Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C917

Price: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Heaven Hill

Region: Kentucky

65.5% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% rye, 12% barley

Cask Type: New charred American oak, char level #3

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Starts out with a sort of sour cherry note, oak, tobacco, pepper, brown sugar glaze, almost a savory meat note, allspice

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Oak tannins, vanilla, pepper, leather, brown sugar, glazed ham, fruit, citrus, hints of herbs

Finish: Good warmth and length, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel, praline, and earthiness

Thoughts: This is the first ECBP where I’ve picked up such a savory note, there’s a lot less oak, chocolate, and caramel in this, which is sort of what I want out of ECBP, still good bourbon, but probably my least favorite batch I’ve tried to date.

Score: 81 out of 100

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Review: Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star

Paid: $30 for 1.75 Liters

Distilled/Owned by: Buffalo Trace / Sazerac

Region: Kentucky

45% ABV

Aged For: Minimum 3 years

Mashbill: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2

Cask Type: New Charred Oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Corn mash, oak, clove, caramel, dirt, tobacco, pepper

Feel: Thin, light bodied

Taste: Young corn mash, pepper, oak, musty earth, cherry, touch of rye

Finish: Short to medium length and medium warmth. Again you taste the young corn distillate, cardboard, oak, pepper, cocoa, and rye.

Thoughts: There are solid standard bourbon flavors to be found here, but the downside is this is probably mostly young stuff and it shows in the taste. I would assume it makes for a good mixer though.

Score: 73 out of 100

Review: Maker’s Mark Private Select Fusion Wine & Spirits

Paid: $70 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Maker’s Mark / Beam Suntory

Region: Kentucky

54.25% ABV

Aged For: NAS, average 6 Years

Mashbill: 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, finished with: 1 baked American Pure 2, 4 seared French cuvee, 2 Maker’s 46, and 3 roasted French spice staves

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Auburn

Drank: Neat, in a copita

Nose: Lots of oak char, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, tobacco, and baking spices, big alcohol hit

Feel: Medium to full bodied

Taste: Oodles of vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, cocoa, oak, maple, and cherry

Finish: Medium warmth and long finish, oak and caramel stick to the palate with a dry aftertaste.

Thoughts: Very oaky and rich for Maker’s, and at times reminds me a bit of Stagg Jr. this was a great pick.

Score: 85 out of 100

Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B519

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Heaven Hill

Region: Kentucky

61.1% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, char #3

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a shifter

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, oak, pepper, leather, clove, earthy cocoa powder, and sour apples

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Vanilla, strudel, clove, cinnamon, leather, oak, corn, forest floor, cherry cola

Finish: High warmth and medium length, leathery tannins, oak, spices, tobacco, molasses, vanilla and crushed mint

Thoughts: More earthy than some of the other batches but still bringing the heat and oak.

Score: 84 out of 100

Review: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Select

Price: $70 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: George Dickel / SAOS

Region: Tennessee

45% ABV

Aged For: 13 Years

Mashbill: 84% Corn, 8% rye, 8% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Creamy peanut butter and mineral water, caramel, oak, cloves, vanilla, red berries

Feel: Light to medium bodied

Taste: Gentle oak, brown sugar, tangy, butterscotch cinnamon, rose water, apples, and toasted nuts

Finish: Light warmth and medium length, minerals, caramel, nuts, oak, and leather

Thoughts: This is supposedly cask strength at 45%, so it’s the most gentle barrel proofer I have ever had. Maintains a solid aged Dickel profile throughout it that’s your thing, but you’d be better off grabbing a OB Dickel private select for about $30 less.

Score: 81 out of 100

Review: Four Roses Small Batch Select

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Four Roses / Kirin

Region: Kentucky

52% ABV

Aged For: Min 6 Years

Mashbill: Blend of OBSV, OBSK, OBSF, OESV, OESK, and OESF

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Brown sugar, charred marshmallows, graham crackers, oak, vanilla, cinnamon, fruits, and spice

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Tastes sort of like a liquid smores, followed by a sharp rye spice with cracked black pepper, and oak. Vanilla, mint, and hints of citrus.

Finish: Medium warmth and shorter medium length. Light berries, vanilla, and oak with caramel.

Thoughts: I really love the opening taste of smores on the palate, but then it turns the spice dial up and sort of ruins it for me. Not bad, but I feel like I was being teased.

Score: 78 out of 100

Review: George Dickel Bottled in Bond

Paid: $40 for 750 ml

Distilled/Owned by: George Dickel / Diageo

Region: Tennessee

50% ABV

Aged For: 13 Years, Distilled 2005

Mashbill: 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color: Auburn

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Oak, milk chocolate, “They’re mineral’s Marie!” bright fruitiness, caramel, nuts

Feel: Light bodied, and as others have said “thin”

Taste: More chocolate, oak, vanilla, caramel, peanut, pepper, and walnut

Finish: Medium warmth and good length, spice, oak, minerals, pepper, tobacco, chocolate, and vanilla

Thoughts: The only thing keeping this from being rated in the high 80’s is the thin palate, which I suspect is due to chill filtering. If you are a fan of Dickel (and it seems more people are than they suspect with all the Barrell love these days) it’s an easy must buy at $40.

Score: 84 out of 100