Friday, December 13, 2019

W.B. Saffell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

- $50 (375 ml)
- 107 Proof
- Batch No. 1
- Kentucky

One thing I love about these little bottles is the way they feel in your hand. It makes you want to just shotgun the whole thing (as bad of an idea as that may be). They just feel good in your hand. The downside, of course, is how little liquid they hold. It’s like they hold half the amount of whiskey as a regular bottle! I really have a hard time getting on board with that. Bigger is always better.

That being said, I have heard really good things about this latest release in the Whiskey Barons collection coming out of Wild Turkey. It’s my understanding the Russells didn’t have a hand in the first two releases, but that they did have a hand in this one. Perhaps that’s what did the trick, I don’t know. But, I certainly wanted to find out for myself just how good this one is.

The nose on this one was really pungent, with strong notes of anise along with a peppery spice that provided a nice bite. I also got some dark cherry. A certain amount of tannic wood notes came through as well, which at times came across as more of a walnut note. It kind of smelled like what I’d expect Nick Offerman to smell like if he were a bourbon guy.

Interestingly, I found the flavor to be quite different from the nose. Instead of dark cherry and wood tones, I got something bright on the flavor, like fresh peach. It was sweet and even a bit tangy. It was balanced out by a kind of earthy, tea-like flavor as well.

It was on the sweeter side, but that sweetness was balanced out by a nice cinnamon spice (this is, after all, a Wild Turkey product), as well as the tangy flavor from that peach note. The pepper spices that were intermingled helped balance out that sweetness as well.

What did come through from the nose was that walnut note. This flavor was present throughout, from first pour to last and from front to back. It wasn’t strong, but it was always there. On later pours I noticed some orange peel or burnt orange notes. Those notes, along with everything else this had going on, seemed to blend into a sort of walnut Old Fashioned flavor, like a more earthy, less sweet version of the cocktail. I found I really liked it.

This is a product I certainly wouldn’t mind grabbing some more of. While it didn’t blow me away, it certainly would be the kind of whiskey that I would, from time to time, be in the mood for. It was very good, and I could see myself at some point down the road yearning specifically for another pour of this.

Grade: B+

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