A new week, and a new fully matured bourbon available for less than $10 a year. This Bardstown, KY distilled bourbon has a mash of 74% corn and 18% rye giving a nice sweet and spicy balance. Sam Houston was the first Governor of Texas, as well as Governor of Tennessee. It only seems fitting that he finally made it to Kentucky to continue his legacy.
On the nose, ripe tropical fruits mingle perfectly with dark cacao, red berries, vanilla cream, toffee, and oak spice. The palate shows heavily charred oak and baked orchard fruits intermingling with a dose of cardamom and anise followed by bittersweet chocolate and a touch of sweet caramel. The enduring finish fades slowly with a chewy touch of dark chocolate and vanilla bean before slipping into rich, warm baking spices. At 12 years old and 98 proof this is a welcome addition to the shelves and a fitting tribute to the man The Cherokee called Raven.
Who says you have to wait until the fall for limited release bourbons? The highly sought after Blood Oath line has just released Pact No. 5. This year’s release is a perfect pairing of 3 distinctly different bourbons. Bottled at 98.6 proof, Pact 5 is a marriage of 13 year old high rye bourbon, 11 year old high wheat bourbon, and 8 year old high rye bourbon finished in dark rum barrels. A shining example of how sometimes, the sum is indeed greater than the individual parts.
On the nose vanilla, toffee, dark chocolate, baked berry pie, raisins and plums, creamed corn, and oak spice. The taste brings black peppercorn, toffee, dark chocolate, and then builds to the rum notes of molasses, vanilla bean, delicate caramelized banana. The finish fades ever so slowly with pepper and oak spice transitioning gracefully into raisin, baked plum, dark chocolate, and vanilla before slipping into a pleasantly drying oak spice as residual dark chocolate, molasses and stewed plum lingers. Bourbon this good won’t be around for long.
W. B. Saffell is the latest release from Wild Turkey’s “Whiskey Barons” series which celebrates historical figures and distilleries in the bourbon business. Mr. Saffell was indeed quite the whiskey baron back in the late 1800’s. If you should find yourself in Anderson County, Kentucky you can see his Romanesque mansion that still stands as a testament to the man and his bourbon, though it now serves the community as a funeral home. As with many distilleries of the time, Mr. Saffell’s never returned to production after prohibition and the brand was one of many forgotten over the years. It’s safe to say that Master Distiller Eddie Russell has done right by Mr. Saffell with this delicious bourbon. We suspect this blend of 6, 8, 10 and 12 year old bourbons will evaporate quickly, so act fast before it’s too late, and raise a glass to W.B. Saffell and the great Whiskey Barons that built the house of Bourbon.
The nose of this bourbon is rich and almost dessert-like with baked apple pie and browned butter, marshmallow, vanilla, toffee and a bit of cinnamon and spice. The bold flavors at the palate entry show the grace and age of this fine whiskey. More orchard fruits, decadent vanilla syrup, caramel, dark chocolate, and slight herbaceous undertones of cardamom and peppered clove. The mouthfeel is round and supple while maintaining wonderful balance of flavor and makes this bourbon a real pleasure to drink. The finish is slow to leave with a soft initial wave of caramelized fruits that transitions into cinnamon, allspice and bittersweet chocolate before soft, ripe fruits return to drift away with oak spice. With a splash of water, this bourbon turns more confectionary in nature while maintaining a solid base of oak. Incredibly balanced at 107 proof and one of the better bourbons we’ve tasted this year. All around, this is a knockout.
The good folks at New Riff are living out The Whiskey Hotline’s dream. Retailers turned distillers, and good distillers at that. Seriously, when will The Whiskey Hotline finally purchase a still? While they are brand new to our stores, these barrels of rye and bourbon have been quietly aging in Kentucky for the past four years. New Riff adheres to strict quality standards throughout the entire whiskey making process. They have aged every drop of whiskey they have made exclusively in 53 gallon barrels, and all their whiskies are at least 4 years old and are non chillfiltered, preserving the rich and textural mouthfeel. The results speak for themselves, and we’re proud to add these delicious whiskies to our selection.
On the nose this high rye bourbon exudes lovely notes of baked cherry, baked apple, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla nougat and clove. The mouthfeel has a wonderful viscosity and delights the tastebuds with flavors of caramel sauce, vanilla candy, baked orchard fruits, cinnamon and oak spice. The finish starts with a big burst of cinnamon and oak that fades slowly into a black pepper, vanilla candy, toffee, and caramel soaked baked fruit delight.
The rye in the mashbill jumps up front on the nose in the form of mint, which perfectly frames baked peaches and apples and is complemented by a touch of cherry blossom, vanilla, toffee and gentle baking spices. On the taste, lush baked fruit initially leads while cinnamon and pepper arrive to balance. These flavors slowly transition into vanilla cake and sweet caramel. On the finish, spice and vanilla soaked fruit slowly drift into cinnamon and oak with some lingering spice. The robust bottling proof is barely noticeable.
On the nose, mint and orange blossom shine with a backbone of toffee, vanilla wafer, clove, black pepper and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is perfect on the first sip. We really should start a petition to make all whiskies non chillfiltered. The big, bold, minty rye character dominates at first but is quickly tempered by a wonderful underbelly of citrus and vanilla cake topped with cinnamon and oak. The finish comes in three waves with rye spice leading, followed by red rope licorice with more citrus and vanilla cake, then followed by a slow fade into cinnamon and spice. Absolutely gorgeous and dangerously drinkable.
Four Kings Whiskey is back for its 6th release celebrating collaboration among craft distillers. This year's bottling is a rye whiskey blend that has been finished in Portuguese brandy barrels for about 6 months. Bottled at a full 101.4 proof this spicy and sweet whiskey is not to be missed.
On the nose, wintergreen and white grape jam on rye toast, with a touch of red rope licorice, clove, cinnamon, vanilla bean, butter, and white pepper. On the taste spice leads the way in the form of cinnamon sticks, black pepper, and clove while more of that white grape jam and toast linger in the background. The finish is pleasant and lengthy with cinnamon and oak spice at the front with a slow fade of fruit and wintergreen.
Introducing the newest member of our Clark & Sheffield family, Small Batch Bourbon. Clark & Sheffield Small Batch bourbon hails from Sazerac’s Bardstown, KY distillery and is 5 years old and 90 proof. A versatile whiskey equally at home on the rocks or in your favorite cocktail and is maybe the best deal in our ever-expanding bourbon aisle. A gentle and flavorful sipper, and a full flavored but budget priced mixer, this bourbon does it all. At only $24.99 for a 1.75 liter this is our new home bar staple.
Cherries, brown sugar, pepper and vanilla are all layered throughout the robust nose. The soft and round palate brings a touch more sweetness with strong vanilla, caramelized sugars and sweet corn. Cinnamon and clove build gradually giving balance to the sweeter flavors throughout the long finish.