July 2016: Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

by Josh Cary

COCKTAIL

Name – Grilled Lemonade and Bourbon

Ingredients – Grilled Lemonade and Bourbon

Recipe: 1 oz. Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon (120 Proof), 4 oz. Grilled Lemonade, garnish with lemon slice.

 

BOTTLE 1

Name – Old Forester D&M Exclusive Single Barrel Bourbon

Distillery – Brown-Forman Distillers Company, Louisville, KY

Proof – 90 Proof, 45% ABV

Mash Bill – 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% barley

Age Statement – NAS, more than four years

Price – $34.99

Purchase Location – D&M (dandm.com)

Tasting Notes

          Nose – Fruit and coconut

          Palate – Dulche de leche and caramel on the mid-palate

Finish – Subtle, spices

Why this bottle is featured – As a fan of Old Forester, I wanted to feature this as an affordable single barrel bourbon. The mash bill used is the same as used for Woodford Reserve, yet the price of Old Forester (besides the Birthday Bourbon) is incredibly low. The quality is there without the need to make up for the marketing spend to build the brand (unlike Woodford).

 

BOTTLE 2

Name – Wild Kentucky Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel Bourbon

Distillery – Austin Nichols Distillery, Lawrenceburg, KY

Proof – 101 Proof, 50.5% Alcohol

Mash Bill – 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley

Age Statement – NAS, but said to be 6 to 8 years.

Price – $54.99

Purchase Location – Jacob Liquor West

Tasting Notes

Nose – Pecan pie, citrus, vanilla, leather and various spice

Palate – Caramel, vanilla, orange, cinnamon

Finish – Medium finish, rye

Why this bottle is featured – Kentucky Spirit is essentially the best of Wild Turkey 101, bottled at that same proof. It is a standout bourbon for those who only drink wheated bourbon and could use some rye in their life.

 

BOTTLE 3

Name – Russel’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon

Distillery – Austin Nichols Distillery, Lawrenceburg, KY

Proof – 110 Proof, 55% Alcohol

Mash Bill – 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley

Age Statement – NAS, but said to be 8 to 10 years.

Price – $61.99

Purchase Location – Jacob Liquor West

Tasting Notes

Nose – Vanilla, orange peel, toast

Palate – Toffee, orange, acetone

Finish – Medium-long, oak

Why this bottle is featured – This is the same mash bill as Wild Turkey’s Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel that we just drank, yet due to its different aging locations and bottling proof, it proves to be a very different drink. This to me is the most interesting thing about single barrel offerings, the differences that seemingly trivial things like aging 300 yards away on a slight hill will have in the finished product.

 

BOTTLE 4

Name – Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel

Distillery – Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Proof – 100 Proof, 50% ABV (Bottled in Bond)

Mash Bill – Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1, low rye (less than 10%)

Age Statement – NAS

Price – $61.99

Purchase Location – Central Wine and Spirits

Tasting Notes

Nose – Apple, plum, caramel, cinnamon

Palate – Caramel, butter, cinnamon, acetone

Finish – Medium, wood

Why this bottle is featured – The E.H. Taylor Small Batch is ever present on my shelf as I love it, and the Single Barrel offering seemed a great addition since it comes from the same place as our final bourbon, but with a different mash bill which will show the distinct difference in Mash Bills #1 and #2 from Buffalo Trace.

 

BOTTLE 5

Name – Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon

Distillery – Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Proof – 90 Proof, 45% ABV (Lee famously brought all his bourbon to 60 proof before drinking)

Mash Bill – Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2, high rye (12% to 15%)

Age Statement – NAS, said to be between 10 and 12 years

Price – $99.99

Purchase Location – Fusion Fine Wine and Spirits (fusionfinewine.com)

Tasting Notes

Nose – Honey, maple, very soft

Palate – Maple, peach, wood, black pepper

Finish – Medium-long, wood, spices

Why this bottle is featured – A great compliment to the E.H. Taylor while also proving harder to find for under $100 these days.

 

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