Friday, March 17, 2017

Old Ripy The Whiskey Barons Collection Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $50
- 104 Proof
- Batch No. 1

Old Ripy is the other initial release in The Whiskey Barons Collection from Campari America. As with Bond & Lillard, Old Ripy was also distilled at Wild Turkey, though without an involvement of the Russells. This bourbon honors the Old Ripy brand, which was created by James Ripy in 1868 and was produced through 1950.

As with Bond & Lillard, this bourbon comes in a .375 ml bottle. Though I'd like to see it come in a full-sized bottle, there is something I enjoy about holding this bottle in my hand, where it fits perfectly like a grenade or, as I alluded to previously, a bottle of Red Stripe. It just feels right. The label is incredibly eye appealing as well, and I think that will go a long way towards moving this product off the shelf.

But, what matters most is what's inside, and, quite frankly, what's inside of this bottle is very good bourbon! Its nose is full vanilla with a light sweetness and is very aromatic. You also notice the corn grain as well, like sweet corn flakes.

Upon the first taste this bourbon was delicious! It's definitely on the sweet end of the sweetness spectrum, but it's not sugary or offensively sweet. I actually enjoyed it, much like a dessert bourbon! It was predominantly brown sugar and vanilla, but it had a candy-bar character to it, as if it had hints of Butterfinger as well.

Again, describing it as a candy bar character makes it seem overly sweet, but that's not the case here. It's more like a donut or coffee cake type sweetness, the kind you can enjoy for breakfast (not that I enjoyed Old Ripy for breakfast at any point). There was also a crisp apple note that seemed to subtly underscore all the other flavors, contributing to an overall delicious profile.

The finish was the only thing that disappointed. It was short and somewhat unremarkable. There were some enjoyable spiced hot cider notes that lingered, but only for a second before they dissipated. I really wish they would have stuck around, coating the back of the throat a bit more.

As with Bond & Lillard, the price tag of $50 for a .375 ml bottle is prohibitive. However, I found this bourbon to be superior to the Bond & Lillard (which I really enjoyed). I worked my way through this small bottle very quickly, and, if it were packaged as a normal 750 ml bottle, I'd be all over it. All in all, after trying the first two, I'm looking forward to more releases in this line.

Grade: A-

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