Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Buffalo Trace Binny's Small Batch Select Batch #22 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

VITALS:
- $26
- 90 Proof
- Batch #22
- Kentucky

Who loves free whiskey?!?!?  I sure do! I'll try not to let that influence this review, but I had helped a buddy work though most of this particular bottle, and with a handful of pours left, he handed it over to me. Good friend? Or sucker? Who's to say?

Either way, I've had nothing but positive experiences with store selections of Buffalo Trace, and it's absolutely a great bang for your buck. This one certainly proved to be no different.

The nose is heavy on the caramel, something I've expected from Buffalo Trace bourbon. It also had a nice, mellow vanilla undertone, and there was even a bit of black pepper there to tickle the nose with some spiciness. Overall, the nose was inviting and flavorful.

The flavor was very sweet up front. It was a nice mix of sweet vanilla, like vanilla bean ice cream, along with some rich molasses. It even leaned, at times, towards a maple syrup note. It kind of reminded me of pancakes after they've become soggy from the butter, syrup and melted whipped cream.

This certainly came across as a dessert-like whiskey. What I think I liked most about it, is also what surprised me most about it. Despite being a 90 proof whiskey, it had a very oily mouthfeel, like you usually get with higher proof whiskeys. This seemed to add to the complexity of what is otherwise a pretty straight-forward, simple bourbon. It added depths that not only gave off individual flavors of vanilla and caramel, but combined those flavors to remind me of something more elaborate, like warm pecan pie.

In fact, as I got that note I realized that there was a certain nutty quality to this bourbon that I had been tasting all along, but I hadn't quite put my finger (my tongue?) on it. That's what gave it that warm pecan pie flavor. It had all the parts, the graham flavor of the crust, the nutty quality of the pecan, the caramel and molasses flavor of the filling, and even the vanilla flavor of a dollop of whipped cream on top.

I realize as I'm typing this that I'm making this sound like the most amazing bourbon ever. It wasn't that. However, it was really damn good, and I wish I had grabbed a bottle or two to bunker when this was released. This was like a significantly better version of an already very good bourbon, and at an amazing price!

Grade: B+

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