Watkins Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon:
Nose: Light and sweet, it has scents of corn, caramel and vanilla. It is a pretty standard bourbon smell. A second sniff brought out some light mint scents. Palate: The taste is pretty light up front, with hints of its youth. You get the standard “young bourbon corn” taste that comes with a pretty light and watery mouthfeel. There is a little vanilla and caramel. There is very little in the middle and the finish is on the shorter side. I’m not picking up any rye spice, but there is a slight bitterness in the finish which may come from a small amount of rye in the mash bill? Overall, there aren’t really any flavors that stand out. It doesn’t burn and is only very slightly harsh in its finish. Comments: This is another one of those bourbons that aren’t awful but really have nothing significant to recommend them. It is 80 proof and you can tell. It is rather bland, but I suppose that is to be expected because of its price (I believe, sub $20) and, what I assume to be its youth. Even in the echelon of cheaper bourbons, there isn’t really anything in this one to recommend it over anything else. I picked this up at Total Wine and it is one of their “Distiller Direct” selections. I suppose that makes it more economical, but it doesn’t go very far to recommend it on taste. The label states, “…delicate and sweet with hints of smoke…” which is why I got it. I like a little smokiness in my whiskey but I really did not picked up any in this one. The bottom line: if someone offers you a free glass of this, by all means, take it (and, even a second, if offered), but you probably don’t want to rush out and pick up a bottle for yourself. This is made in KY (probably less than 3 years old) and bottled in California (which is always a red flag for me).