Black Eagle: MINI x2
NOTE: This selection was part of a “mini week” I did where I reviewed 50ml bottles that were available from Total Wine.
Nose: This smells a bit young but is still has some very light hints of “classic bourbon”. There’s also a bit of medicinal, almost rubbing alcohol smell to it. Later sniffs brought out a little bit of anise/black licorice. Palate: The first sip was pretty smooth and sweet. There was only the very, very slightest amount of “youth” about the taste, which surprised me, because the color on this is rather light and I was expecting a LOT of youthfulness. The mouthfeel also surprised me. I was expecting watery but it actually had a little bit of oomph to it. Slightly oily, it was actually kinda velvety on the tongue. Again, not what I expected. Although…..on later sips, it started to feel a bit watery. Which I found rather odd and cannot explain. This has only a small amount of warming heat, mostly in the finish, which is pretty short. On later sips, it comes across as pretty smooth and easy drinking, and maintained the sweetness from the first sip, with some vanilla coming through. This is one of those non-complex but easily drinkable kinda bourbons. I wouldn’t rush out to buy a bottle of it, but if I was traveling somewhere and didn’t want to buy a full bottle to take back to the hotel, a few of these minis would be perfectly serviceable to drink from that free hotel plastic cup. Comments: Despite the 3 year age statement on the label, I was not anticipating a good pour with this because it was very light in color. I usually hardly notice the color of a bourbon, EXCEPT when it is so light as to be a red flag that the bourbon is very young. Which, again, despite the label, I was expecting here. I have to say that this one surprised me. I was expecting total crap but it wasn’t. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed that this one wasn’t as bad as I “wanted” it to be. Just goes to show you. Recommendation? I wouldn’t rush out to get a big bottle of it, because there really isn’t anything unique or particularly noteworthy about it……and I certainly would not rate it as anything but “about average”. But I’d absolutely spend about a buck and half to get some minis to sneak onto a plane for my movie-time refreshment (well, IF I couldn’t get any of the standard go-to’s). This is 80 proof and as stated on the label, aged three years. It comes out of……Minnesota? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The label reads, “Produced and bottled by Eagle Distilled Products Co. Princeton, MN” Total Wine sells a mini for $1.49, a 750 for $12.99 and a 1.75 for $23.99. I saw some versions of the bottle of this that had “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey” on them, but I’m not sure if that is the same product. The price is about the same, so I suspect it is or was….which would possibly point to this being sourced from somewhere in KY (or, at least maybe at one time).
Nose: This has a light blend of toffee and antiseptic scents. On later sniffs, I got a little bit of butterscotch. Overall, though, it is very light. Palate: The first sip started out with some corn sweetness, but it wasn’t moonshiney. The mouthfeel is decent but not especially rich or thick. Nevertheless, it really didn’t come across as watery. This has a pretty short finish and at the very end, there is a quick burst of a flavor which I honestly can’t identify. It doesn’t last very long, so it is tough to pinpoint. There’s almost no heat at all on this and actually, very little of the usual “whiskey warming down the throat”. On the very last sip, I picked up on what I’d describe as a “watered down” vanilla flavor. Comments: I have to again admit that I was a bit surprised that this is another mini that certainly isn’t complex and something you would not rush out to get, but that is perfectly drinkable. It is another “good mini for when you need a mini”…so I wouldn’t mind sipping this on a plane while I was watching a Western on my notebook. It isn’t at all complicated, but it is pretty smooth and an easy drink. The label states it is 3 years old, but you’d guess younger from the color, which is a golden yellow. It clocks it at a very approachable 80 proof and is produced and bottled by Eagle Distilled Products in Princeton, MN. I don’t remember where I got this, but Total Wine sells it $10.99 for a 750ml and $1.49 for the 50ml.