Sunday, November 15, 2020

Old Scout Binny's Private Selection 5 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey

- $55
- 118.4 Proof
- 5 Years
- Barrel No. 23859
- Indiana

There was quite a gap in time between private selections of Old Scout being offered. It seems like I had not seen any on the shelves since 2016 or 2017 or so. A short while back there were some older ones available at Binny's and Woodman's that were sourced from Dickel, but I didn't bite at those (though a part of me wishes I at least gave them a try).

So, when I saw this 5 year store pick single barrel on the shelf at $55, I decided not to pass it up. Obviously it's significantly younger, but I do like my MGP whiskey, and particularly at cask strength.  Add to that that it's a store pick, and it was a pretty easy decision. I remember I first opened this bottle when the pandemic lockdown first began in March. It was only now, though, that I made it a point to finish it off.

Interestingly, this was kind of a tale of two whiskeys. The way it tasted back in March was completely different than when I finished the bottle off in October and November. When I first opened this bottle, all I could smell was cinnamon. It was like I opened up a pack of Big Red. There was also a slight tobacco note and even a pumpkin pie sort of note. I also got a certain corn syrupy note as well.

At to flavor, though on the first pours it was all Big Red gum, or cinnamon red hots, or fireball candy. You get the point. That artificial cinnamon candy flavor was pretty much all I could taste, and it was just way too much. I actually found that flavor very hard to overcome, and it really wasn't that great of an experience. 

So, I put it back on my shelf and didn't revisit it for a few months. Luckily, when I did, that cinnamon candy note had subsided. Not entirely, but enough that I was able to pick up other flavors and actually enjoyed the whiskey. It was a completely different bourbon than the one I had back in March.

Sweet but earthy notes of vanilla and pecan came through. It also had a slight woodiness to it. These flavors seemed to balance out that cinnamon note, which was still pretty prevalent. It was kind of like pecan pie but with cinnamon red hots mixed in.

The finish was full of cinnamon spice, but the natural vanilla flavor accompanied it, making for a pretty enjoyable finish that lingered for quite a while.

While I really didn't like this at all when I first opened it up, by the time I got towards the end of the bottle, I found I went through it pretty quickly. If it tasted this way from the beginning, I may have given it a higher grade.

Grade: B

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