Thursday, November 26, 2020

Shenk's Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey - 2019


VITALS:

- $60
- 91.2 Proof
- NAS
- Batch No. 19G1138
- Kentucky

I have long been a fan of Michter's, particularly their ryes. I still yearn for the days when their barrel strength rye used to collect dust on shelves. But those days are gone. Nonetheless, Michter's is releasing more products than ever these days, including all sorts of special releases from 10 year single barrel ryes and bourbons, to much older whiskeys to toasted barrel finishes. They also continue to release their Bomberger's Declaration and Shenk's Homestead whiskeys.

These are two brands that Michter's has purchased and revitalized so to speak, and what I've had of them has been delicious.  I last had the Bomberger's in 2018, and I couldn't get enough of that one. So, of course, when the Shenk's Homestead was offered to me, I jumped on it (and I've since obtained a 2020 Shenk's as well that I'm still working my way through).  I figured I had very little to lose and much to gain.

My initial impression of the nose was that it was sweet and nutty, kind of like honey roasted peanuts. However, the more I stuck my nose in my glass, the more the sweetness came forward, but it was a richer sweetness, like good, real maple syrup. It had a bit of a pancakes vibe to it which I liked, even with a touch of cinnamon sprinkled in.

The flavor wasn't exactly pancakes, though. Rather, I got a heavy dose of brown sugar and cinnamon, and it was very traditional in flavor in this respect. It certainly came in on the sweeter side, with the spiciness taking a bit of a back seat.

However, the nuttiness from the nose as well as the sweet maple syrup note did come through. Rather than giving a "pancakes vibe," though, it had more of a pecan pie feel to it. It even had a bit of a graham cracker crust note to round it all out. 

The dessert motif didn't stop there, however.  There was also a lighter sweetness mixed in as well, like a honey and wheat note. There was also a buttery note as well, and on later pours from the bottle I was getting a sort of brown sugar crumble flavor, the kind that would go on top of coffee cake or an apple crisp. It even had a slight doughy pastry note.

On the finish I got all brown sugar and vanilla, and again very minimal cinnamon spice. However, the finish was long and those dessert-like flavors seemed to coat my mouth after every sip. 

Overall, this was a great whiskey (I've been careful not to call it a bourbon), particularly if you're one who like your bourbons on the sweeter side (as so many bourbon drinkers do).  I tend to lean more towards spice, so this wasn't necessarily up my alley. That being said, again, this was a great whiskey with lots of richness and depth of flavor, and I had a hard time putting down my glass.

Grade: B+

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