- 104 Proof
- Barrel No. 1-B3-0636
Anyone who is a bourbon hunter in even the slightest of ways probably has had a similar experience. You're away from home in another state for a few days, so of course you make a field trip to the local liquor store, or perhaps a few different stores, just to see what you might find. I find myself in this situation every time I'm out of town, whether for work or pleasure.
I'm not looking for unicorns or the highly sought after stuff, but rather simply looking for stuff I can't get every day back home. Sometimes that's local craft whiskey, and sometimes it's whiskeys that don't get distribution in Illinois. More often than not, though, I find myself asking about store picks. And so, that was exactly the case when I was at a hockey tournament staying a weekend at a hotel in Niles, Michigan, just a one-block walk from Mega Liquor. The selection was decent, but mostly everything I see in Illinois. So, I took a shot at their Bulleit Single Barrel pick. What did I have to lose?
The nose was rich and sweet on this one. I got a good amount of dark caramel, perhaps closer to toffee. It had a mix of dark chocolate and hazelnut, however, to add a layer of richness and to temper the sweetness. I also got a tangy note of amaretto off the nose that I really enjoyed.
The flavor seemed to turn in a bit of a different direction. Right away I got a lot of sweet cinnamon and vanilla. It was kind of like a frosted sugar cookie that was made with cinnamon. However, it had a bit of spice to it that I didn't attribute to the cinnamon. Rather, it was more of a black pepper spice.
The vanilla layer seemed to be pretty constant throughout, but I also got a sweet cloves flavor, perhaps a transformation of the cinnamon I got earlier on. It also seemed to sweeten up a bit with a brown sugar note, along with the cinnamon stick and black pepper notes
The finish was vanilla and peppery spice, primarily. That pepper seemed to stick at the back of my throat. The sweetness seemed to relax a bit, and in its place I got a light black licorice note that seemed to linger on my tongue. I'm not the biggest fan of black licorice, but I didn't find this too offensive.
I don't know if this is indicative of other picks that Mega Liquor has done, but I think if I find myself in Niles, Michigan again in the near future, I'd be willing to take a flyer on another store pick of their's.