Nose: This has a classic bourbon smell, with caramel, vanilla, a little citrus and a small amount of sweet fruit. Palate: This is a rich and thick sip. The mouthfeel is very full and pleasantly oily. The first sip had a very nice gradual warming that peaked in the medium length finish. It has a nice toasty oak and grain sweetness and just a hint of some rye spiciness. It is not at all harsh nor burning and the warmth is very tempered. You feel it and it is peppery on the tongue, but it is never overwhelming. You don’t feel it travel down your throat as much as in other whiskies. On second and further sips, you get the hearty richness that you would expect for a 12 year old, without feeling like it was aged too long. I got some molasses, more light rye spice and some dried fruit sweetness on further sips. Comments: This 12 year old is 98 proof. It is a whiskey sourced for the Western Spirits Beverage Company from the Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBC). Part of BBC’s operation involves working with new and existing brands to develop whiskey by using new whiskey that BBC made for them as well as procuring older stocks of aging spirits. Since BBC is relatively new, this 12 year old is almost certainly the latter. This bourbon was in barrels with a #4 char and this is a small batch using only 3 barrels at a time. The mash bill is 74% corn, 18% rye and 8% malted barley. Now, the bottom line. I like this bourbon and I really enjoyed sipping it…..but….it is pricey. I have a hard time justifying the cost on this guy. Yes, it is 12 years old and yes, making any 12 year old is an expensive venture. But, that doesn’t mean it is a good allocation of possibly scarce bourbon buying funds. Currently, it appears to be priced right around $100. One of the reasons I pulled the trigger on this one is because I had purchased a bottle of the Sam Houston American Whiskey (not a bourbon) many years ago which I really liked. And……this juice is from Bardstown! Oh, and it was on sale, so I didn’t pay $100. Sam WHO?: “Hey, Pete…I figure that Houston Texas is named after this guy, but who was he?” Well, glad you asked! In 1836, Houston was the commander of the Texas army that defeated Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at San Jacinto to secure Texas independence from Mexico. He was voted as President of the Texas Republic in 1836 and again in 1841. He then served as Senator from Texas when Texas became a state in the United States in 1845. He became governor of Texas in 1859 but was removed from office when Texas seceded from the union to join the confederacy. (He had also been Governor of Tennessee…the only person to have been a governor of two different states.) He had also served during the War of 1812 and came to the attention of General and later President, Andrew Jackson, who influenced his political views.