Monday, January 1, 2024

Bondstone Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $42
- 125 Proof
- 4 years
- Kentucky

Whenever I go out of state and find myself in a liquor store (always seems to happen), I make it a point to seek out whiskeys that I can't get or haven't seen on shelves back home. Of course that usually involves a local craft distillery or perhaps a store pick if they have any. But sometimes I come across something that I just simply have never seen before.

That was the case with this Bondstone. They had a handful of offerings, and not necessarily the usual line you might see, which included a high rye bourbon and a double oaked bourbon. I, of course, gravitated to the cask strength version.  And with a price tag of $42, finding a cask strength, age-stated Kentucky straight bourbon for that price that I've never seen before made for an easy decision. 

The nose immediately told me that this was going to carry many of those traditional bourbon flavors, and it also told me I was going to enjoy that first sip! I immediately got notes of caramel and cinnamon, with a mild vanilla undertone. There was even a bit of an anise note as well as hints of cloves to spice it up just a bit and add another layer. 

The flavor very much matched up with what the nose was telling me. Right up front I got a great medley of cinnamon and vanilla, with a light oak note making this seem like it had more age than it did. There was a sweetness to it, but it was tempered, kind of like a burnt sugar note.

Behind those traditional notes, however, I got some rich, fruity notes, including a great candied orange note that I couldn't get enough of. The spiciness from the high rye content of this bourbon also added to a bit of a spiced cherry note, particularly on the finish.  That note seemed to linger forever in the back of my throat and had me really wanting that next sip right away.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this bottle.  I knew nothing about it (and, quite frankly, still know nothing about it), but I know now that it's very good whiskey at a very good price!  I've since learned (if YouTube is to be believed) that this was distilled by Wilderness Trail.  It certainly wouldn't surprise me, as I've found their whiskey to be very good at a young age.  In any event, I may have to try some others in this line, including the Double Oaked.

Grade: B+

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