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

Review: Barrell Rye Single Barrel 13-Year Astor Wine & Spirits

Paid: $109 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Barrell

Region: Canada

66.39% ABV

Aged For: 13-Years

Mashbill: 100% rye

Cask Type: Undisclosed, Likely ex-bourbon Cask# L956

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Burnished

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Alcohol whiff with baked bread, oak, cracked pepper, coriander seeds, caramel, vanilla, and herbs

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Rich spice, tobacco, cardamom, oak, pepper, rye, caramel, clove, and touch of mint

Finish: Warm and lasting, with cocoa, peach, anise, caramel, vanilla, oak, pepper, and cedar notes

Thoughts: Lots of rich spices here with an underlying sweetness to balance it out.

Score: 84 out of 100

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: Tamdhu 10 Year 2005 Signatory Vintage

Price: $85 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Tamdhu / Signatory Vintage

Region: Highland

60.5% ABV

Aged For: 10-Years, distilled 2005

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: 1st Fill Sherry Butt

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Cask & Bottle #: Cask 354, bottle 524

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Toffee, raisins, citrus, sherry, vanilla, nuts

Feel: Medium bodied

Taste: Vanilla, toffee, apple, cinnamon, nuts, malt, cream, sherry

Finish: Medium warmth and length, caramel, sherry, cream, nuts, apple

Thoughts: This is a caramel/toffee, apple cinnamon bomb with sherry influences, I think I’ll save most of this for fall as it seems perfect for that season!

Score: 85 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: El Dorado 8 Year

Price: $25 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Diamond Distillers

Region: Guyana

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 8-Years

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon barrels

Additives used: Yes

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Molasses, oak, tobacco, funk, caramel, coconut, pepper, vanilla

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Dry oak spice, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and hint of smoke

Finish: Surprisingly warm for the proof, and medium length, caramel, oak, baking spice, chocolate

Thoughts: Again surprisingly good, spicy, and complex given the price and proof of this.

Score: Low 80’s

Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2019 Triple Wood

Price: $75 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Laphroaig / Beam Suntory

Region: Islay

59.5% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon, quarter casks and Oloroso sherry casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Auburn

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Smoke, ash, grape skins, malt, honey, oak, iodine, melon, vanilla, berry

Feel: Full bodied, oily

Taste: Very strong charred oak and peat smoke hit immediately, followed by mixed of salt, dried fruits, oloroso sherry, and citrus, then returning to a strong tannin and spice backbone

Finish: Long and warm, heavy damp oak and peat still dominate, with bits of herb, white grape, and sherry notes.

Thoughts: Very strong and powerful spice and smoke on the front end, but you can pick up the fruit notes if you dig past the warmth and tannins. As my palate adapted fruit become more to the front of the drink, but with heavy spice still a constant.

Score: 80 out of 100