Thursday, March 4, 2021

Ezra Brooks 99 Proof Kentucky Straight Whiskey


VITALS:

- $23
- 99 Proof
- NAS
- Kentucky

I've noted in past posts that lately Luxco has been putting out some very solid products. I'm pretty sure the last time I made note of that it was in the context of reviewing some Binny's private selections -- either Rebel or Ezra Brooks single barrels. I can't remember which, but both were great, so it doesn't really matter.  In fact, I noticed that just these past couple weeks Binny's got another round of those picks in.

So, when Luxco announced that it'd be offering a regularly available, moderately proofed low-cost bourbon to the Ezra Brooks line, I was pretty pumped. I liked the idea of having a 99 proof whiskey, from someone that's been making very good stuff lately, and only at $23!! I'm always on the lookout for those value picks, not just for myself, but as recommendations for others.

The nose had a pretty health dose of cinnamon spice to it, as well as an oaky bitterness. This is a non-age stated whiskey, but it had hints of just a little bit of age in this respect. Surprisingly, contrary to past experiences with Ezra Brooks products, I seemed to get very little sweetness on the nose.

However, that wasn't the case at all on the palate. This had quite a bit of sweetness, actually, and I was taken back a bit on my first sip given the nose. It was full of rich brown sugar and butter, and even a maple syrup note. However, it also had something bright and rich at the same time, kind of like black raspberry. There was certainly a layer of rich, dark fruit to it.

Most notably, though, I got this great cinnamon and biscuit note, and I swear it tasted like monkey bread. While talking about this experience on Twitter, I came to learn that not everyone knows what monkey bread is. For those people I feel sorry, and if you are reading this and happen to be one of those people, please click on this link and plan on making it for breakfast some time for you and your family:  https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/monkey-bread-with-caramel/4a92932f-f795-4813-9800-d6e35e8d5a49.  I assure you it's worth a try!

In addition to that cinnamon, caramel and biscuit flavor that I absolutely loved, I also got some rich amaretto notes, adding a little bit of tang to the overall sweetness. It had a long, sweet finish with loads of caramel and vanilla and just the slightest bitter note. It reminded me a bit of a caramel latte.

All in all, this was absolutely on the sweeter side of whiskeys. However, the flavor profile worked so well with that sweetness. Perhaps it's the way it brought me back to fond memories of my childhood enjoying that sticky, gooey pull-apart caramel-cinnamon biscuit breakfast my mom would make, but I really loved this whiskey. It is certainly right at the top of my $25 and under whiskeys.

Grade: A

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