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Charles Goodnight - 100 Proof:

Nose: Sweet. Raisins and fruits. I also got a little bit of butterscotch. One of the few whiskey I could just sit and sniff for a while….very nice smells on this one. Palate: You get an immediate tingling of alcohol on the first sip that confirms you are drinking a 100 proof. You get a nice “mellow”, almost “dry”, sweetness that combines raisin, vanilla, caramel and some of the butterscotch from the nose. Although you can tell it is a higher proof, it isn’t harsh and doesn’t have a severe burn. It definitely warms, particularly on the finish, but even on 2nd and 3rd sip, you also get it up front a little bit. It has a nice rich mouthfeel. The finish is in the medium to long range. In a late (5th?) sip, I picked up a little rye spiciness. Comments: This is almost about as “Cowboy” a whisky as you can get. Charles Goodnight is best known for being a rancher and, with his partner, Oliver Loving, for establishing the Goodnight-Loving Trail, which was used by thousands of cattle that were driven from Texas to cattle markets in New Mexico. Goodnight also blazed other cattle trails to Wyoming and Colorado. He is often considered the “classic” cattleman of the old west era. I WANTED to like this, and luckily DID. It is robust, letting you know that it is a bourbon, but with nice hints of mellow sweetness. What I’m not crazy about is the price. I think this was in the $40 range (some places on the Internet sell it in the high $30’s). I like it, but find it hard to recommend at this price. Well, unless you’re a Cowboy and want to have it on the shelf for the name……which ain’t a GREAT reason, but I’ve purchased whiskey for a lot dumber reasons. This is 100 proof. The mash bill reportedly contains corn, rye, and malted barley, but I didn’t find the percentages. It is also reportedly aged at least 6 years. It is also reportedly “sourced” (but I couldn’t find from where) and bottled in California. Lastly, it reportedly is aged in barrels with the highest levels of char possible, which is speculated to be alligator #4 char. [NOTE: It may well be….it has a pretty dark color to it.] This was an “early” batch (#12)….I’d be curious to try more recent batches for comparison.

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