I’ve had a lot of bourbon that has a great nose, then everything is downhill from there. This one is very much the opposite. The noise isn’t strong, and the notes I get aren’t ones that I gravitate towards usually. A bit of musty oak and leather, and a very slight hint of anise. What the hell, a hint of black licorice! You know, the stuff that sits at the bottom of the candy aisle in that one corner market in your childhood neighborhood. You’ve never seen anyone eat it, the same box has been there forever, yet one package mysteriously disappears every few months. Maybe whiskey makers are secretly scouring the country for that candy. Anyway, it’s there in the nose of Old Elk.
The first time I experience a new whiskey, I look for authenticity in the label and something other than creative writing and graphic design to justify the cost of a pour at a bar or the MSRP at a retail store. I appreciate the bottle design and a synthetic cork with a simple label concept that is not ostentatious.
This is a rebranding of the original Rabbit Hole Straight Kentucky Bourbon reviewed in 2018 by Matt Self and Pops (Rabbit Hole Bourbon Whiskey). A young bourbon without the complexity you would expect from the mash bill. Definitely drinkable with some interesting flavors, would be curious to try an older version of this bourbon. I believe it has some elements that would benefit from more time in the barrel.
The Old Fitzgerald 14 Year Old Bottled In Bond Bourbon is a solid whiskey that Old Fitz fans and grain-forward whiskey fans will enjoy. Were this a wine review, I’d compliment its “structure” and uniformity for playing no tricks and not changing with long exposure. The other side of that coin is it didn’t change at all with long exposure. A few drops of water did open it to reveal some nutty flavors and amplify the oak positively. Water also clears out that grassy exit that isn’t always pleasing (usually I love that). I’m not big on adding water, but it works well here.
The initial mellow flavors hit on the traditional notes of caramel, vanilla, rye spice and oak but I found the taste thin and fleeting. After my initial tasting notes, I added a few drops of water (as per usual review practice) – this was a mistake; most flavors became non-existent and I felt like I was left with flavored water. I would love to see this as a 10 year, cask strength expression… although I would hate to see the MSRP if that were to ever happen.
The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Buffalo Trace Antique CollectionView Post
This is a good but unremarkable bourbon. It is a pleasant, easy drinker that is best savored neat. Even a few drops of water softened it appreciably, making rocks pretty much out of the question. A cocktail? Not for me.
Michter’s has treated me to the past several releases of this 10-year bourbon, and all were good, well-mannered and delicious. Crucial to my preferences, each also paired amazingly well with food. But the 2020 release is something truly special, my favorite of the lot so far. Warm chocolate gives way to supple oak blending with corn sweetness and softness. Yet this is more robust than in releases past and reminds me of a straight-from-the-barrel glass fill I had at Michter’s Distillery two years ago with a press group. The mouthfeel is amazing: an adult candy bar in a glass; fully creamy and mouth coating. This is supremely delicious liquid deserving quiet contemplation or sharing with deserving whiskey buddies.
This special, limited release bourbon celebrates the 10 Year Anniversary for Watershed Distillery. It is actually the same distillate as their previous 4 year old Watershed Bourbon, but with two additional years of age on it. It was then finished in spent Apple Brandy barrels and bottled at barrel strength.