Saturday, January 5, 2019

Buffalo Trace Cap n' Cork & Catablu Grille Single Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $26
- 90 Proof
- Barrel No. 13
- Kentucky

As I travel, whether by plane or car, and whether for work or pleasure, I can't help but scan every sign and every strip mall I pass looking for liquor stores. This is especially true when I'm out of state, figuring that, while for the most part I'll see the same stuff on the shelves, sometimes there are things distributed in Indiana, for example, that just aren't available in Illinois.  Plus, you never know when you may come across a store or chain that surprises you with available store picks to try, something I certainly can't get anywhere else.

My job has required me to take somewhat frequent trips to Fort Wayne lately, and on each drive I pass Cap n' Cork, which I could tell just from the road was a decent-sized store that would likely have a pretty good selection.  So naturally, I took a brief side trip and stopped in. Much to my pleasure, not only did they have a good selection of bourbons, but they had multiple store picks on their shelves, including Knob Creek, Maker's Mark and this bottle of Buffalo Trace.  At $26, it was a no-brainer to pick this up and give it a try. That's about as "low-risk" as you can get.

Though I had only just learned of Cap n' Cork, and I have not heard of, yet been to, Catablu Grille, I was excited to pop this open and give it a try. The nose provided quite the bouquet of aromas, with brown sugar right up front, along with some anise notes to give it a twist and a solid layer of vanilla. I also got a hint of sweet pipe tobacco, kind of what I'm used to getting from an Irish whiskey. The nose had a nice balance of sweet and earthy notes that was really enjoyable.

Although thin in texture, this bottle offered a lot of complexity in flavor. There's no question that this bourbon is on the sweeter side, but it's a kind of subtle sweetness, with soft notes of caramel and vanilla (certainly nothing slapping me in my face with flavor). I even got a bit of flavor that reminded me of chocolate milk.

On the back end I got some nice but subtle warm cinnamon, which carried with it a bit of a pine note. This was all layered on top of a consistent caramel flavor that persisted from front to back.

The finish on this one was interesting. Despite being sweet but not overly sweet on the palate, it had a finish that was very sweet. It left my mouth with flavors of brown sugar and cotton candy. It seems an odd mix, but in the end it resulted in a sort of candy corn flavor. Of course, this was accompanied by that same caramel flavor that was always around. While enjoyable, this was one of the sweetest finishes I can recall having in a whiskey in a very long time.

All in all, given the low proof and thin texture, this bourbon had a lot going on. It provided for a fun and interesting pour every time, and one that I couldn't help but contemplate about how much I enjoyed it with each sip. In fact, it served very well as my New Year's Eve drink! While the finish was overly sweet for my tastes, this was still an excellent pour, and easily a recommended buy at this price. So, if you're ever in the Fort Wayne area, be sure to stop in to Cap n' Cork and grab a bottle (or try it at Catablu Grille--though I haven't confirmed, I'd imagine they've got some to serve up)!

Grade: B+

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