- 100 Proof
- 15 Years
I think these may be the fanciest bottles on the market. They're certainly up there. And while my brain tells me that it's just fancy packaging that doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of the whiskey inside, nonetheless when I walk up to the counter and see this bottle on the shelf behind the clerk, I'm still immediately drawn to it. So that fancy packaging apparently works.
That said, I also felt very comfortable that the whiskey inside was going to be very good as well. Not only has each release received great reviews generally, but the ones I've actually tried I've really enjoyed, particularly when I've had the pleasure of trying some of the older bottlings. So, I went ahead and grabbed this one, the oldest of the releases, despite the very hefty price tag it carried.
The nose was light and soft--I'd almost describe it as fluffy. It was full of soft vanilla and smooth milk chocolate aromas. There was a bit of cherry licorice, which combined with the vanilla and chocolate, certainly had this smelling like a sweeter bourbon. That said, I also got some light oak and even some peanut flavor to add a touch of earthiness. It was, without question, though, on the sweeter end.
The flavor was much the same, though the chocolate really came through. This is what the cool kids would call a "chocolate bomb." That soft, creamy milk chocolate note was really at the forefront whether on the front end or the finish, whether on the first pour or the last.
There was certainly some vanilla as well, along with some cherry notes. But, the cherry came across more as real cherry than the fake cherry licorice note, which certainly was an improvement in my book. At times I got sweet notes of white chocolate as well to really help round this out as a dessert whiskey.
Most notable with this bourbon, though, was the texture. It had such a soft and silky texture that it seemed to make those other notes that much more enjoyable. Giving that silky feel to the notes of chocolate and vanilla really made those flavors seem more decadent. It also helped those flavors stick around for a while, as it left an almost buttery coat of flavor behind.
Other notes came through, including a light bready or yeast-like note that was kind of lingering in the background, and on later pours I was noticing some nice amaretto and anise notes that were light and subtle but certainly worked with everything else going on here.
As I'm making notes while working through any given bottle, I have a grade I plan on giving that bottle in the back of my mind, and it's not always static. In this case, with every pour I seemed to like this bourbon more and more, and by the last few pours, in my mind this was an absolutely killer bottle. This is well-worth seeking out a pour, in my estimation.