Sunday, August 7, 2022

Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $17
- 90 Proof
- 36 mos.
- Kentucky

This is one of those bottles where I was way more excited to have found it than I really should have been.  After all, this is just a very young, somewhat low proof mashbill #2 from Buffalo Trace.  I've had other bourbons from this mashbill hundreds of times, and while I do love this mashbill, I really can't say that a 3 year old version was ever something I felt I really needed to try.

Yet, I was excited to come across this bottle for two very simple reasons. First, I can't find it in Illinois. I'm not sure of the distributional footprint on Ancient Ancient Age, but it does not include Illinois, and I've never seen it in any of the neighboring states on my travels. Second, it's only $17!!  I had to try it for that reason alone. After all, what if it's somehow amazing and I need to be stocking up every chance I get?  Probably not, but you never know.

My first impression of the nose was that it smelled young.  It came across as sharp and biting, with a certain vegetal quality that I liken to young whiskeys. However, it also had a good amount of brown sugar and cinnamon, and it came across as almost like a cinnamon sugar cookie. It had something a bit more earthy as well, almost leather-like. 

The flavor was a bit better than expected. While it still comes across as young, it lacked those rough edges that I was getting on the nose. It came across as softer and more cohesive. It was, however, certainly corn-forward, and as a result, was very sweet. 

I definitely got that sugar cookie note that I got on the nose, but in this instance the vanilla really seemed to come forward more. There was also a sweetness that took the form of a honey note, which, as far as sweet notes in whiskey go, I like the lean towards honey rather than cane sugar.

The sweetness carried through on the finish, but there a bit of a cinnamon bite came out as well. That vanilla note seemed to coat my mouth and the back of my throat as well for a nice finishing combo.

This bourbon was young, no question. However, it didn't get to the point where it tasted too young, if that makes sense. It wasn't offensively young, and the young qualities weren't off-putting. But, despite the price, I think I'd look for other options on the shelf.

Grade: C+

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