Giving each whiskey (and whisky) I try a final grade, but only after reaching the bottom of the bottle. After all, just one drink is never enough!
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Eagle Rare Binny's Single Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- $17.00 (375 ml)
- 90 Proof
- 10 Years
- Barrel #15
Eagle Rare has and will always hold a special place in my heart (stomach?). It was really my introduction to bourbon, well, good bourbon anyway, and I've remained particularly fond of it. I have yet, however, to try a private selection of Eagle Rare . . . until now that is. While I don't find myself repeating bottles too often, this smaller, and cheaper, bottle of a private selection Eagle Rare was impossible to pass up.
I've always been partial to Eagle Rare because it is a consistent bourbon, always providing the traditional vanilla, caramel and cinnamon flavors typical of rye based bourbons. I can always count on it to deliver what I like most in a bourbon, and this private selection was no different.
The nose is heavy on the vanilla, layered over sweet tobacco leaf and toffee. It came across immediately as a sweeter and very vanilla-forward bourbon.
On the first sip, while that expected sweet vanilla flavor was there, it carried much more oak bite than I had anticipated. Even more unexpected, however, was the light minty-ness on the back end. My first impression was that this was a very "refreshing" and drinkable bourbon. That mint flavor gave way eventually to the cinnamon-toned rye spice, and the mixture of the two reminded me of that smell around Christmas of those cinnamon scented pine cones.
Granted, because it's a small bottle, it didn't stay open and unfinished for very long. However, as I made my way through the bottle, other flavors seemed to come forward. It seemed to get sweeter as I went, the vanilla giving way to brown sugar and orange flavors. It also developed a sweet black licorice flavor on the back end that I enjoyed more than I should considering I don't like black licorice.
In the end, this private selection was slightly better than the regular offering, and I was glad to have had a chance to try it. I'll certainly be keeping my eye out for more of these 375 ml private selections, as the cost makes it very easy to "try" it out.
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