- 90 Proof
- 10 Years
- Barrel #069
As I see bourbon prices for new releases jump up and up from previous releases (looking at you Old Forester and Four Roses), I certainly appreciate bottlings of age-stated bourbons from the large distilleries, especially when they carry 10 year age statements. Eagle Rare and Russell's Reserve certainly fall into that category, and that's a big reason why I never pass on them when I find them.
Of course, being the bourbon that actually got me out of my Scotch-exclusive drinking habits and exploring the world of bourbon, Eagle Rare will always be a soft spot for me. But, to be able to still get a 10 year old single barrel private selection bourbon for $35, even if they are becoming increasingly fewer and farther between, is amazing in light of the current bourbon climate.
The nose was very much in line with most other Eagle Rare bottlings I've had. I got that expected caramel as well as a healthy dose of vanillins. There was also that bit of cinnamon spice that I've come to expect. However, there was also a sort of a root beer note, with that almost minty sassafras note to it. There was also a bit of a fake cherry note--not like cough syrup, but like cherry hard candy.
The cherry note carried over to the palate as well, but it wasn't so much of a fake cherry note. Rather, it came across as more of a cherry cola flavor. It was accompanied by sweeter notes of caramel and vanilla, along with a black pepper spice that both hit the tip of the tongue right up front and lingered on the finish.
The cinnamon was quite a bit more prevalent as well, so much so that at times it reminded me of a cinnamon liqueur (Goldschlager anyone?). There was also a pastry note, but unfortunately that didn't really translate to a cinnamon roll note like it might sound. It was more of a bready note mixed with that cinnamon liqueur note. That combo wasn't great nor was it bad. It was just . . . there?
On the finish, that weird combination seemed to translate a bit differently, and I was left with this lingering flavor that I likened to a cherry cordial, though with less vanilla. For some reason, it was on the finish that I got a distinct chocolate flavor, something I hadn't noticed anywhere else. The pastry note also reminded me a bit of Golden Grahams cereal, something I noticed even more on the finish.
This was certainly a bottle of good, yummy Eagle Rare. But, as might be expected from a store pick (and as some people might hope for), it did stray a bit from the standard Eagle Rare profile. At times it was a very good stray, particularly the finish. At other times it was just different. All in all, though, it was another very good bottle in which I found the bottom fairly quickly.