Monday, October 29, 2018

Very Old Barton Bottled In Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon

VITALS:
- $17
- 100 Proof
- NAS
- Kentucky

For a long time Very Old Barton Bottled In Bond was not available in my area. I had heard of it, and had heard good things about it, but all I had available to me were the other Very Old Barton offerings. At some point, though, and I'm not sure when, that changed, and now I see it regularly on the shelves in my area. In fact, I see local retailers actually showcasing it, as though it were limited in allocation (which I don't believe is the case).

In fact, in chatting up my local liquor store guy, we got on the topic of solid drinkers for a solid price, and he walked me over to this bottle as his favorite example. Though I've had this whiskey many times in the past, I've never bought a bottle for myself, and I decided it was about time I grab a bottle and give it its proper due on this blog.

On the nose I got a lot of cinnamon and pecan, along with a sweet honey note. It kind of reminded me of pecan pie that had been dusted in cinnamon. The cinnamon provided a nice counter to the spicy and nutty notes that predominated. Although somewhat faint, it also had a nice, soft chocolate aroma to it. It wasn't immediately noticeable, but once I found it I enjoyed it. So far, so good.

On the palate, the first thing that I noticed was how smooth this whiskey was. "Smooth" is a descriptor that is way overused in describing whiskeys. However, in this context, I mean that usually with 100 proof whiskeys or higher you get that certain bite from the higher alcohol content. In fact, I've come to appreciate that in higher whiskeys. However, that bite just wasn't here with this one. It drank like an 86 proofer, which I guess could be dangerous.

As for flavor, this one really hit all the traditional notes, those flavors that draw people to bourbon. It had the baseline vanilla to carry through all the other flavors. It also had that distinct spicy cinnamon, as well as some nutmeg, again providing that nutty quality that distinguished this bourbon from others.

It also had a tangy flavor, kind of an almond extract note. Combined with the cinnamon and vanilla, it really tasted the way a bakery smells, if that makes sense. The mix of baking spices, yeast and sweet vanilla all combined didn't quite remind me of any particular dessert or pastry, but rather that blend of all the flavors you might find in a bakery. Unfortunately, the chocolate note from the nose didn't carry over, but I found that I didn't really miss it all that much.

The only detracting flavor that I got was an earthy, almost leathery note. It wasn't there the entire time, but once I noticed it, I couldn't help but not notice it from time to time. Luckily it was fleeting, and it didn't take away from the other good flavors going on here.

All in all, this is an excellent bourbon for the price--an every day drinker as some might put it. I would even suggest that if you find it at a even a few more dollars it is still absolutely worth it.

Grade: B

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