Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Review Header

Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment


From our rich heritage that began in 1860, we have unearthed bourbon inspiration to create a legacy expression that pays homage to our original bottled-in-bond bourbon. Our revival expression, Early Times Bottled-in-Bond, is an echo of our bourbon from long ago… 75 years ago to be precise.Early Times Distilling Co.
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Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon


  • DISTILLER: Brown-Forman
  • MASH BILL: 79% Corn | 11% Rye | 10 % Malted Barley
  • AGE: 4 Years
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 100 (50% ABV)
  • MSRP: $29.99 for a 1-liter bottle
NOSE: Balanced  |  Caramel  |  Oak  |  Dry Cocoa

TASTE: A little thin  |  Sweet  |  Raisins  |  Less oak flavor than the nose suggested

FINISH: Short  |  Bitter

SHARE WITH: Your friends who like to try all the new bourbons.

WORTH THE PRICE: Give Brown-Forman credit for releasing a limited edition whiskey that’s reasonably priced in an era where others are getting away with robbery. It’s tough to argue with a $30 price tag for a liter of bottled-in-bond bourbon from the same folks who produce Old Forester.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: The nose on this one is the best part for me. It’s not something you would find me sipping since the bitter finish didn’t suit my palate well. However, for a limited edition bottled-in-bond whiskey, it’s a pretty cool bottle to pull out for mixing drinks. If that’s what you’re looking for, then, by all means, grab a bottle.

OVERALL: I appreciate Brown-Forman providing the sample kit to review, and it’s very cool of them to bring back a storied whiskey like this one. Included in the package I received was a slick booklet of toothpicks, which leads me to believe they had cocktails in mind for this one all the way. This is certainly a respectable limited release for the cost. Old Forester 1920 is still my favorite Brown-Forman release, and even at nearly twice the price of the Early Times, perhaps a better value.

Learn more about Brett’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Bottled-In-Bond

The U.S. Bottled-in-Bond Act was landmark legislation that set a high-quality standard for bourbon in America. The Act required bourbon to be the product of one distillation season, one distiller and from one distillery, aged at least four years in secured federal warehouses and bottled at 100 proof. Those standards introduced a new era of guaranteed quality within the spirits industry. Early Times Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is a tribute to that milestone in bourbon history.

TRANSPORTED FROM THE PAST

From our rich heritage that began in 1860, we have unearthed bourbon inspiration to create a legacy expression that pays homage to our original bottled-in-bond bourbon. Our revival expression, Early Times Bottled-in-Bond, is an echo of our bourbon from long ago… 75 years ago to be precise.

THE STORY OF EARLY TIMES

Established in 1860, Early Times is a true American brand. The name itself is a tribute to the way whisky was made in the “Early Times” of the country.

As the Twentieth Century arrived and distilling methods evolved to sophisticated operations Early Times remained true to its roots as an old-style Kentucky bourbon.

During the turbulent 1940s, Early Times proudly introduced Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon to the satisfaction of the heroic, hard-working men and women of that era. And in the decade that followed, Early Times became America’s top-selling bourbon.

Today, Early Times Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon carries on this rich heritage of the Early Times legacy.

PROCESS

DSP No. 354, home of Early Times, is the longest continuously operating distillery under the same ownership in Kentucky. For over 150 years, our traditional practices have delivered great taste. Early Times Bottled-in-Bond is crafted with pure water, a mash bill composed of 79% corn, 11% rye and 10% malted barley, fermented with a proprietary yeast strain and carefully distilled.

It is matured for a minimum of four years in new charred oak barrels, resulting in a classic, smooth bourbon, rich in taste and character.

TASTING NOTES
  • Color: Rich Sedona
  • Aroma: Light caramel corn with hints of citrus rind, honey and soft oak
  • Flavor: Soft caramel corn melds with shortbread cookie coated with a hint of chocolate and oak; a trace of cinnamon spice lingers in the deep sweetness
  • Finish: Hints of caramel corn linger on
NOSE: Buttery  |  Hint of Caramel  |  Citrus  |  Charred Oak

TASTE: Caramel  |  Oak  |  Cereal

FINISH: I found the finish to be medium in length with warm cinnamon notes dancing on my tongue. Unfortunately, the sweetness from the caramel is quickly replaced with tannic notes from the oak barrel resulting in an uneven finish. And that was a real shame because this whiskey had an aggressive burn that kept surging for at least 60-90 seconds after I drank it.

SHARE WITH: This is more of a starter bourbon regarding sipping it neat, but it would make a pretty straightforward mixer for your favorite bourbon-based cocktails.

WORTH THE PRICE: I think the $29.99 per liter price point is acceptable for this release. You’re getting a bit more whiskey than normal, and you’re staying under $30 which is always appreciated. For those that are new to bourbon or want to try something new for their next cocktail party, this is a solid choice.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: If you’re a die-hard bourbon drinker I recommend only trying it at a bar. No reason to add another bottle to your collection unless you’re really in love with it. If you’re new to bourbon, go ahead and buy a bottle to compare to others you’ve had so far. It will make for an excellent comparison bottle and can be used to make all the mixed drinks you need for those friends that haven’t jumped onto the bourbon bandwagon yet.

OVERALL: I was interested in this one based on the nose alone. It had lots of promise and was very different from most of the releases I’ve sampled lately. The taste just didn’t live up to the nose. It had some elements that I enjoyed, but they were out of balance with the rest. If they could remove the tannic/bitter edges, this might be more appealing to regular bourbon drinkers.

Learn more about Pop’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…



Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Background Info

  • Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Fact Sheet
  • Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Fact Sheet
  • Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Fact Sheet
  • Early Times Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Fact Sheet

Disclaimer: Early Times Distilling Co. provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.


About the Author

Brett Atlas

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Mark Twain said, “too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” A passionate whiskey hunter & gatherer, Brett serves his opinions and reviews just like his bourbon - straight and not watered down. A native Chicagoan, he attended the University of Kansas and Chicago’s John Marshall Law School before moving to Omaha, Nebraska, where he runs a packaging distribution company and enjoys opening bottles with good friends.