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!
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Hancock's President's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon
- 88.9 Proof
Let me just start this out by saying that I love Buffalo Trace's mashbill #2. It seems to be my ideal flavor profile, and as a result I find myself frequently favoring the Blanton's, Rock Hill Farms and Elmer T. Lee's of the world. Hancock's President's Reserve, however, seems to be the red-headed stepchild of the mashbill #2 line. This lower proof version is not advertised on the Buffalo Trace Distillery website (see for yourself), and it seems to hit the shelves with the same limited frequency as Elmer T. Lee and Rock Hill Farms.
That being said, it is nonetheless without question a mashbill #2 bourbon. The nose is caramel and light cinnamon spice. It also has a hint of burnt orange and maple, giving it a nice, rich aroma.
Likewise, the first sip is full of that vanilla and caramel up front that I've become accustomed to with these sweeter yet slightly spicy bourbons. The back end has that nice cinnamon tingle that sticks at the back of your throat for a while.
Compared to the others in this line, this is, as expected, a bit watery in texture. That being said, I didn't feel as though it lost any boldness in flavor. It still has all its sweet and spicy character, just with minimal to no burn.
In later pours, the profile changed slightly, but quite frankly for the better. It seemed to develop a very tasty orange note, which I had noticed on the nose but up to that point missed on the palate. That orange seemed to mingle with the caramel and a sweet brown sugar to add some nice complexity to an otherwise thinly-textured bourbon.
The back end also developed an almond flavor that hung around with the cinnamon spice at the back end of each sip I took, leaving behind some much-welcome flavor to go along with the spice.
I'm a big fan of this as far as low proof bourbons go. Many refer to Basil Hayden's as a good bourbon to give to someone to try who is not familiar with bourbon. Availability aside, this to me would be a far better option. It's just not practical when it's not readily available. Again, my bias here is freely admitted, but for a lower proof bourbon, I found this to be excellent!!
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