Friday, November 16, 2018

Bomberger's Declaration Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2018)

VITALS:
- $45
- 108 Proof
- Batch No. 18C316
- NAS
- Kentucky

I have never been lucky enough to come across a Bomberger's Declaration or a Shenk's Homestead in the wild, to just be able to grab them off the shelf. A few weeks ago, however, that luck changed, and just in passing while buying wine for my wife I came across this bottle sitting on the shelf. Without hesitation I grabbed it and headed to the register. And then I forgot about it for a few weeks. I guess I just had other good stuff to get through first.

Eventually, though, I got around to opening this, and I really wish I had done so sooner! The nose was sweet and almost savory all at once. I was immediately hit with anise and clove, the kind of spices that are somewhat sweet, but that sweetness is constantly buried by the cinnamon spice and wood tones. It also smelled rich, if that makes sense. My mouth immediately started watering at the idea of tasting these complex and deep notes I got off the nose.

When I took the first sip, I knew immediately that I had something really good in my hands! I haven't had that experience in quite some time where I knew it was great from the second it touched the tip of my tongue. Up front it was initially sticky sweet maple and brown sugar, which oddly didn't really match the nose, but was nonetheless absolutely delicious.

Other flavors seemed to slowly make their way to the stage, including a nice, smooth vanilla note throughout, and that wonderful spicy cinnamon on the back end that I love the most. The juxtaposition of the sticky sweet front end and the spicy back end was absolutely spectacular.

It has a nice, oily quality to it, too, that makes that finish last forever. As it stuck around, that spicy note seemed to fade, only leaving the lingering sweet vanilla flavor. It reminded me kind of the way Fireball jawbreakers dissolved from spicy cinnamon to whatever that sweet center of the candy is.  It was like that, only a thousand times better tasting.

Throughout it maintained a slight, earthy and woody tone, which really helped keep it from being too sweet. Other than the very front end, it had an excellent balance of sweet, spicy and woody.  It all worked together to make a sort of cinnamon and dark chocolate treat.

I'm a fan of Michter's products, though I wouldn't say I'm a BIG fan. I just think they make quality products and would never turn one away. This, however, tells me that they can really make an outstanding bourbon. I loved everything about this from beginning to end. This was one of the best surprises I've had in a while. Grab it if you can!!

Grade: A

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