Nose: This has a nice sweet smell, with bits of green apple and pear scents. On later sniffs, I thought I was also getting some very mild mint. Palate: The first sip started out slowly and then it got warmer as it went into the finish. The heat is pretty mild and produces a nice warming that follows down the throat. The mouthfeel was interesting….it starts out oily but then thins out the more you swirl it in your mouth. I don’t think I’ve run across that before. Flavor-wise, there is a competition for attention between several. I got some rye spiciness, but not so much to make me think this is a high-rye mashbill. It has a rich and dark molasses taste with a touch of vanilla. On later sips, I started picking up some dark chocolate. This leans toward, but isn’t exactly, a classic bourbon taste. It is not very sweet, but on later sips, small hints of sweetness come through. It definitely isn’t as sweet as the nose might let you think it would be. What little heat there is seems to dissipate the farther you get into it. The finish is short to medium and tends to be on the dry side. Comments: I enjoyed this, and it is a very decent sipper, but it didn’t “knock my socks off”. At $60 (regular price, I paid a bit less), it is a little steep for what you get. I do think the complexity and touch of rye flavor might make this an interesting cocktail ingredient, but that’s a pretty steep price to pay to get it. [LATE NOTE: So…..since I went to the doctor today and I’m not dying or anything, I decided to celebrate with a cocktail and I used this bourbon to make an Old Fashioned. I used this bourbon, Barsmith’s Old Fashioned mixer and a dash of Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters. The verdict? “Mighty fine and damn tasty!”] This “fusion” bourbon has an interesting pedigree. It is a blend of 18% 3-year old wheated (68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley) and 42% high rye (60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley) bourbon made by Bardstown Bourbon Company and 40% 13 year old “Kentucky bourbon” (obviously, sourced, but from where?) (74% corn, 18% rye, 8% malted barley). It is 98.9 proof, but drinks much smoother and less hot than that proof would indicate.
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