Nose: This has a light “classic bourbon” smell that is nicely on the sweet side. I get a decent amount of caramel and vanilla and a little bit of cinnamon and honey. The nose is pleasant but light. You get a small amount of alcohol on the nose and if you breathe in too deeply (like I did, once), it will “tickle your nostrils”. Palate: This has a sweet, earthy taste. It starts out a bit woody mixed with dark cherries. In the mid-palate and finish, the sweetness becomes not candy sweet, but more dark chocolate sweet. It leaves a little bit of an not-unpleasant aftertaste of something like burnt sugar and/or molasses. I suspect this may have more rye in the mashbill than I am picking up. It is there, but it is well hidden and over-ridden by the other tastes. The mouthfeel is pretty light and the finish isn’t all that long. There’s no harshness nor burning and, for the proof, not a lot of warming going on (although there is some). Comment: I wasn’t crazy about the name, the label or the bottle shape…..but…..it says BARDSTOWN Kentucky right under the name, so I HAD to get it. This is 90 proof and the label states it is 8 years old and finished in Port Barrels. For the most part, I usually like Port Finished bourbons. I think the Port barrel finish is giving this its richer taste, but I’m a bit surprised that it isn’t sweeter and, I don’t know, “more Porty?". I like this but would not use it as a daily drinker. This is, however, a very nice sipper and I noticed that I liked it more the more it sat and the longer I had it. If you need another one (well, “want”, we don’t really NEED another one, do we?), this makes a pretty good, “have it on the shelf to try once in a while and enjoy as a sipper”. I don’t know if I have an older bottle or if they put out different versions, but some reviewers out there reviewed a 95 proof bottle, that didn’t say 8 years nor Port finished on it. Other Internet sources state that the outfit who puts out Boondocks started in 2016 with a release of two 11 year olds, one at 95 proof and one at 127 proof. (What is very odd to me is the fact that photos of bottles of the two 11 year olds show whiskey’s that are very much lighter in color than the Port finished one….(see below for possible explanation).) I wouldn’t mind trying those 11 year olds…. The same source says there is Rye in the mashbill but has no %’s. I think I got this bottle at Total Wine, but it looks like they may not currently have it locally. The price where they DO have it, is $50. That is a bit pricey, I think for this. Not horrible, but I’d really say that if it was in the $30 range (even upper $30’s), I wouldn’t have any hesitation recommending it. I might even go into the low $40’s for it. I would not hesitate in recommending you try it, given the opportunity. So, lastly….this is sourced….and since it says “Bardstown” on the label, I would assume that it was sourced from a distillery there, the most likely candidate being Heaven Hill. This was one of those newer sourced bourbons about which there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information floating about. I suspect that if this is Heaven Hill, and that the Port finish on it may have been a bit longer because I think that is what is determining it’s flavor. The guy who picks the sourced barrels used to work at Woodford. Oh…one more thing……I took my last sip quite a long time after pouring this one and I think the extra breathing time in the glass really helped bring it along. Like I said, nice sipper, just don’t be in a hurry to drink it.
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