A multi-part series of barrel proof bourbons. Because how many can you really try at one time?
Nose: Tough to read due to the very high alcohol content; wood, dark caramel, chocolate and vanilla; opens up with some time in glass to reveal some dried dark fruit.
Palate: High alcohol burn but little spice; raisins, caramel, bitter chocolate and some orange citrus.
Finish: Finally some spice, more heat and some lingering Buffalo Trace brown sugar and chocolate sweetness; medium length.
Overall: Possibly a bit young. The wonderful Buffalo Trace sweetness is significantly muted by the high alcohol burn. A bit hot for me and lacks some complexity; this leans significantly “sweet.”
Booker’s 2016 – “Toogie’s Invitation” (6 Yrs 4 Mo 4 Days; Batch No. 2016-03) (129.0 proof)
Nose: Vanilla and a honey sweetness; caramel, oak and soft fruit.
Palate: Hot and spicy; nutty; rich caramel and butterscotch; syrupy and coating.
Finish: Vanilla and light oak; lingering fruit jam and peanut.
Overall: The Jim Beam nuttiness comes through compared to the others; balanced sweetness and complex.
Nose: Surprisingly easy to nose; maple, oak, and light fruit.
Palate: Oak and caramel fading to spice and fruit.
Finish: A slow progression from the beginning of the palate through the final finish; very long and warming; great spice, some peanut and lingering fruit; transitions from spice to fruit to slightly bitter chocolate.
Overall: Incredibly long and transforming. Great body and mouthfeel. Feels older and more impacted by oak and time than the others.
Conclusions: Simply the rankings.
Nose Rank: Elijah Craig, Bookers, Stagg Jr.
Palate Rank: Bookers, Elijah Craig, Stagg Jr.
Finish: Elijah Craig, Bookers, Stagg Jr.
Overall: Elijah Craig, Bookers, Stagg Jr.
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.