Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ezra Brooks Distiller's Collection Binny's Private Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon - Barrel No. 7167078

VITALS:

- $30
- 107 Proof
- NAS
- Barrel No. 7167078
- Kentucky

Lux Row Distillers have had quite a run recently of some pretty good and well-received products. Notably, seemingly out of nowhere the Rebel Yell 10-Year Single Barrel got all sorts of love from the bourbon community, and more recently, they released the Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength, which likewise has seen largely positive reviews.  I personally really liked both of them.

Binny's apparently took notice of this, and when Luxco, who owns these brands (as well as the Yellowstone brand), started a barrel program, it seems that Binny's went nuts with their picks. Within the span of a week they got multiple single barrel picks from the Ezra Brooks lineup a swell as the Rebel line and the Yellowstone line.  I had no idea these were even a thing, let alone that they would be coming in. The best part of all of it, though, is the pricing. This Ezra Brooks was only $30 for a 107 proof bourbon! How could I say no to that! In fact, on that basis alone I wish I had purchased more than one bottle.  

But, to make it even better, the whiskey itself was really good, too!  The nose was a bit soft, but the notes that I got were vanilla and a sort of sweet wheat bread. It also had a light cinnamon spice to it, and all of these together created a sort of a cinnamon bread note that was absolutely delicious.

On the palate, it packed significantly less heat than expected. Despite being 107 proof, it came across as soft, though not watered down. It just lacked that bold punch. That being said, that would be my only real criticism of this whiskey. I really loved everything else about it.

While the flavor came across as soft, it is actually suiting, as one of the most prominent notes I was getting was a creamy nougat flavor, like the middle of a 3 Musketeers bar. It was rich and sweet, but at the same time pillowy and buttery. It had a silky mouthfeel that perfectly matched its flavor.

It was also pretty caramel forward, which seemed to mix with a bit of a spicy cinnamon note. It was that cinnamon note that seemed to linger for a long time on the finish, longer than I had expected, actually. I'm not sure which I liked more, the nougat-forward note or the long spicy finish, but the two combined really struck the right chord with me.

I also got light notes of oak, though it wasn't the least bit tannic. I also got a lot of brown sugar and even at time a more molasses sweetness to it, but it never overpowered in the sweetness category. It was all really well-balanced and just a delicious bourbon to drink. 

Unfortunately, I never really got to share this with anyone. I'd be interested in what others thought. I've seen some say that other barrels were just average, and I've seen some give similar reviews to the very same barrel that I had. Perhaps I got lucky and just randomly got one of the better barrels, or perhaps I'd enjoy them all just the same. Who knows? But at $30 a pop, it's absolutely worth it to find out!

Grade: A

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