Sunday, March 3, 2024

Eagle Rare Niche Single Barrel Select "Waverly Boys" Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $40
- 90 Proof
- 10 Years
- Kentucky

I've propped up some Niche single barrel offerings in the past, and for good reason. In addition to making some of the best food in my area, Vinnie, the owner of Niche, has consistently made some great single barrel picks.  From standard Old Forester and Elijah Craig picks to Weller Full Proof picks, it seems his and my palates align, because I've enjoyed them all!

So, it was, of course, a no brainer to grab this Eagle Rare when it hit Niche's doorstep.  I'm not completely certain as to the "Waverly Boys" reference. Perhaps it's a reference to Waverly, Illinois, a town in central/southern Illinois that I'm sure I've only heard of from spending time in Springfield.  Name aside, I was just glad to get my hands on this bottle.

The nose was fairly traditional. It led with caramel and cinnamon, along with a rich vanilla note. It, in a way, reminded me of ice cream. There was also a distinct woody note to it, but not the usual oak note. It was more like a cedar note, which was a bit odd but not necessarily offensive. 

That cedar note did not carry through to the flavor, however. I got the cinnamon from the nose, and the caramel notes seemed to evolve into a richer, deeper toffee note. It was definitely sweet up front, but as that sweetness receded, it gave way to a bit of a twist, kind of like an amaretto or an anise note. Luckily the anise was not strong, as that can turn me off a bit. Here, it was just complementary.

The toffee note seemed to dominate a bit, but at times I did get notes of dark chocolate and even a sort of peanut note. Those notes were a bit fleeting, however. But, in later pours it seemed to develop a rich, Amarena cherry note that I absolutely loved, and wished it had shown up sooner!

That cherry note really carried through to the finish. Despite the lower proof, this had a great, lasting finish with the rich cherry note, but the dark chocolate seemed to return as well, and both flavors really complemented the long toffee note that lingered. 

The market seems a bit saturated with single barrel picks these days, but Niche has once again proven that their picks always appeal to my tastes, and I'm just going to keep going back to that well as long as I can.

Grade: A-

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