Thursday, May 6, 2021

Ezra Brooks Distiller's Collection Liquor 'n' Wine Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon

VITALS:
- $30
- 107 Proof
- 4 1/2 years
- Barrel No. 7415603
- Kentucky

Much like Buffalo Trace and Knob Creek, these Ezra Brooks store picks are quickly becoming must-buys when I find them. The price is great, and certainly free of any concerns over potential buyer's remorse. For $30, what's the worst that can happen?? Plus the proof adds to that value at 107 proof. Add to that the age statement (even it it is a bit young), and the result is a value whiskey.

Plus, what I've had of these has been really good!  Young age aside, Lux Row has been putting out some solid products with their Ezra Brooks line, as well as their Rebel line. And the fact that these are part of their barrel pick program just makes them that much better!! I've had a number of whiskeys picked by the folks at Liquor 'n' Wine, and while I won't necessarily go so far as to say their palate lines up with mine completely, I will go so far as to say I've never been let down by one of their picks. Again . . . value!!

The nose on this one was great! I immediately got notes of graham cracker and chocolate, very dessert like in this respect. I also got a peanut note, with a little bit of salt to go with. On top of that, though, there was something bright to the aroma, like a fresh peach or melon. While melon, peanuts, chocolate and graham cracker don't sound on paper like a great combo, here I couldn't get enough of it. 

The flavor mostly followed suit, as again the first thing I noticed was that graham cracker note. However, the chocolate note was nowhere to be found. Instead I got the salty peanut note as well as a black pepper note that hit the tip of my tongue immediately with each sip.

From there, it seemed to develop into a bit of a Luxardo cherry note, rich and deep, teetering on sweet but not quite getting there. Unfortunately, I enjoyed this note much more on the earlier pours. As I made my way through this bottle, that great Luxardo cherry note seemed to develop into a fake, cough syrup-like cherry note, and that flavor is consistently a turn off for me. It reminded me of Woodford Reserve in that respect, and unfortunately, once I hone in on that note, I just can't seem to get past it.

The finish was interesting, as it reminded me of a cinnamon liqueur, hearkening back to my high school days of shooting Goldschlager and wondering if it'd make me pee gold.  Those are somewhat bittersweet memories for me. I also got a sort of pencil shaving note. I know it seems like a weird tasting note, but I feel that anybody that had classrooms with those hand-crank sharpeners mounted to the wall knows exactly what I'm talking about. 

If only this bourbon drank the way it smelled, I would have absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, and the fake cherry note just really didn't work for me. Plus the finish was simply weird. Not horrible, just weird. That said, I'm not walking away from this thinking I overpaid, and the next time I see an Ezra Brooks store pick on the shelf, I'll most certainly be bringing it home.

Grade: C+

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