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Belle Meade Single Barrel Bourbon
TASTE: Dark fruit | Vanilla | Baking spices (hint of cinnamon) | Touch of cherry
FINISH: The mouth has an initial soft coating that gives way to a peppery spice with lovely notes of cherry and caramel. The finish is long and complex with a solid Kentucky Hug. After a splash of water, a smooth butterscotch appears with a light astringent coating that lingers until the next sip.
SHARE WITH: Anyone looking for a very solid pour. When drinking with experienced bourbon imbibers, enjoying an initial pour neat is the way to go; however, due to the higher proof, you may want to add a rock or a splash of water when sharing with a more inexperienced consumer of brown water.
WORTH THE PRICE: I struggle suggesting anything over the $50 mark because everyone’s wallets are different. That being said, if the MSRP of $74.99 doesn’t scare you off for a barrel proof, then I HIGHLY recommend this product.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This is a bottle I will aways try to have open on my bar and juice that will be shared with guests who enjoy a quality product. If higher proof or second tier prices make you hesitant, then look for a pour at your local watering hole (distribution map). Either way, give it a try. I know we all have different palates and profile ranges, but I think you will find it a superb dram.
OVERALL: My first experience tasting Belle Meade was a few years ago at an event in Louisville. The featured guest speaker at the event was Charlie Nelson, great x 3 grandson of Belle Meade founder Charles Nelson. A few weeks later, I took their single barrel product – at the time it was proofed down to 90.4 – to a blind tasting in which it was the clear winner of the night; favored by five of the seven tasters.
Over the years as my tastes buds have acclimated to higher proof whiskeys, I was excited to see the Belle Meade Single Barrel being released at cask strength. I do not feel much flavor was lost as a result of the increased proof, but I will say that the flavor profile morphs quite nicely as a cube of ice melts slowly changing the notes and dropping the proof.
Besides the small batch and single barrel offerings, Green Brier Distillery has a line up of barrel finished products that, in my opinion, is worth checking out. I like what the Nelson brothers are doing to honor their family heritage.
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