Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Pride Stores Single Barrel Select 10 Year Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon

- $80
- 112.3 Proof
- 10 Years
- Bottle #84/169
- Michigan/Indiana

Sometimes it amazes me what I find at some of the more random stops I make while searching out something new. Our local Pride gas station has a Pride Stores liquor store right next to it, and for a gas station liquor store, it has a great whiskey selection. In fact, they often get barrel picks and even had Greg Metze in for an event. 

One day while doing my usual perusal, I walked by a stack of boxes, and on top was this Traverse City Whiskey pick. I nearly walked right by it, except something about the label caught my eye. In the bottom left-hand corner was a hand-written note indicating that it was a 10 year old bourbon bottled at barrel strength. I second-guessed whether Traverse Cit Whiskey has even been around long enough to have 10 year old barrels, and the label doesn't indicate anywhere that it's sourced from MGP as I would have expected to find.  I've been told that it is, in fact, MGP, but I have not been able to verify that.

But, I was nonetheless excited to be able to get a 10-year barrel proof straight bourbon randomly at my local gas station liquor store, and I couldn't wait to give it a try.  The nose was really strong, and gave off a lot of nutty notes. I was getting pecan and salted peanuts (yes, two types of nuts!).  It also had a graham crackery note, kind of like a pie crust.  At times I also got salted caramel and milk chocolate. It was in many ways like a Snickers candy bar.

The flavor was equally robust, and on my first sip I immediately got a ton of caramel and cinnamon. It was a nice mix of sweet and spice, and the cinnamon seemed to add a bit of earthiness to the mix.  I also got a lot of nougat, again lending to that Snickers experience.  That nougat is what really carried through on the finish, a finish that seemed to last forever. I felt as though I had just had a 3 Muskateers bar after each swallow. The buttery texture really just seemed to coat the mouth in flavor with every sip.

Even the milk chocolate was present on the palate, but it certainly leaned heavier on the nougat and caramel side.  As I made my way to later pours, I noticed some brown sugar and even some Luxardo cherries in the mix, adding to the depth and complexity of the bourbon. It gave it a bit of an old-fashioned type flavor. The final couple pours sweetened up a bit, and I was getting notes of peanut brittle, with that delicious salty sweetness. 

This bourbon was in your face with flavor, was certainly on the sweeter side, but had enough other notes to keep the sweetness from being overwhelming. It was complex and interesting from the first pour to the last. Even with an $80 price tag, I may be going back to pick up another assuming there are still some left.

Grade: A

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