Saturday, February 9, 2019

J.W. Dant Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon

VITALS:
- $23/1 Liter
- 100 Proof
- NAS
- Kentucky

I feel like it's been some time since I've visited a regular shelfie. Lately I've had various limited releases or store picks, and I'm certainly not complaining. However, there are still so many standard offerings at great prices lining the shelves that I have yet to give a try. So, with this bottle, I'm making a conscious effort to get back to trying more of these "everyday" whiskeys.

J.W. Dant intrigued me because it checks so many boxes for me: (1) it's bottled in bond, which means it's higher proof, but not high proof; (2) it's a Heaven Hill product, who does bottled in bond bourbons so well; (3) it's at a great price point; and (4) you get a little bit more whiskey given that it comes in a liter bottle.  On top of all that, of the mentions or reviews I've seen around the web and on social media, it's regarded pretty favorably.

The nose on this whiskey is absolutely delicious. If I graded the nose only, it'd be an A+.  It had a nice, chocolate and salted caramel smell, almost like the smell of a sweets shop. There was also a very light smokey quality that I didn't expect but certainly loved. I don't know if it came from the grain or not, but I also got a distinct caramel corn note. The nose absolutely had me salivating and diving in for that first sip.

Although this bourbon was a bit thin in texture, it still had some pretty bold flavors. Most noticeable was a woody, walnut flavor. It had that earthy walnut quality with the slightest bit of bitterness. At times the bitterness seemed to come from an orange peel note, but I didn't seem to get that consistently. This was all rounded out by a light note of sweet vanilla, like vanilla bean, and even a light milk chocolate flavor. The sweetness and the earthy bitterness all seemed to work really well together, as I found neither one to come anywhere close to being off-putting.

Throughout my enjoyment of this bottle, it was generally sweet with a light, spicy finish. That caramel corn note that I got on the nose even appeared once in a while, and I really wished that flavor had suck around a bit longer on the finish. However, after each sip I had a rich toffee flavor lingering on my lips that I really enjoyed. It was almost surprising, as I didn't get a strong toffee note on the palate. 

That toffee note also made for an interesting mix with the clove spice that stuck at the back of my throat, and lingered there for far longer than I expected given the thin texture. Again, it wasn't strong, but it was still a nice contrast. Not much more than that was happening on the finish, but it was nonetheless very enjoyable.

Although I didn't find this whiskey to be too complex (its nose was far more complex than its taste), it was still delicious and easily a regular drinker.  Its easy to find and can be had for a great price, it's got enough heat without too much heat, and though the flavors aren't complex, they're still very tasty and very up front. I absolutely could (and did) drink this day after day.

Grade: B

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