Well, then. That was a nice little break, now wasn’t it?
Sorry for the radio silence. Life got in the way a bit, but I’m glad to say that I’m back at it, pouring brown liquids down the hatch and letting you know what I think. Today’s topic? Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Two iterations, in fact (I’m blogging so slowly that I’m falling behind my drinking, hence the doubling up). You see, I was watching the Final Four and the national championship game, witnessing the utter dominance of Anthony Davis and his freakishly talented teammates, and I figured that now is as good a time as any to highlight some Kentucky juice.
Before I get to the tasting, a word on Calipari & Co. The Wildcats were an amazing team, they played hard, they played the game right, and they were absolutely deserving of the title. But I think that Green Bay Packers Tight End Tom Crabtree (@TCrabtree83) put it best when, with Kansas trailing toward the end of the game, he Tweeted: “Kansas can either comeback and win this thing now, or win it in 3-5 years when Kentucky is forced to vacate it.” In other words, John Calipari, while a top recruiter, master motivator and a hell of an in-game coach, has the moral compass of a mug of bongwater. Both UMass and Memphis have had to vacate successful seasons from his time there, and it won’t be a surprise when Kentucky will have to do the same.
Enough of that downer, though. In honor of Kentucky’s victory, and the upcoming Kentucky Derby, here are my tasting notes.
1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select (Aged 8 Years)
Nose – Just lovely. I’m fond of so many bourbons on the nose, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Some green pepper/stony scent. Floral perfume. Wood chips. And some fruit – banana perhaps? I’d like this to be my cologne.
Taste – Wow. This goes from sweet and quaint on the nose to a monster on the palate. Big, mouth-filling, puckering flavors. Very heavy on the oak. Licorice. I get almost no sweetness whatsoever. Something of a rye-type of flavor.
Finish – Pretty long, and like I said, it infuses your entire mouth and nose with the flavor. Still that oak, but a hint of something like tobacco and just a whiff of lavender?
Comment – An interesting whiskey. I know a lot of people are into it, but I’m learning that I really need that sweet note at some point, and I don’t get it here (which is somewhat strange, as I’ve read some other reviews describing it as overly sweet).
Score – B-. Obviously not my favorite, but I can see how others enjoy it. To me, it was like taking a big bite of wood chips with a couple of flower petals mixed in.
Other, better reviews:
Eagle Rare Single Barrel (Aged 10 Years)
Nose – Again, a lot of oak and green pepper. Molasses and something like a latte. Singes the nose hairs a bit.
Taste – Starts with big oak right up front, then comes some brown sugar/creme brulee. Dark Chocolate and leather.
Finish – While not the longest finish, it seems to be active. Things are happening in your mouth. Good things. Still with the wood, but also vanilla and a hint of lemon. Somewhat drying.
Comment – Another big, mouth-filling whiskey. Not light or refreshing. Similar to the Ridgemont Reserve on the nose and with the huge oak on the palate, but differing in the considerable sweet flavors.
Score – B+. Of the two bourbons, I obviously preferred this one, but it isn’t the type of whiskey that you’ll spend an afternoon sipping. Just a nice glass here and there for something interesting and somewhat different.
Other, better reviews: