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Old Elk Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Nose: This has a mild, rather light, classic bourbon smell with some added corn, cherry and alcohol scents. It is rather nondescript.

Palate: The first sip of this brings out some deep caramel flavor. The mouthfeel is about medium, leaning toward the thin side. It is pretty mild and has very little heat that shows up mostly as warmth in the short finish. The finish also brings out some cinnamon and a little bit of bitter chocolate. I’m not picking up any rye spice. Later sips emphasize that this is pretty middle-of-the-road, being neither very sweet nor very spicy. It also has a pleasant nuttiness to it. Overall, this is a very good example of what you might think of when you think of a “smooth” bourbon….meaning, it is very easy to drink and wouldn’t put off novice whiskey drinkers or even non-whiskey drinkers.
Comments: This is an 88 proof “blended straight bourbon” put out by the Old Elk Distillery in Fort Collins, CO. The master distiller is Greg Metze, who is also responsible for a bourbon called Metze’s Select that is very tasty but which I have never been able to find for sale anywhere (I have tasted it in my local whiskey bar). The distillery’s website indicates that they use “four times more malted barley than conventional recipes” and that they use a “Slow Cut proofing process”. This process involves proofing it (adding the water to get it to a consistent proof) via a process that takes weeks instead of the traditional 1 or 2 days. Not that it matters much, but this has THE coolest stopper of any whiskey I’ve ever seen. It is a simulated elk button. Very cool. The Old Elk Distillery is new, so the juice in this is sourced and reportedly comes from 3 different distilleries; MGP in Indiana, and undisclosed distilleries in NY and CO. The mashbill is reported to be 51% corn, 34% malted barley and 15% rye and it is a 4 year old. Total Wine sells this for $53 but not all stores sell it. The distillery website shows where it is available.

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