Nose: This has floral and fruity scents that are on the light side, but which also contain a decent amount of alcohol heat. Sniff too deeply and you’ll actually feel a burn in your nostrils. Palate: The first sip of this bourbon gave me the biggest blast of caramel I’ve ever gotten from a bourbon. It was completely different from what I expected from the nose. The second sip brought out some toasty oak flavors in addition to the caramel. The mouthfeel was just about right in the middle of the spectrum, but it tends toward the rich and chewy side. The finish adds dark chocolate and molasses to the flavors. It has some heat, but it isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t last too long. But….it does let you know it is there. It leaves an aftertaste that is on the bitter side (like bitter chocolate), but it isn’t unpleasant. Later sips also saw some rye spiciness coming through and it seemed to increase with each sip. The last sip seemed pretty rye heavy, so I’m wondering if that is the result of this being a freshly opened bottle and the later sips having sat in the glass for a while. Surprisingly, the intense caramel from the first sip was reduced on each subsequent sip. Comments: This really was very different, which I really liked. I didn’t remind me of anything else I have ever had before. It is 114.5 proof and is a 2020 release. It is labeled Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the label indicates it is aged 34 months. The company website indicates the mashbill is 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malted barley. Unlike earlier Pinhook products, which were sourced (reportedly, from MGP), this is the first of the juice to be contract distilled (at the Castle & Key Distillery in the Old Taylor Distillery which was abandoned in 1972). It was limited to 100 barrels. This is in the $50 range. I think this is a decent sipper, but it probably will improve with a little more time in the barrel. Hopefully, they have kept some other barrels in the rickhouse to allow this to happen. One last note……this seemed to be a much more pleasant drinking experience when I took smaller sips.
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