This is a bottle full of goodness all around; silken yet full bodied; lush in texture but busily spicy with fruit notes. If you can make rye whiskey candy, solidify this. It’s a delight to hold in your mouth and roll around as the honeyed texture gives way to tingly spice and slightly drying oak. I mentioned in my review of the 2020 Michter’s 10 year bourbon release that it was my favorite bottling of that product ever. I’ll declare the same about this 10-year rye. It’s brilliant, bright, inviting and wide-open delicious. It’s as good a Kentucky rye as I’ve ever enjoyed.
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.
For 10 years Angel’s Envy has produced delicate, rounded and balanced bourbons finished in second-use casks—port, tawny port, sherry and rum (for its rye). Now we have a first-use mizunara oak barrel from Japan, which makes this bourbon markedly different from its predecessors.
Similar to last year’s release, this year’s Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon has a lovely nosed filled with buttery vanilla and complemented with a pome fruit bomb and spiced orange. Each aroma is full represented solidly but also flow naturally with the others creating an overall aroma that is greater than just the sum of its parts. It’s sweet on the tip of the tongue with berries & cream covered with crystalized brown sugar. As it hits your mid-palate, the flavors shift with notes of orange peel and toasted oak that balance out the sweetness with bitter – just enough to bring it all into harmony.
The nose on the Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Bourbon is lovely. It’s more robust and more complex than the standard Elijah Craig expression we all know and love. As such, I was super excited to give this one a taste finally. Unfortunately, the flavor profile didn’t live up to the aroma. The sweet buttery caramel aromas that made the nose, so lovey are nowhere on the palate. Instead, they swapped places with hot baking spices touched with some black pepper for good measure. It drinks hotter than the stated proof. As a result, the spice mixes with a stronger than expected oak that is bitter and not what I expected. There was a slight touch of cocoa, but it was all too fleeting to counterbalance the tannic oak.
I always look forward to MGP’s release of George Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon and was thrilled when they announced they would be getting it to market a few months earlier than usual. If you’re a fan of previous releases, you’re going to want to start making plans now to grab yourself a bottle of Series IV. The nose on this one is strong. Unlike last year’s release which had an unexpected orange aroma, this year’s release returns proudly to its expect MGP form. Big caramel notes lathered in butter accompanied by sugary fruit (darker than last year’s orange) and a slap of leather explode from the glass when poured.
In full disclosure, this isn’t my first run-in with Virginia-Highland Port Cask Finished Whisky. I’ve served previous batches at whiskey appreciation classes I’ve hosted and it always went over well. As such, I was excited for the opportunity to try Batch 10 to experience how it has held up.
This is a marriage of a Highland Scotch from an undisclosed distillery and American Malt whiskey from Virginia Distillery Company. It was then aged in ex-Port casks from King Family Vineyards for an additional year.
This is a delightful and intriguing whisky. It never stops giving new aromas, which makes it a lot of fun just to nose. Few flavors in this Scotch jump out at you; there’s a bit of seek and find with it. It demands to be savored slowly and carefully, which was convenient amid the COVID-19 quarantine when WAY TOO FEW PEOPLE WERE AROUND TO INTERRUPT ME! It’s become haggard to see reviewers write, “This whiskey would be best enjoyed by a fire” when too few of us are ever around an actual wood fire. So I’ll speak to the truth of my tasting: This whisky is damn fine enjoyed on a hand-me-down couch with a computer in my lap.