- 90 Proof
- 7 Years
- Barrel #031
The A. Smith Bowman Distillery been making some fantastic bourbon for quite some time now, and it seems only recently are they getting the mass-love that they deserve. Of course there has always been a bit of a cult following, particularly for some of their rarer releases. In the past, though, these releases, while sought after by bourbon aficionados, haven't necessarily been the subject of the high demand for other limited products.
Recently, though, their Gingerbread releases have not only been amazing, but have gotten the attention of the bourbon fan base generally. And the Bowman Cask Strength is an incredibly desired bottle, one which continues to elude me. Despite the increasing demand, however, Bowman Brothers introduced a single barrel program that provides consumers with an age-stated, single barrel product at an incredible price! At only $30, I had absolutely zero hesitation grabbing one of these off the shelf at Binny's the second I saw it.
When I took my first whiff of this whiskey after popping the cork, I knew that I had something good here. I was hit immediately with dark and rich fruit notes, like plum and cherry. I also got a burnt sugar note that provided a touch of sweet, caramelized smokiness. Interestingly, there was something earthy to it as well, almost like caramelized mushrooms. Sounds super weird, and it is, but it was oddly delicious-smelling.
Luckily, I didn't get that mushroom note on the flavor. Rather, I immediately noticed rich notes of cinnamon and amaretto liqueur. It certainly had a tangy and spicy quality to it that at times leaned more towards an anise flavor. Luckily for me that flavor never got too over-bearing.
As the bottle opened up, the sweeter, more dessert-like flavors seemed to come forward. On later pours I got a distinct chocolate note. I also got a note that once I put my thumb on it, I couldn't help but noticing. That was a cherry pie filling note. It was not just a cherries in syrup note, but the actual pie filling flavor. As I said, once I found that note, I couldn't escape it. I happen to love cherry pie, though, so I wasn't complaining.
It was on the finish that the cherry pie filling really took over. Aside from a light cinnamon note, that flavor really dominated the finish. Given this was 90 proof, the finish wasn't very long lasting. But, despite the lower proof, this whiskey had an abundance of flavor, and it had more complexity than I ever would have expected.
I don't know how frequently these Bowman Single Barrels are going to be seen on shelves, but I do know that whenever and wherever I see them, so long as the price stays where it is and the age stays generally the same, I'm going to be buying a bottle (and perhaps more).
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