As the great Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Here we have yet another bourbon with this mash bill. I think this may be the fifth I’ve tasted this year. This bourbon by Cathead Distillery is their second release of Old Soul Bourbon. The first I reviewed a couple years ago and it can found here. This release is a blend of MGP bourbon and the same mash bill distilled at Cathead. Unfortunately, the distillery would not disclose the mix of MGP vs their own distillate. There is no age statement on the bottle but on the website, they mention the age at between four and five years. This is an improvement over the first release which included some younger Cathead distillate. At 90 proof however it struck me as somewhat thin with a short finish. I believe a bit more proof and age would really improve this. However, this is an improvement over batch one and certainly worth trying at a bar or the distillery.
This is a great bourbon. Distilled by MGP, aged in Virginia. When KO Distilling opened, they sourced bottles from MGP and aged them here in Virginia. If care and feeding of aging barrels makes a difference, they nailed it on this one. It is the third different bourbon I have had in the past few months with this same mash bill. Totally enjoyable. It reminds me of eating a white chocolate truffle with a spicy filling of cinnamon, Yes, I am a huge fan of MGP bourbons and this mash bill. This KO distilling release is one of the better MGP bourbons I have tried. According to the distillery, the cask strength bottles will range from 120 to 128 proof. The sample I received was 127.6. I find it drinks below its proof. I would say this is a must try.
Every year, I wait longingly for the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, praying to snag just one bottle. This set of five ultra premium, highly prized whiskeys from Buffalo Trace garners a wild-eyed, cash-throwing frenzy from bourbon collectors and flippers alike. Many see George T. Stagg as the crown jewel in this esteemed quintet, snagging the top spot on many bourbon-centric listicles. Not only that, the illustrious juice has garnered a gilded and star-studded bouquet of medals from every whiskey awards under the sun, so you know it has to be good.
I tried this after tasting the Watershed Bottled-in-Bond, figuring the apple brandy might taint my palate in a way a straight bourbon wouldn’t. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter. Even after three tries, I just couldn’t find much flavor here. The apple brandy influence is way, way in the back, and adding additional straight bourbon into the blend diminishes the point of using the brandy barrels in the first place. I’m not sure if this needs more age, less age, more proof, less proof, fewer barrels, or something else, but the baseline needs more tinkering.
For my first taste of Watershed Distillery, this was a solid if unspectacular bottled-in-bond bourbon. It doesn’t have many youth notes and is more apple- and rye-forward (though the mash bill is undisclosed), and I found it a great mixer for a Manhattan or a less-sweet Gold Rush, as the honey and apple notes elevate each other. As a neat pour, the black pepper can easily overpower the rest of the flavors. A tight nose opens with just a hint of dark honey and savory apples. Black pepper and cider power the taste, with oak and spice lingering on the finish. Applewood joins the nose after some air as does roasted corn.
This is my favorite of the Swilled Dog whiskies I tried. Yes I do like a good finished bourbon. This cask strength finished bourbon is excellent. It reminded me of a cherry pie with a dab of vanilla bean ice cream and some moonshine cherries. The bourbon is sourced and finished in Oloroso sherry casks that Swilled Dog sourced from Spain. The bourbon was finished in North Carolina. I enjoyed this immensely.
I’m someone who likes to try new things and enjoys seeing the results of experimentation. Because of that, I very well may have been curious enough to try this even at it’s steep price point had I not been sent this sample from Heaven’s Door. I’m a fan of Irish Whiskey generally, and Redbreast specifically, so to see a 10-year old bourbon finished in their casks and with the collaboration of their Master Blender Billy Leighton got me excited to crack it open. I’ll also give credit where its due and point out that Ryan Perry, the Master Blender at Heaven’s Door also surely pulled his own weight in selecting the sourced bourbon to include in this project.
What can I say, I’m a sucker for that high-proof MGP bourbon nose. The moment I pour my first glass and took a whiff I was hooked. The aroma immediately took me back to a previous review I had done on the Remus Repeal Reserve Series IV. While not exactly the same, both had pronounced butter and leather notes that remind me of dusty whiskeys of days gone by. The nose makes a ton of sense when you remember that Stellum Bourbon is a blend of three Indiana bourbon mash bills, two of which are high-rye, with the third being almost exclusively corn (99% Corn and 1% Barley) which are mingled with older barrels from both Kentucky and Tennessee.
This is a swell whiskey. It’s balanced, bold—even muscular—and pretty much what a properly aged 15-year-old bourbon should taste like. Some sourced whiskey shows the talent or luck of the barrel hunter, so let’s call Grain & Barrel Spirits’ master distiller Gregg Snyder talented. It’s delicious. Ironically, I had this same whiskey from a full bottle bought by a friend, and it did little for me. A month later, I got a sample bottle from Chicken Cock, and it was praiseworthy. Go figure. I have no explanation for it.