Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bardstown Bourbon Company Phifer Pavitt Reserve Straight Bourbon

- $125
- 100 Proof
- 10 Years
- Tennessee

I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of Dickel products. While some people love the stuff, I just have yet to find one that has really suited my palate. That chalky, fake vitamin note is real, and it just doesn't work for me.  

However, when I was offered the chance to buy this bottle, I still couldn't help myself. This is yet another collaboration from Bardstown, this time collaborating with Phifer Pavitt to finish this 10-year old Tennessee whiskey in Phifer Pavitt Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. This is the second such release, and the first one got some pretty good reviews. So, despite knowing that this was sourced from Dickel, my FOMO got the best of me, and I plunked down the cash to take this one home.  It's interesting to note that while this is 100 proof, it's also labeled as "cask strength."  That's quite the coincidence there that it landed right at 100 proof without any dilution.

The nose certainly lets you know right away that this a wine finished bourbon. The fruit-forward aromas of dark cherry and blackberry really came through. I even got a bit of blueberry off the nose that I really enjoyed. It also had that caramel base to it, as well as a light cinnamon spice to sort of round everything out.  The nose on this bourbon was delicious, and I found myself sniffing my Glencairn constantly while drinking this.

On my first sip, I was looking for those Dickel notes, the Flintstone Vitamins note that so many people get. But, I didn't notice it here . . . at first.  Rather, I got sweet notes of smooth butterscotch, like ice cream topping. That blended well with the flavors from the wine finish. I didn't get so much the cherry that I got on the nose, but the blackberry was certain prevalent. I even got the blueberry notes that I got from the nose, probably a first for me as far as tasting notes go.

Unfortunately, though, as I made my way through this bottle, those vitamin notes started coming through. It wasn't the fake grape flavor that I got in the Dickel Bottled in Bond that put me off, but rather more of a strawberry note. In that respect it wasn't offensive or anything, just there and noticeable.

The finish seemed to kind of wash away that vitamin note, however, bringing in the cinnamon spice that I got off the nose. This is also where the cherry note came through, leaving a real dark cherry note (as opposed to artificial cherry) that lingered for a considerably long time after the finish. It turned out that the finish was what I enjoyed the most about this bourbon, and it's the reason I went back for more pours.

I still hesitate to grab Dickel distillate, and this certainly didn't change my mind. However, I did feel that what they did with the finishing on the distillate was very good. I loved the notes the Phifer Pavitt barrels introduced to the whiskey, I only wish it were a different whiskey . . . and a different price.

Grade: B

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