Sunday, April 28, 2019

Eight & Sand Blended Bourbon Whiskey

VITALS:
- $28
- 88 Proof
- NAS
- Indiana

MGP is apparently tired of other companies making money off of their product (I say this tongue-in-cheek, as MGP is certainly doing just fine making their money their way).  And so, to compete with other, what I would call "mid-tier" products on the shelf, they've released Eight & Sand, a blended bourbon with at a very approachable proof point and, unlike MGP's previous releases, a very approachable price point.

The name Eight & Sand comes from a railroad term representing a safe and swift journey or smooth sailing. The name hints at what MGP was likely going for here with a smooth, not to high proofed blended bourbon that will be an easy drinker and also easy to grab off the shelf.

Upon opening the bottle, I was immediately impressed by the nose.  It was heavy on toffee notes, but also had a light kick of cinnamon and even some raisin notes. I also got a yeasty, bready flavor that gave this a distinct raisin bread nose. On later pours I found the vanilla that was light to start really came forward after a bit, which only added to the experience.  I loved the way this bourbon smelled.

On the tongue, it was not nearly as watery as I expected it to be given its proof Rather, I got a nice, good oily texture that coated my mouth with cinnamon and caramel right up front. There also was a light milk chocolate note to it as well. Unfortunately, these flavors at the front just didn't seem to stick around very long.  In fact, despite its more oily texture, all of the flavors seemed to be almost fleeting--there for me to notice them but gone before I could really enjoy them.

On the back end I got a slight banana note and a nutmeg-like woodiness came through as well, giving it a nice balance of sweet and savory. Meanwhile, those cinnamon and caramel notes seemed to bounce in and out throughout. It was kind of a weird experience in that way. Additionally, on more than one occasion I couldn't help but notice a light smokiness, which I almost wished was a tad more prevalent, because it added a nice twist.

What I liked most about this whiskey was its finish, though. Despite the fleeting flavors up to that point, this left a nice, lingering note that was a mix of butterscotch and toffee. It was absolutely delicious and seemed to stick right at the back of my throat for quite some time.

When it's all said and done, I think this is a bourbon that is very good for its price point. For a whiskey in the $25-30 range, I'd have this among my top recommendations, as it's very well done and offers something interesting and flavorful.

Grade: B

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