Monday, January 11, 2021

Shenk's Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey - 2020

- $90
- 91.2 Proof
- Batch No. 20G1520
- Kentucky

It wasn't that long ago that I finished off and ultimately reviewed my 2019 bottle of Shenk's.  In fact, I had a decent amount still in my bottle when I got the opportunity to purchase this 2020 bottle of Shenk's. Of course, I couldn't pass up grabbing this year's as well, and, quite frankly, it's what gave me the motivation to finally finish off the previous year's bottle.

While I regret not doing a side-by-side when I had the chance, I do feel like I opened this one pretty much immediately after finishing the last one off. So the comparisons were at least a little fresh, even if not done side-by-side. Regardless of comparisons, though, this and the Bomberger's from Michter's have certainly become no-brainers as far as grabbing a bottle when the opportunity presents itself.  And this particular bottle only further supported that notion.

The nose was dominated by notes of brown sugar and cinnamon. It also had a bit of a buttery note, along with a cracker note, the combination of which reminded me of Ritz crackers. Interesting, and certainly not unwelcome.  There were also light wood notes that provided a bit of bitterness, and at times that note even leaned a little bit towards orange peel. 

That same cinnamon and brown sugar from the nose, not surprisingly, also seemed to dominate the palate, at least on the front end. The tip of my tongue was immediately hit with that cinnamon spice along with the sweetness that had kind of a pastry quality, but with a little more cinnamon heat. 

It certainly had a lot more going on. Early on in this bottle I was getting distinct amaretto notes that I absolutely loved, particularly with the brown sugar. As I made my way through the bottle, that amaretto turned a bit towards an anise note. Not a heavy anise note, the likes of which would turn me off, but rather a light note that also worked well with the brown sugar. 

Surprisingly, I got a bit of a white bread note, like a sweeter, not so yeasty bread note. That seemed to pair with soft caramel note to create almost like a caramel iced donut, but not so cloyingly sweet. It even had a bit of butterscotch to it.  The combination was a bit hard to put my thumb on, but whatever it was it was delicious!

While the flavors I was getting seemed to bounce around a bit as I made my way through this bottle, the one thing that remained consistent was that it was always delicious. In fact, I found this to be significantly better than the 2019 bottle, which is good considering it came with a significantly greater price tag!  Hopefully the price increases stop there, because I want to continue trying to find one of these as they are released.

Grade: A-

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