Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength arrived in Kansas as a pleasant surprise. After the release announcement in October 2018, it was assumed that this was not going to be a nationwide release. However, when it popped up here in January, we were lucky enough to snag a bottle. And we’re happy we did.
Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength Bourbon is part of the Ezra Brooks brand. The brand is owned by Luxco, aka Lux Row Distillers, based out of St. Louis. Since 1993, Luxco has been sourcing, presumably from Heaven Hill, its whiskey for the Ezra Brooks brand, just as it does with another one of its brands, Rebel Yell.
In 2018, Luxco finished construction of its own distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. While it will take several years for any whiskey distilled there reach the age of Luxco’s current Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks products, it will be interesting to see that transition away from sourcing to producing.
Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength Bourbon (117 Proof)
Nose: A simple but pleasing combination of sweet caramel candies, flat cherry cola with a shot of vanilla, corn syrup, brown sugar, and a bit of pine. The ethanol does not overpower, despite the proof. Though there are not many layers to peel back, it’s a pleasant nose. 3/5
Palate: A tidal wave of sweet corn, caramel and vanilla syrup, like the remnants of a latte. There’s even some mocha in the background with some fine demerara sugar. A bit of pecan and a hint of rye spice. The syrupy texture goes well with the sweet flavors. Again, like the nose, this is not complex, but works. 3.5/5
Finish: Nearly indistinguishable from the palate. Medium in length, the syrupy texture continues, never taking a dry or tannic turn. Some of the nutty flavors are a bit more pronounced, such as pecan and roasted peanut. The 7 years seems to hit a sweet spot where the oak is not dominant, nor is any lack of additional age distracting. 3.5/5
Overall: The phrase “keep it simple, stupid” comes to mind. The beauty of this bottle is in its simplicity. While certainly on the sweet end of the spectrum, it otherwise delivers straightforward bourbon flavors throughout. It’s hard to think of many drinkers who would dislike this, even if some might find it not sophisticated enough. 3.5/5
Value: For $39.99, this is a bargain. Barrel proof bourbon commands a premium, even if it does not carry an age statement (i.e., Stagg, Jr. and 1792 Full Proof). And those that are age-stated can fetch nearly twice as much (i.e., Booker’s). 4/5
Check out the full video review on YouTube:
Stephen is a regular writer at FlightClubICT.com