Sunday, July 11, 2021

Doc Swinson's Alter Ego Triple Cask Straight Bourbon Finished in Sherry & Cognac Casks

- $65
- 95.8 Proof
- Release No. 21-004
- Indiana/Washington

This is another one of those brands that keeps popping up in my Facebook feed--at least it did for a while.  I'm honestly not sure exactly which bottles were garnering all the attention a short while back, but what I noticed was that while I was seeing this Doc Swinson's brand in my Facebook feed, I wasn't seeing it anywhere on my stores' shelves . . . until one day I did. Apparently I just had to be patient.

I had the choice of this Sherry and Cognac finished bourbon or a rum finished rye. Given that I have found very few rum finished whiskeys I've actually enjoyed, it really was an easy choice for me. Plus, this one sounded really good! It's MGP bourbon (though the age is unknown) that was then finished in Oloroso Sherry casks, Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks and Cognac casks. I have no idea how long, but either way, this resulting blend of those three finishes was bound to, at the very least, pack a lot of flavor.

The nose was full of rich jammy notes of raspberry and strawberry, certainly the result of the two Sherry cask finishes. There was also something rich to it, kind of like a fig note. What I loved, though, was that the bourbon itself wasn't completely buried by the finishing, allowing a great vanilla bean note to come through, as well as a sweet butterscotch note.

As to flavor, as expected, this was a very fruit-forward bourbon. But, I got the influence from both the sherry and the Cognac barrels. Right away I got a bright and sweet raspberry note, and right along side that was a sort of plum and baked pear note, likely from the Cognac influence. All of this seemed to be blended with a rich vanilla undercurrent that all worked very well together.

Rich is really the common theme with this whiskey. On top of those fruit and vanilla notes, there was a  light woodiness to it--not tannic, but rather just the oak flavor. There were also some rich chocolate notes that met well with the raspberry and vanilla.

The finish really highlighted those chocolate notes, which were rich and not overly sweet. There was also a sort of amaretto note to it, something tangy like that to make it a bit interesting. I also noticed the wine notes really coming through, kind of like the aftertaste of an oaked Chardonnay, and this is where the tannins came in.  

I really loved everything about this whiskey, except for that finish. Even that finish had promise with the chocolate and amaretto, but the lingering wine note was a bit off-putting. It literally left a bad taste in my mouth. If it weren't for that, I'd have given this much higher marks.

Grade: B

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