Michter’s released their Barrel Strength Rye in limited quantities. You can tell the year of the release by the barrel number tag on the neck, 2015 bottles start with ’15’. This particular barrel is bottled at 54.7% ABV. Michter’s takes the US*1 Rye straight from the barrel and enable us to sample it […]
The Very Best of Bourbon, Whiskey & Rye in 2021
It's one of our favorite pastimes. Nothing beats an amazingly unique bottle of bourbon. Introducing our ultimate rye and bourbon review guide. Drink, enjoy, repeat!
The Willett Family Estate is a select line of ryes and bourbons that are single barrel collections, bottled at cask strength and aged in white oak barrels for differing lengths of time. This in particular bottle was aged for 6 years from Barrel No. 163 at 58.4% abv. These bourbons and ryes are sourced by […]
You don’t see many bourbons that are bottled-in-bond these days. The distinction was created in 1897 by the Bottled-In-Bond Act due to low quality hooch killing Americans. The government asked that distillers age their product a minimum of four years, produce a product of 100 proof and finally it must be distilled from […]
Clyde May’s is technically an Alabama style Whiskey, not a bourbon, distilled in Kentucky and bottled in Florida. A little bit of research reveals the use of dried apples or apple flavorings is what keeps it from being labeled a bourbon. The nose is fragrant with sweet apples. The taste is surprisingly spicy with a […]
The Jonny Drum Private Stock is a great bourbon and for the price it is an exceptional bourbon. Jonny Drum, distilled by Willett, also makes a more entry level Green Label bourbon that is aged for four years. The nose is spicy with woody hints, you can tell it is a youthful bourbon. The taste is […]
I pulled out a bottle of Four Roses from last year, that is still a big winner. Not to be confused with the Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition. This particular bottle is from a single barrel, 47-3D; and bottled at barrel proof, 118 proof. The nose is spicy with a nice amount of orange […]
The 2 Year Rye from Willett, reviewed here, is the perfect everyday rye. The longer aged 8 Year Rye is cask strength and bottled at an 58.3% ABV. This particular tasting is from the barrel labeled 01A, note that each barrel will have different flavor profiles. The nose is full of spicy rye with some underlying sweet […]
Jefferson’s Ocean is bourbon that is uniquely barreled at sea. The process is thought to replicate many original types of bourbons that were shipped via boat and thus unknowingly aged at sea. Today the folks at Jefferson take the barrels around the world to 5 different continents, crossing the equator 4 times during the journey. […]
The Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is aged for 12 years and bottled without chill filtering, straight from the barrel. That unique bottling processes leads to the strong 140.2 proof and ultimately defines it as a Barrel Proof bourbon. The tasting notes below are as is, without water added, you may want to add water to bring […]
Elmer T. Lee (ETL) is distilled by the folks at Buffalo Trace. Unlike Eagle Rare the mashbill for ETL is much more rye forward, bringing that rye spiciness upfront and, in my opinion, making this a delicious product. The nose is sweet with vanilla notes. The taste is spicy with the rye shining through around fruit […]
The good folks at Buffalo Trace have been creating the Single Oak Project bourbon to better understand how 7 variables impact the taste of any given bourbon. “It all started with 96 individually selected American oak trees that differed according to the number of growth rings per inch and growing location. Each tree was then […]
George T. Stagg, part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC), has become one of the more sought after bottles released every year. We reviewed it here and loved it. The folks at Buffalo Trace decided to release a ‘little brother’ version in the Stagg Jr. The bottle here is from the second release of […]
As you might have guessed from the name, the Willett 11 Year Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel Bourbon is not blended. Each bottle is from a unique barrel and, since each barrel can have different tasting notes, a review is less helpful unless you can track down a bottle from the particular barrel that is the […]
The Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year is the younger brother of the Pappy 20 Year. Like its other family members, this is a wheated recipe. The 15 Year Pappy is is bottled at 107 proof. Today this bourbon is distilled by Buffalo Trace with the exact same recipe and process as the Stitzel-Weller version […]
Tasting the W.L. Weller 12 Year product, there is a tangible relationship with Pappy Van Winkle. The folks at Pappy distilled the original Weller recipe and the rumor is that Weller shares the same juice as Pappy. The flavor profile of this wheated bourbon has a lot of the same DNA markers as Pappy. With 12 years on […]
The Weller label was first developed and distilled by the well known Pappy Van Winkle. Today the Weller label is distilled by the folks at Buffalo Trace. It is still a fine product regardless of who claims it as their own. Much like Pappy and the Old Weller Special Reserve, the W.L. Weller Special Reserve is a wheated […]
Michter’s took the US*1 Bourbon and added it to a second barrel assembled from 18 month air dried wood that is toasted but not charred. The second barrel process is what creates the unique flavor in the US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon. The second barreling process reportedly takes 26 days. The nose is woody with noticeable smoke. […]
You get used to seeing the same bourbon bottles on the shelf of the local liquor store. Some days, even though there are new products on the shelf, most of them are not worth buying. But if you have a good relationship with the local liquor store, and the staff is knowledgeable, they will let […]
Old Weller Antique is another bourbon label distilled by the good folks at Buffalo Trace but most of the chatter you hear about Old Weller is its connection to Pappy.
Eagle Rare, like George T. Stagg, is one of five pieces of the Buffo Trace Antique collection. This particular bottle is from the Spring 2014 collection and is bottled at 90 proof. The nose is fragrant with notes of cinnamon and cedar. The flavor is fantastic and the proof is spot on; vanilla and tobacco […]
Rowan’s Creek is another product made from the distinguished folks at Willett. The bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels and bottles at 100.1 proof. The nose is sweet with peach and hints of mint. The taste is spicy with carmel and some of the oak coming through. A little water or even a cube […]
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac is part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, BTAC. The product is named after the New Orleans Bartender that created the Sazerac cocktail with rye whiskey. Much like the George T. Stagg it is bottled directly from the barrel, unfiltered and uncut with water. The nose, surprisingly doesn’t ‘bark’ at you despite […]
George T. Stagg is a part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. The bourbon is aged in new charred oak barrels for at least 15 years. It is a powerful product that is packs a real punch because it is uncut and unfiltered, thus it is 138.1 proof. You can open it up with a a little […]
This is not a bourbon review at all, but is a review of a beer finished much like a bourbon. James E. Pepper brewed an American Brown Ale and aged it in oak barrels. The Ale was aged in the same oak barrels in which James E. Pepper recently aged their 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey. The Ale is […]
Michter’s off the shelf, Rye, Bourbon, Sour Mash and Whiskey are all excellent but add 10 years of age and you get a superior product. The 10 Year Bourbon comes in limited quantities from a single barrel that is fire charred new American white oak. The nose has a pleasant vanilla quality to it. The […]
Old Forester is the very first bottled bourbon in America, and has been bottled and sold here for more that 140 years. George Garvin Brown started the product so, for the last 13 years, on the anniversary of his September 2 birthday, they release the Birthday Bourbon. This bourbon is selected from a single day of […]
Another excellent product from the house of Willett; a product that Robert Parker, the wine aficionado, claimed to be as close to Pappy as anything else he has tasted.
Old Bardstown Estate Bottled is a another solid label created by the folks at Willett. Much like Johnny Drum it also comes with a reasonable price tag, if you can pick up a bottle. It is a well decorated product that has earned a lot of awards along the way. As a Sour Mash it uses […]
It is that time of year, depending on what state you live in, to be on the look-out for the Fall Pappy Van Winkle release. The Pappy label is distilled at Buffalo Trace but is still created by the Van Winkle family, currently Julian Van Winkle III.
Johnny Drum is a bourbon label made by Willett. I find it to be both delicious and very reasonably priced. It comes with a tiny booklet explaining that Johnny Drum was a drummer in the confederate army who returned home from the Civil War, to Kentucky, and distilled bourbon with his excess corn crop. It used […]
The Parker’s Heritage Collection Original Batch 2014 is made from a 51% wheat mash and aged in new, charred, oak barrels thus this is not bourbon at all but it is a wheat whiskey. It is cask strength so bottled directly from the cask without any chill filtering so no surprise that the bottle tasted here […]
I have documented my love for Willett, in particular, their 2 Year Rye as an everyday product that everyone will love. So naturally I jumped at the chance to try the once a year release of the Exploratory Cask finish, or XCF, that is their 7-Year Rye finished in Curacao casks from France for about […]
Although Willett Distilling Company is in fact not a distiller at all, it has masterfully bottled some of the best bourbon and rye though its parent company, Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. The company creates lots of amazing products under the Willett name but many others under different names like Black Maple Hill, Johnny Drum, Old Bardstown, […]
High West is a distillery in Park City Utah that makes a lot of high quality bourbons and ryes. You really can’t go wrong with any of their products. Their Rendezvous Rye is one of my favorites. They recently released a limited run of the Rendezvous Rye called A Midwinter Nights Dram. Interestingly, it is finished in […]
Four Roses has 10 traditional recipes that they blend to create each of their bourbons. This year’s 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch is derived from the 13-year-old Bourbon from Four Roses’ OBSV recipe, 12-year-old OESV, 11-year-old OBSF and 9-year-old OBSK. It has a wonderful sweet nose to it coupled with an orange, citrus note. The sweet […]
The Pappy Van Winkle 10 Year product is called Old Rip Van Winkle. It is bottled nearly at at barrel proof with a little water added to bring it down to 107 Proof.
The Van Winkle Reserve is aged 12 years to a rather low 90.4 proof. The bottle unfortunately doesn’t have the well recognized image of ‘Pappy’ smoking but the product inside is very recognizable.