.  It’s got a fantastic nose.  Strong notes of vanilla.  With a good enough whiff I get that wonderful smell you can only experience in a bourbon distillery, that ‘mash is cooking and the grains are in the air’ smell.  Very nice.

Unfortunately I feel that the bourbon falls a little flat on the palette and I have felt that way for the past few releases of M10.  It’s very one dimensional with a slightly bitter taste.  It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as I hoped.

I will say the finish is great at first and leaves a lovely caramel aftertaste.  It almost comes back to life after it goes down.  I can also say this is a definite improvement over the 2016 M10 (batch 1).  I feel like with each batch it’s getting better, and I think very soon we are going to have a product that sends M10 Bourbon back into the rank of ‘highly sought after’ for allocated bourbons.

Overall grade = B

2017 M10 Rye:

Nose is fantasic.  It smells like Sugar Babies.  Seriously, I get sugar babies and maybe some spearmint gum.  So nice.

And it tastes just as nice.  So smooth, especially for a 93 proof rye.  A little spice from the rye, just enough to make a presence, not overwhelming.  I get a wonderful flavor, it reminds me of honey nut chex a little bit.  It also finishes just as nice with some vanilla and some caramel.  It really is a great pour, one that I could pour all day.

I’m a big fan of the 2017 M10 Rye and had to buy a few backups.  At a retail price of $120’ish, I can afford to stock up on a few of these.  Much higher and I don’t know if that’s the case, but these days $120 is the new $60.

Overall grade = A

Conclusion:

I have loved Michter’s ever since my visit last summer.  They were so welcoming and so proud of their product and it shows in everything they release.  While the M10 Bourbon is not at the level that would make me buy it, it’s improving, and I look forward to future batches.  And I love the M10 Rye, such a great pour, and worth an investment at the price point.  Now if I could just get my hands on some of that M25 Rye…..

Ezra Brooks 2 year rye – a surprisingly good pour.

Ezra Brooks (part of Luxco) recently launched a 2 year straight rye whiskey with an age statement on the back in months instead of years.  I’ve had month-stated rye before, and most often it ended up in the sink or mixed with a heavy dose of mixers.  To my surprise, this one tastes a lot older than 24 months.  It’s distilled and aged in Indiana, most likely making this 2 year MGP rye, which probably explains why it tastes good.  My favorite rye (besides Saz 18) is the discontinued 7-8 year barrel proof MGP rye that Smooth Ambler used to bottle.  This bottles has traces of the SA rye, albeit at a much lower proof.  The low proof dulls the spice taste, but on the flip side makes it easily sippable as your second or third drink of the night.  It also still carries a nice little caramel corn finish that I find with rye.

I’m pretty sure I finished this bottle in a week.  For $20, you really can’t go wrong, and it might be my new every day rye.

Overall – B+ (a little higher if you include the $).

My review of EH Taylor 4 Grain from a thimble.

First off, I love Buffalo Trace.  I love their products, I love their marketing department, I love Mark Brown, I have nothing but love for the folks over there.  But make no mistake, no one is safe from my sarcasm and witty evilness (or evil wit?).  It’s like they say, “If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t pick on you”.   Except for Blood Oath.  I pick on Blood Oath.  And I don’t like Blood Oath.

Anyway on to the newest EH Taylor release, Four Grain, EHTFG as it will soon be called.  Per BT, the EHTFG is a 12 year Bottled in Bond bourbon made with corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley….hence the name….four….grain.  Suggested retail is $69.99 but good luck getting it retail unless you have a good relationship with a store, or people who work in the store, or you are Swiper. 

I would like to thank Buffalo Trace (henceforth knowneth as BT) for the opportunity to try EHTFG.  BT kindly sent me this sample, and as is usually the case, it was a 50ml plastic sample bottle inside a box that could fit both of my running sneakers.  For size purposes I matched it up with some household candy after trying it:

Now, if you didn’t realize that was a Halloween-sized Nerds box and some Japanese candy that like melts into soda when you eat it and it’s weird as hell but somehow delicious, you might think it was still a good size sample.  But if we pull back the perspective….

You just see an outdated stove and a broken Microwave and a lamp that’s being used instead of the built in oven light that is burned out.  Yes, ridiculous, but we are redoing our kitchen in a few weeks and it’s just pointless.  Anyway focus on the small bottle there, see it?  How about a larger perspective?

There, that does it for you right?  (Please note that Post did not pay me for this product placement.  I reached out to their marketing department to see if they would be interested in sponsoring me but all I’ve gotten back so far is a Kroger coupon for 50 cents off my next purchase.)

So three people in all got to try the Four Grain, myself, a buddy named Anh, and my buddy Jeff.  We each got about 10-15ml which is the same amount of saliva in your mouth at any given time.

This is my buddy Jeff and this is his face after trying Four Grain:

To be fair, Jeff’s face rarely changes, so he actually said he liked it.  

Anh and I felt differently.  We all three agreed it had a nice nose to it.  Despite having malted barley, we got no Scotch like smell from it.  The sweetness of the corn dominates and a little bit of rye spice is there.

We all agreed on the entry and initial taste.  With the four grains together, the corn still prevails and it’s a nice soft taste that to me said “Wheater” more than anything else.  I think the rye and barley were hidden a little bit, and I thought of Weller 12 when trying it.

The finish was the disappointing part, it faded into nothing really, just maybe a little burn with very little of the smoothness and caramel that usually comes with a 12 year bourbon.  Anh agreed on the finish, it just didn’t leave you wanting more.  Granted, all of this is taken from maybe 15ml of product so it’s really hard to tell.  I remember trying Seasoned Wood last year and I didn’t like it from the small sample, but I returned to my open bottle recently and found it really good.

And yes, I do appreciate getting a sample, even one as small as this.  Overall I just wasn’t overly impressed with it, I would give it a solid B.  

We’ll see if that changes when I come across a bottle, and pour a little larger.  And then I’ll give Jeff a little more, and then maybe he’ll smile.  When Jeff smiles, world peace ensues.  When there is world peace, aliens won’t attack us.  For the sake of humanity, I will have to hunt one of these bottles down and try it again.

Buffalo Trace releases Eh Taylor 4 Grain.

Looking forward to trying the first new big release of 2017.  From BT:

 

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY RELEASES

COLONEL E.H. TAYLOR, JR.  FOUR GRAIN 

BOURBON WHISKEY

 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (March 14, 2017) – Buffalo Trace Distillery continues its homage to former Distillery owner Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. with a special release bourbon whiskey made using four grains in the bourbon recipe.  This 100 proof, Bottled-In-Bond, small batch recipe bourbon was aged for 12 years and is a limited edition release.  

            Made from a distinct bourbon recipe using corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley, this bourbon was distilled in 2005, entered into the barrel at 104 proof, and has a distinctly different flavor profile from the typical rye and wheat recipe bourbons made at Buffalo Trace Distillery.  These four grains were chosen since they are the four grains E. H. Taylor would have had access to when he set up shop at Buffalo Trace in the late 1800s. During the 1860s, Taylor traded in grains and learned that they can vary tremendously from different farmers and harvests. Taylor consistently wanted the products produced in his distillery “of upmost class,” right down to the grains.

The impetus behind this multi grain recipe was based on the success of Buffalo Trace’s existing rye and wheat bourbons, harkening back to Taylor’s thinking of using the best of the best. “We wanted to extract everything we like from both the rye and the wheat mashbills we currently use and combine them to see how they react,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “Not surprisingly, it added complexity to the finished product.”

Tasting notes describe this bourbon as “opening with an inviting aroma, with the first sip bringing a lot of character.  Caramel notes are touched by sweet vanilla and caramel corn, then underwritten by slightly smoky flavors and oak tannins. It maintains a smooth evenness between the four grains interacting with the charred oak barrel.  Overall, quite different yet very balanced.”

The Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. collection was first released in early 2011 and several subsequent releases have followed.  This Four Grain Bourbon is the ninth and latest release in the collection of  E. H. Taylor, Jr. whiskeys, rounding out the collection of Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon, Single Barrel Bourbon, Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon, Barrel Proof Bourbon, Straight Rye Whiskey, Small Batch Bourbon, Cured Oak Bourbon and Seasoned Wood Bourbon. The Sour Mash, Warehouse C Tornado Surviving, Cured Oak and Seasoned Wood Bourbons were one time only releases and are no longer available.  Another release of the Four Grain Bourbon will be released again in Spring of 2018.

Like some of the previous releases, this limited edition will be hard to find. Also consistent with past releases, the Four Grain Bourbon displays a vintage label and is offered inside a distinct canister reminiscent of Taylor’s whiskey package from over one hundred years ago. These six bottle cases will again be shipped in an impressive wooden box first used for the Cured Oak release.  The boxes are modeled after the wooden crates used by Taylor to transport goods during the days before Prohibition. 

            Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. is widely considered one of the founding fathers of the bourbon industry, fighting for the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, nearly three decades after he purchased the distillery that is known today as the Buffalo Trace Distillery. During his time, Taylor implemented several innovative methods still used today by Buffalo Trace, such as climate controlled aging warehouses. In addition to his bourbon interests, Taylor had political ties. He was the great-nephew of President Zachary Taylor and elected the mayor of Frankfort, state representative to the Kentucky General Assembly and a member of the State Senate.

            This special bottling of Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon Whiskey will be available starting in April in limited supply.  The suggested retail price is $69.99 per 750ml bottle. 

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 17 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named “Brand Innovator of the Year” by Whisky Magazine at its Icons of Whisky America Awards 2015.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 300 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracemediakit.com

Breaking News: Buffalo Trace releasing something that you would never dare open.

That’s right, hot off the presses, Buffalo Trace announced today that they are releasing a one time, 25 year old Rip Van Winkle (a.k.a Pappy), in special decanters and a nice presentation box for the small and reasonable price of $1,800.  Being 25 year old barrels and hidden in underground diamond mines or whatever is beneath BT, only 700 or so bottles are coming out which makes this a wonderful museum piece for really really rich people.  Good luck getting a hold of this one which is already worth double it’s retail price before it’s even been shipped.

No, most of us will stare with delight as the others show their purchase of this bottle sitting pretty inside triple-walled glass with a hidden retraction system and a large velvet rope surrounding the display.  Cheers to you BT and to you really really rich people.  🙂

 

 

Actual press stuff:

Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Year Old Bourbon to be Released

 

Oldest Van Winkle Bourbon ever bottled is coming this Spring

 

 

            FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Feb. 21, 2017) – An extra special, one-time bottling of Van Winkle bourbon will soon be released. Only 11 barrels comprise this very small batch bourbon, making the 710 bottles especially rare and even harder to find than the usual Van Winkle whiskeys.

            The barrels were distilled in the spring and fall of 1989 and stored on the lower levels of a metal clad warehouse built in 1935 at the Van Winkle family distillery in Shively, Ky.

In 2002 the barrels were moved to Buffalo Trace Distillery, where they continued to age for another 12 years on the lower floors in Buffalo Trace’s brick warehouses. The lower floor placement helped preserve the sweet, mellow notes of the world-famous wheated bourbon recipe. In 2014 the Buffalo Trace team moved the barrels into stainless steel tanks to halt the aging process and preserve the rich flavor profile fans have come to expect from the Van Winkle line.

These extra special bottles deserve an extra special vessel, so each bottle is a handmade glass decanter from Glencarin Crystal Studio. The bottle information is engraved on each decanter, individually numbered, and hand finished with a silver stopper. A glass top for the decanter is also included.

Each decanter is packaged in a handmade wooden box crafted in North Carolina by James Broyhill II of Heritage Handcrafted. The lid is constructed using the oak staves from the 11 barrels that held this bourbon. The outside of the box bears a metal plaque with the Old Rip Van Winkle logo and states “asleep 25 years in the wood.”   Inside each box, along with the decanter and glass top, is a bourbon certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by Julian Van Winkle, grandson of original founder Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr.    

            “We are excited to be able to offer something so unique and rare for our most devoted fans,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “This is a once in a lifetime offering and the beautiful decanter and wooden box just take it to the next level and make it something in which I’m very proud to be associated.”

            The 25 year Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon is bottled at 100 proof and will start shipping in April. It is packaged one bottle per case. Suggested retail pricing is $1,800 for a 750 ml bottle. 

Subourbia’s 2016 Bourbon and Rye Award Winners and Losers.

Most surprisingly tasty ‘moderately available’ release of 2016: 

Rebel Yell 10 year Single Barrel

What’s not to like?  It’s Single Barrel, 10 years old, and has an amazing redneck name, Rebel Yell.  Then again, there is also Eagle Rare.  Now don’t get me wrong, ER is smooth and great with a cigar, but this has a little more spice on the finish that I like.  My buddy @epicbourbon says its a 10 year Heaven Hill Wheater, so I’ll take his word for it, but you can take my word for it, it’s a nice addition to any bourbon bar in the $50-60 range.

Most surprisingly tasty ‘available’ 2016:

Old Forester 1920

This one you can find in a store near you.  Similarly priced to the Rebel Yell, and 15 proof higher, this is a must add for any bar.  A great depth of flavor, and surprisingly smooth for 115 proof.  I hear they gots a barrel proof version coming this year, so we’ll just have to see how the price ends up.

Most disappointing rare release of 2016:

2016 Sazerac 18

 

I don’t need to go into it again. 

Worst release of 2016:

Whoop and Holler and Woodford Reserve White Corn

 

Technically Woodford Reserve White Corn was released in 2015, but the bad taste of it lingered long enough to last into 2016.  And then there was Whoop and Holler.

Everyone else’s favorite release this year except for me:

Booker’s Rye

Everyone loved Booker’s Rye and went nuts for it.  It really never did anything for me.  I tried it probably 5-6 times, and always just thought it was ok.  I was impressed how easy it was to drink at it’s high proof, but that’s where my impression ended.

My unofficial favorite release of 2016:

Parker’s Heritage

Heaven Hill had very limited samples to send out when they announced this year’s Parkers, and I was not one of those that received a sample.  Therefore, I ‘unofficially’ declared this my best bourbon of the year.  Some people didn’t like the oak forward flavor of this, I absolutely love it.  Brown sugar and caramel dominate the easy to drink 100 proof bourbon, and the finish leaves just enough spice for me.  Absolutely love it, just wish I could have declared it official.  Maybe next year….

(I also don’t want their heads to explode, but very close runner up to this was the Heaven Hill Select Stock 20 year pre-fire bourbon.  Damn that is tasty as well.)

My official favorite release of 2016:

William Larue Weller

As sad as I was about the Saz 18, this years WLW blew me away.  Absolutely delicious wheated whiskey.  A real winner this year.

Conclusion:

2016 kinda sucked.

Granted there were a few awesome releases this year, namely the WLW, the Parkers Heritage, and yeah I’ll say Booker’s Rye for the rest of you, but most of the other rare releases were just ok.  Seasoned Wood, both Four Roses Limited Editions, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, and the 1792 releases all hit the B to B+ mark for me.

We also saw a trend of rising prices (Willett gift shop, Booker’s bourbon, etc), more age statements being lost (Knob Creek), and just a general trend of greediness that saw bottles hit shitty secondary prices too soon after they were released.  I think a general sigh could be heard throughout the land as we closed out 2016 and I think we all hope 2017 is a better year.  

If not, at least have Blood Oath Pact 3 to look forward to.

2016 Pappy Van Winkle 23 year review.

First of all, I’m very sorry.  It’s been awhile since I have written a blog entry and I know all 3 of you have been waiting anxiously for some more material to read.  I turned 40 in November and basically spent the entire month celebrating (that’s how I like to roll at birthday time).  Now that it’s December, I think it’s time we catch up, don’t you?

Second, a big disclaimer.  Yes, it’s true, Julian Van Winkle (grandson of Pappy Van Winkle and current President of the “Rip Van Winkle Distillery”) blasted me recently on Twitter.  You see, there are a few people out there who refer to the 10 and 12 year Van Winkle releases as “Pappy 10” and “Pappy 12”.  Those of us who know (including myself), always like to correct them by saying there is no Pappy 10 or 12, that the Pappy line is only 15, 20, and 23.  I know this, I’ve known this for a long time, all I wanted was a definitive screenshot from the man himself, so I asked him directly on Twitter:

kerry_tweet

Debate may have been a dumb word to use, but whatever, I was celebrating my birthday that month.  To my surprise, I woke up the next morning to a flurry of Twitter activity and finally found this reply:

jvw

Ouch.  That reply spread through social media like a wildfire.  At first I didn’t really care, but after a little thought, it pissed me off.  What if I had been an absolutely new person to bourbon and gotten that response.  “Read the label”….the average person can’t read the label CAUSE THEY WILL NEVER F–KING SEE IT.  I guess he meant, “Google each bottle and read the label”.  Got it.  The smugness of the response pissed me off.

Anyway after that I started a brief war on Van Winkle.  I had a few tweets about ‘overrated’ Pappy, tagging Julian, etc, etc.  I tried to rally the interwebz to finally declare war on Pappy Van Winkle and end the craze over this product line that has been spiraling out of control ever since Anthony Bourdain opened his trap a few years ago.  As I plotted my war strategy over the course of the next few days, I had several people tell me Julian is actually a really nice guy and that maybe he didn’t mean it as harsh as it came across.  In truth it is hard to express tone when you only have 140 characters to respond.  It took me a little while but I got over it and I ended my war on Van Winkle.  It’s not my place to start this war and get people to open their eyes and change their ways.  I didn’t start the Fire.

I guess the main reason for that whole segment is to say my review here was not biased by that incident.  Let it be known I went into this review with a completely unbiased, open mind, and without a grudge.

A friend of mine was given the opportunity to purchase a 2016 23 year Pappy given the premise that he would show them pictures that he opened it.  I actually love that a liquor store did that, and I love even more that he sent me a free 1 oz sample to try along with some of his soon to be world famous beef jerky.

cyedq7kwiaanbxt

The sample didn’t last long.  That night I started with an Eagle Rare pour to help cleanse my palette.  I also sniffed some coffee beans (thank you to Willie Pratt for that tip).

First thing I noticed is it’s very thick.  It reminds me a little of EC23 but just a tad lighter.  It’s definitely got some of that thickness that I like in older bourbons.

The nose was great as you would probably expect for a nice aged wheated bourbon.  I’m going to use the same 3 words to describe what I smell in a good bourbon: caramel, honey, and cinnamon.  I mean how many different ways can you describe that smell?  It smells great.

So I tried a few sips, swished it around, noticed that of course it’s a nice bourbon.  Nice smooth buttery wheater.  No one is going to sip Pappy 23 and say this is gross.

What they WILL say is….damn…that’s very one dimensional.  There wasn’t much else to it except a decent flavor.  The finish was almost bitter to me and the taste just never changed.

I called up my buddy Chuck from a few doors down and asked if he would come help me try Pappy 23.  I heard his dog drop to the floor and he was in my living room 7 seconds later.  He completely agreed with me.  Smells great, tastes good, finishes bitter.  We each sipped it until it was gone and sat there as unimpressed as Simon Cowell watching Waka Flocka Flame sing the National Anthem.

So where do we go from here?

There are 3 reasons you got this far in this review:

  1. You were honestly just curious to hear my review, to read an article about bourbon, it did not impact you at all.  To you guys I say, thanks for stopping by, come by again soon!
  2. You have a chance to get a bottle but the price is more than you want to pay or more than you want to trade for. 
  3. You have a bottle and you can’t decide if you want to open it, trade it, sell it, or stash it away.  To you guys and #2 guys, read on:

My advice is this.  On one hand, having an open bottle of Pappy 23 is pretty awesome. The bottle is beautiful, the brand is well known, and if you pour your friends even the smallest of samples, they will regard you as a complete badass and tell their friends you poured them Pappy 23.  The visual experience will surpass the oral experience (you get what I’m saying).  Drinking bourbon isn’t always about the flavor, it’s also about memories, friendships, and connecting with people.  If you are a person who regards any of those experiences as much as the taste then I say open it and enjoy it as it was meant to be drank if you got it at retail.

On the other hand, as long as there are morons out there who think the current distillation of Pappy Van Winkle is as good as the no longer produced Stitzel-Weller version, then by all means trade it or sell it to reinvest in different bottles.  These days Pappy has become known as “Pappy Gift Cards” because truly the higher end bottles are held and traded and sold to acquire more bourbon.  And until the people who are paying ridiculous prices decide to move on to something else, and the craze of Pappy begins to die down, take advantage of the market.

Overall Score : 88