In my experience I’ve found a few drops of water really open up and benefit these whiskies, and therefore all my notes are with water added. (Approximately 3-4 drops for a half ounce pour)
Blanton’s Gold, Bottled 9-19-14, Barrel 829, Warehouse H, Rick#29, 51.5% ABV, $100 CAD
- Nose: Brown sugar, sweet corn, vanilla, toffee, really nice cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate thing going on. Fruit hard candy, clove, fudge, and orange peel.
- Taste: Big cinnamon heart note, cloves and orange peel again, really nice black cherry, and an interesting hot sauce finish.
- Finish: Bold, long, Tabasco like note lingers.
- Thoughts: Really solid bourbon. The black cherry note is phenomenal, and the Tabasco element is surprisingly enjoyable. My opinion changes on this bottle, at times I’ve felt it deserves a higher score, but when tasting it side by side with the two below, the score is justified in my opinion.
- Score: 87.5 – 0.5 value point(s) = 87/100
Booker’s, 7 years 2 months, 16 days old, Batch# 2015-01, 64.35% ABV, $75 CAD
- Nose: Nice oakyness, strong spice, brown sugar, sweet wheat, cherries, raisins, cinnamon, clove, mint, and a really pronounced general nuttyness.
- Taste: Oak, rye spice, sweet wheat, raisins, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a really nice charcoal note.
- Finish: Big and bold, extremely long, nice complexity.
- Thoughts: One of the best mid-ranged priced bourbons I’ve ever had! A true Bourbon-Drinker’s Bourbon. It’s so powerful, unique, and full of flavour – a bottle I reach for to cap off the night. I’ve had this open for 18+ months and it keeps getting better!
- Score: 89.5 + 0 value point(s) = 89.5/100
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel – Barrel Proof, Barrel 16-0574, Bottled 1-27-16, Rick# R-21, 63.65% ABV, $65 USD
- Nose: Burnt brown sugar, caramel, cloves, walnuts, cooked banana, musty leather, cranberries, and vanilla.
- Taste: Black cherry, and cherry licorice. Cinnamon, Hot Tamales candy, brown sugar, Doctor Pepper and PC brand cola, and a really nice banana-nut bread.
- Finish: Bold yet smooth, great complexity.
- Thoughts: Jack Daniels hit a home run with this one! You hear JD and think “Ok, this night is gonna get sloppy”, but THIS version is truly exceptional! You know people working at the distillery have probably been sipping this stuff for quite sometime; I’m glad they finally decided to share!
- Score: 89 + 0 value point(s) = 89/100
After my initial score I will add or subtract points based on how I perceive value (based on what I paid for the bottle). A zero value means I think the price is justified.