Tag Archives: Bourbon review

Angel’s Envy Revisited

                                                                       More than 2 years ago, 9-17-2015, Talking Bourbon reviewed a very popular Bourbon, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It is still very popular so TB decided, for the first time, to review a Bourbon for the second time.

TB will not go into all the usual stuff we cover when introducing a Bourbon, like proof, bottle look etc, you can read that in the original post. The only difference being the price has crept up just a bit. While you can still find a bottle for the $40 that was mentioned in 2015, most of the time it is closer to the $45 to $49 range.

Joining Talking Bourbon for this trip down memory lane is Rod. Rod is traditionally a wine and beer guy, but these last few years has found a nice appreciation of Bourbons.

NOSE

Rod:     Getting a lot of good stuff, starting with caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. After that, but still prevalent, is honey and toffee. I also get a slight smell of sherry and cedar.

TB:         Get a lot more citrus upfront, mainly orange. Behind that is cedar, caramel and a slight varnish type aroma.  Very nice nose.

TASTE

Rod:     Vanilla, cedar and a wet wood type taste all jump out at me.  lesser tastes include  juniper and  medicine. I know that doesn’t sound appealing but it all comes together for a nice drink.

TB:    Getting the orange/citrus that was on the nose with some cedar and a crisp taste that cannot be described any other way. A little rough neat.

Rod:     Crisp?

TB:        Juniper and wet wood?

FINISH

Rod:    Medium long, not much else.

TB:     Medium long with some sweetness.

OVERALL

Rod:      The great aroma and above average taste makes this a very drinkable Bourbon.

TB:     Agree that the nose is the strong suit. While not sure it is worth the high price,  the taste is unique enough to warrant having a bottle around.

Nose      4.25 out of 5

Taste      8.25 out of 10

Finish     3.75 out of 5

Total Score         16.25 out of 20 barrels

Well low and behold, it actually dropped a point since last reviewed 2 years ago. Has our taste buds evolved, found other things that are better or may be not as impressed by the bottle anymore. Who knows, what we do know is that Angel’s Envy is still a good Bourbon.

It is strong enough to be a good mixer, but has it’s own taste that makes it good on the rocks or neat.  The bottle and name still makes for a good presentation and as we stated in the opening paragraph, it is still very popular.

For all the reasons above, you should keep a bottle of Angel’s Envy in your cabinet.

 

Hotel Tango Bravo Bourbon

                                                                              As veteran’s Day approaches we here at Talking Bourbon decided to review Hotel Tango’s Bravo Bourbon. According to their web page  it’s the first service-disabled combat-veteran owned distillery in the country. Hotel Tango is located here in Indianapolis and we are not sure about availability outside of Indy.

Bravo Bourbon, American Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 7 years old, 90 proof, sells for around $50 for the 750ml and comes in a nice looking corked bottle.

Helping today is Aaron Pitt, a lawyer here in the Indpls area and long time friend of Talking Bourbon. Aaron has long been a Bourbon Lover. Both Aaron and TB are somewhat skeptical of this Bourbon, Hotel Tango makes a variety of spirits, so we are concerned as to how much love and devotion they give to their Bourbon.

Fun fact,  according to their web page, each Hotel Tango spirit derives its prefix from the NATO phonetic alphabet as such, i.e. Victor Vodka, Golf Gin, Mike Moonshine, etc.

NOSE

Aaron:    I don’t get the usual Bourbon aromas from from Bravo. Instead I get a pleasant nose of light citrus along with a strong alcohol smell.

TB:    Also get the citrus, alcohol, and the lightness. Add to that a definite apple aroma.

TASTE

Aaron:    Fruity and fairly smooth neat. Not overly complex but I like it. A little better with some melted ice.

TB:    Oak and maple syrup come to mind first. Secondary tastes include black fruit and a little bitterness.

FINISH

Aaron:   Medium to medium-long  with a little sweetness.

TB:      Medium-long with some nice heat on the back of the tongue.

OVERALL

Aaron:    I am pleasantly surprised and will buy a bottle.

TB:      Really liked this stuff and agree, need a bottle.

Nose          3.5 out of 5

Taste          7.5 out of 10

Finish         3.5 out of 5

Total score        14.5 out of 20 Barrels

Sometimes there needs to be an additional category for an easy drinking, enjoyable Bourbon, because that describes Bravo. Not overly complex and not a lot of superlatives to describe it except that it is good. There is just something about this Bourbon that makes you like it. The price is a bit high for the quality, but it is unique and has a great back story.

Recommendation,  support a veteran and go out and buy a bottle of Hotel Tango Bravo Bourbon. Then  sit back, relax and enjoy a sip.

 

High West Double Rye

                                                                              As  our readers know, we here at Talking Bourbon are big fans of all things High West. Thus it came as a surprise that we had not reviewed their Double Rye. We have drank it many times and were positive we had included it in the blog at some point, we were wrong.

High West Double Rye is, like most everything from High West, a blend. In this case a blend of young and old Rye sourced from multiple distilleries.  It is bottled at 92 proof, sells for around $30, comes in a cool looking corked bottle like all the rest of High West and is widely available.  TB could not get an exact age statement, just that the younger Rye was at least 2 years old.

Long time friend of TB’s, Shelly, is our guest taster today. Shelly was originally a beer person, having lived in Germany, and slowly migrated to wine. Lately though, she has found  a taste for Bourbon.

NOSE

Shelly:  Smooth and mellow nose with nothing over powering. I get a little spice, some grain, vanilla and walnut. I also pick up some traces of honey and banana.

TB:      A big bold scent of Rye dominates, reminiscent of Bulleit Rye. Some secondary aromas include citrus, grain and an oily almond type scent. Strangely,  get a slight whiff of pineapple and ginger.

TASTE

Shelly:     Wood, nuts and spice, not necessarily in that order jump out at me. Behind that I pick up some honey and a taste that reminds me of a humidor. Adding my own take to the strange department, I get a scent of juniper.

TB:    Get the wood, spice and nuts that Shelly talked about along with strong Rye. Just slightly behind that is citrus, smoke and a slight sherry flavor. Very good.

FINISH

Shelly:    Medium-long, sweet on the tongue and warm going down.

TB:     Agree,  medium-long with a nice sweetness.

OVERALL

Shelly:    High West Double Rye is a winner. Great bang for the buck. I would buy it!

TB:    High West delivers again. Will definitely keep a bottle in the cabinet.

Nose      4.5 out of 5

Taste      9 out of 10

Finish     3.5 out of 5

Total score           17 out of 20 barrels.

A great Rye at a great price, who cares if it is blended and sourced out of different distilleries. All that matters is taste, nose, finish and price. On all but the finish, this stuff shines. And the finish was not bad, just not overly complex. Great straight, on the rocks and as a mixer of Bourbon style cocktails. At the somewhat low price point you won’t feel bad using it as a mixer.

Final verdict, Go out and get a bottle of High West Double Rye and treat yourself to a very good drink.

Stonehammer

                                                                          It’s party day here at Talking Bourbon. Today TB is out on a boat with some good friends on beautiful Monroe Reservoir. There is a lot of people here today helping with the tasting, so some had to be grouped together. We have couples Rod and Shelly(Rolly), Dave and Kelsey(Dork), as well as Clark and Erica(Clerica). Also helping is Susie, henceforth referred to as Q.

We are tasting a bottle that TB saw and bought  for the first time in, of all places, a grocery store. Stonehammer Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Distiller’s Reserve is a brand that none of us here has heard of, including yours truly Talking Bourbon.  We could find almost nothing about this Bourbon online. The bottle states it was named after some Kentucky governor who was nick named Old Stone Hammer, anyway.

Stonehammer comes in an ordinary non descript looking corked bottle that sells for around $19 for the 750 ml. It is bottled at 90 proof and has no age statement but should be at least 4 years old. TB is not really sure about the availability seeing as how this is the first time we have ever seen it.

A note on price, the supermarket that Stonehammer was purchased gives a 15% discount if buying 6 or more bottle of any kind of liquor, which TB did, thus bringing the price down below $17.

NOSE

Q:   Butterscotch seems to be the most prevalent. Also pick up some anise, pepper and hazelnut.

Rolly:   A fruity sweet smell reminiscent of a caramel apple.

Clerica:   Vanilla, almonds and maple. Also get some light aromas of pepper and caramel.

Dork:  We also get the caramel and butterscotch along with a banana scent.

TB:  A smooth sweet aroma with maple and butterscotch up front with a slight hint of caramel just behind that.

TASTE

Q:   Mostly just pepper and vanilla, strange I didn’t taste the butterscotch that I got so strong on the nose.

Rolly:   Oak, leather and vanilla up front, not much else as far as secondary flavors. Too hot neat, reminds us of rubbing alcohol.

Clerica:    Caramel and some oak, not to be argumentative but we like it better neat.

Dork:   We also like better neat even though it is pretty warm going down. Taste caramel and some type of wood. We taste the butterscotch we got on the nose.

TB:   Little hot neat for 90 proof. Taste the caramel and wood. Also get a little vanilla and some type of non pepper spice.

FINISH

Q:     It seems to me to be a long finish with a hint of cinnamon.

Rolly:    Medium to short with not much to add in the way of taste.

Clerica:    Agree, medium short with not much going on.

Dork:     Medium with a little pepper and ethanol.

TB:    Warm, medium long finish with a touch of vanilla and that same spice that I couldn’t identify on the taste.

OVERALL

Q:     I liked it and would buy a bottle.

Rolly:   We liked it as well but would probably only use as a mixer.

Clerica:   Just okay, would pay a few more dollars and get something I liked better.

Dork:   We liked it, especially on ice, would definitely buy.

TB:   A little on the sweet side, almost reminded one of a wheated Bourbon. Having said that there is nothing wrong with sweet Bourbon. At under $20 it is a pretty decent buy.

Nose       3.75 out of 5

Taste        7.25 out of 10

Finish       3 out of 5

Total Score        14 out of 20 barrels

Well as you can see, when a lot of people get together there are a lot of different opinions. After a decent nose, it does seem that most of us were expecting a little more from the taste and finish. But as TB tried to tell them, it is getting real hard to find a good Bourbon under $20, let alone under $17.  Having said that, Talking Bourbon would have probably rated this a little higher if tasted alone.

Stonehammer is a little too sweet to mix with cola or any surgery  drink but does fine with water or neat. It also makes a decent Manhattan and is at a price point that you don’t mind mixing.

Final word, if you like your Bourbon on the sweeter side, at under $20 you really should give it a try. If not to your liking then you are not out much.

 

 

Few Rye Whiskey

                                                                                      Today we start a new format here at Talking Bourbon.  Going forward, instead of having two voices, Ron and Todd, it will just be Talking Bourbon(TB).  If we have a guest taster, which we plan on having more of, they will still have their unique voice.

Having said that, lets get started. Today we are sampling Few Rye Whiskey from FEW Spirits. The FEW Spirits distillery in Evanston, Illinois also makes Bourbon and gin. Yes gin, this definitely raised our antennas and planted a seed of doubt about how good this stuff would be. Kind of a jack of all trades, master of none type thing.

FEW Rye is 93 proof, aged just 3 years and comes in a squared off corked bottle with a fountain on the label.  FEW Rye sells from $50 to $60 for the 750ml. Availability is hit or miss. Seems everyone had it a few(pun not intended) years ago, then for a while it was hard to find. Lately we are seeing it again in most nicer spirit stores.

Strangely the name, according to their web site, is after a lady named Francis Elizabeth Willard. She and her temperance supporters had kept Evanston alcohol free for over 100 years.

Tasting with TB today is James, James is usually an Irish Whisky man but said he would like to expand his drinking world.

NOSE

TB:    While no dominant aroma, more complex than anticipated. Picking up scents of Rye, a sweetness reminiscent of honey and brown sugar along with pepper and citrus. Also get a slight scent of oak even though it is only aged 3 years.

James:   Well I get the sweetness and the wood that TB got but not much else.  I did get a little caramel or maybe butterscotch.

TASTE

TB:  Pretty much taste like it smells,  Rye, brown sugar, pepper, citrus and wood. Also picked up some spice that I could not identify.

James:  I  like it, picking up notes of caramel, spice and a tobacco like taste.  A little behind that is dark fruit and oak.

FINISH

TB:    A medium to long finish with touches of vanilla and more sweetness and spice.

James:   A nice finish with hints of cedar.

OVERALL

TB:   While not overly complex, FEW Rye is very good. Having said that we are not sure it is worth $60.

James:   Agree, I really like it. Not sure where the money falls in comparison to other Bourbons and Rye, my go to Irish Whisky is under $30, so yeah, $60 seems high.

TB:   You can get some decent juice for under $20, and you can also pay in the hundreds, there is a lot of good Bourbons and Rye that fall between $20 and $70. So this is on the high end.

Nose       4.25 out of 5

Taste         8 out of 10

Finish       4.25 out of 5

Total score         16.5 out of 20 Barrels.

Nice nose, good taste and decent finish makes for a good pour. But while we all liked FEW Rye, none of us really loved it. A little too steep of a price considering it is only aged 3 years. FEW Rye does make a good cocktail, but again, at that price we don’t like using it as a mixer.

All in all, if you found this Rye on sale for $49.99 or lower, go ahead and give it a try. We are sure you will like it.

 

Pikesville Rye

                                                             Today Talking Bourbon is tasting Pikesville Rye, we know, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. Pikesville is made by Heaven Hill and according to their web site was first made in Maryland in the 1890s. The site also states that Maryland had a booming Rye industry until prohibition ended it. News to us.

Pikesville Rye is available in most liquor stores, sells for around $50 for the 750 ml and comes in a nondescript corked bottle. It is aged for 6 years and bottled at 110 proof.

On a side note, if you like Rittenhouse Rye, which we do, Pikesville Rye is the same mash bill aged 2 more years and bottled at a higher proof.

NOSE

Ron:   A sweet and spicy peppery aroma upfront along with some grain and citrus. Also catch lesser scents of Rye and anise, and even less of caramel, cedar and cinnamon. Hope it taste as good as it smells,

Todd:   Sometimes we are just in sync my brother from another mother. I too get the sweet pepper and citrus upfront. I also get the lesser scents of caramel, cedar and even the cinnamon. The only thing I can add is a little bit of leather.

Ron:   Remember readers, we don’t talk until we have both wrote everything down.

TASTE

Ron:  Pretty hot neat but to be expected at 110 proof. I get the same sweet, spicy pepper, and citrus that I got on the nose.The grain morphed into Rye. Not a lot of secondary flavors, a little clove and a bitter sweetness that reminds me of dark chocolate.

Todd:   I feel if I am not needed, I also get the sweet, spice and citrus upfront. I also taste the hint of chocolate but not the bitterness. Thankfully I do get a bit of caramel so I can feel like I contributed.

FINISH

Medium long with more of the dark chocolate coming through.

Todd:   Nice medium long finish with a touch of the bitterness than Ron got on the taste.

OVERALL

Ron:  I really enjoyed drinking Pikesville, though I am not sure it is worth being double in price compared to Rittenhouse.

Todd:  Count me in as a fan of Pikesville Rye. While I somewhat agree with Ron on the price issue regarding Rittenhouse, this is good stuff and worth the bump up in cost.

Nose   4.25 out of 5

Taste    8.75 out of 10

Finish    4 out of 5

Total score      17 out of 20 barrels.

Talking bourbon has spoken and we like Pikesville Rye. We understand that the price can be somewhat prohibitive for some. Even if you have to save up, buy a bottle, you will thank us later.

And as we have stated before, you can always just pull out the bottle every other month or so for just a small pour. We both own bottles that we have had for over 5 years.

Now, back to enjoying some Pikesville Rye.

Michter’s American Whiskey

                                                             As readers of this blog know, we here at Talking Bourbon love us some Michter’s. Whether it is their Bourbon, Rye or Toasted barrel, we love them all. Somehow though, we have never tried their American Whiskey. Both of us are familiar with it and have seen it for sale but for some reason never pulled the trigger when it came to buying a bottle. Well that has changed.

Michter’s Small Batch Unblended American Whiskey comes in the standard Michter’s corked bottle. It is bottled at 83.4 proof, sells for around $40 and while fairly available, it is not sold everywhere. Try as we might, we could not find an age statement, clarification of the mash bill or just what this stuff exactly is. Their website states that it is aged in Bourbon soaked barrels, thus the reason it can’t be called Bourbon. But is that the only dis-qualifier?

Also, we couldn’t get a clear definition of the term Unblended. Since it is not a single barrel product, one would think it is a blend of barrels. Maybe someone reading this has a little insight. Hopefully these discrepancies won’t take from our enjoyment.

NOSE

Todd:   Very nice sweet aromas of caramel and a grain that reminded me of whole wheat products. Not quite as upfront are scents of dark chocolate, raspberries and toast.

Ron:   Lovely aromas of cake bread, brown sugar, caramel, honey, leather and toffee. Also pick up slight scents of cinnamon and oak and some sweet scent that I can’t quite pinpoint, maybe maple.

TASTE

Todd:    Very smooth neat with an oily texture on the tongue and a strong flavor of caramel upfront. Lots of lesser taste come behind, including cocoa, cedar, oak, and toffee. I taste the whole wheat that I got on the nose as well as the maple that Ron maybe got on the nose. Also pick up a slight hint of sherry. Very good!

Ron:    Sweet tastes of caramel, honey and maple dominate. I also get strong flavors of toast and vanilla. Lingering slightly behind is wood and leather. Definitely enjoyed.

FINISH

Todd:   Medium long with more sweetness and a slight bit of spice.

Ron:  Medium long sweet finish.

OVERALL

Todd:    This stuff is damn good! I don’t care what it is called or what they mean by unblended.

Ron:   This is not your typical Michter’s. It goes down almost like a dessert drink or aperitif, think Angel’s Envy Rye. Very good!

Nose       4.5 out of 5

Taste       9.25 out of 10

Finish       4 out of 5

Total score      17.75 out of 20 barrels

Well it seems Michter’s has another hit, at least with Talking Bourbon. From the great nose to the sweet but yet still complex taste, this has it all. Really the only thing that held back the score a little was the finish, and that was still 4 out of 5.

At under $40, Michter’s American Whiskey should be part of your collection. It will definitely always be part of ours.

Stagg Jr

                                                             Most Bourbon lovers are familiar with the legendary George T Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. A lot fewer have actually tried it being that a bottle is very hard to procure and it is pretty pricey, around $90. Think of Stagg Jr just as the name implies, an offspring of GTS, and like all sons, they are younger than their dad. So while the father is aged 15 to 17 years, the son, Stagg jr, is aged 8-9 years.

Stagg Jr varies in proof but is usually pretty high, our bottle clocked in at a whooping 132.1 proof. It comes in a short corked bottle with deer antlers which is somewhat different than the tall, lean GTS bottle. Jr sells for around $50 for the 750ml. When we first got a bottle of this a few years back it seemed a novelty and we didn’t review it thinking that it wouldn’t be around long or be impossible to find. Lately we have seen it in a lot of stores.

We both love, I mean LOVE the father George T Stagg. Hopefully the child won’t disappoint.

NOSE

Ron:   Does not have the flaming nose that I expected with the 132 proof. Somewhat subtle and needs a little water to open up aromas of brown sugar, caramel, oak and vanilla. Also get a slight hint of white pepper. All in all a very nice nose.

Todd:    It definitely opens up with some water. Upfront I get the caramel and brown sugar that Ron caught. Lingering behind this is secondary aromas of cherries, toffee, oak, raisin and vanilla. Also got a very slight presence of cinnamon.

TASTE

Ron:     Most definitely needs a melted cube to bring out the tastes. Strong flavors of caramel, leather, oak and pepper dominate on the front end. Behind that I get some nice flavors of brown sugar, tobacco and cinnamon.

Todd:    Too hot neat, I get nothing but the burn and maybe a little wood. With a couple of melted cubes the flavors really come out. I now get cedar and oak instead of just wood. Also get a strong taste of caramel. Some secondary flavors include leather, raisin and almonds.

FINISH

Ron:   A medium-long to long malty finish with some sweetness.

Todd:    Long sweet finish with more of the cedar.

OVERALL

Ron:     I really enjoyed drinking Stagg Jr. A good nose and a complex taste makes for a good Bourbon.

Todd:    I agree, really like this stuff.  A lot happening on the nose and tongue. All followed by a nice finish.

Nose       4.25 out of 5

Taste       8.75 out of 10

Finish      4.25 out of 5

Total score      17.25 out of 20  Barrels

Well the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. While not quite as good as pops, Stagg Jr is a very good Bourbon and a lot easier to find.  The price is a little on the high side but with such a high proof you can cut it liberally with water, thus bringing the overall cost down.

Our Recommendation,  Even if you have to save up a little, go out and buy a bottle. You will thanks us even if you only take a small drink every other month or so. Enjoy.

 

 

YellowStone Select

                                                             Here is example where one word makes all the difference.   Yellowstone Select is not to be confused with bottom shelf dweller Yellowstone original. While both are Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskies, only one says Select. To confuse you a bit more, there is also Yellowstone Limited Edition, which sells well over $100 for a 750ml bottle. We are not fans of the original version. Ron recalls a “brain killer” of a headache the morning after too much of the original bottom shelf stuff. To this day he is sticking to the story that it was not the volume consumed, but who could know for sure.

Yellowstone Select is a blend of 4 to 7 year old Bourbons and sells for around $45-$50. It comes in an elegant, if somewhat plain tall corked bottle. It is bottled at 93 proof and while somewhat available, it is not everywhere.

This was a little difficult to investigate but after some exploring the web, Yellowstone Bourbon started in the 1880’s by J. B. Dant, son of legendary J. W. Dant and was named after the newly opened National Park. In the 1960s it was the largest selling brand of Bourbon in Kentucky. Over the 120 year history the Yellowstone brand changed hands 5 times with the last sale, in 2004, to Luxco (formerly known as David Sherman Co.). In 2015 Luxco bought a 50% stake in Limestone Branch, which produces the Yellowstone Select as well as Yellowstone Limited Edition Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Now that is a lot of history to process!

NOSE

Ron:     Caramel and pear hit me first followed by hints of vanilla, wood and toasted nuts.

Todd:    A decent nose even though the only dominant scent was of multi-grain bread. I get nice secondary aromas of leather, oak, cedar, tobacco and black fruit.

TASTE

Ron:    Mostly get on the tongue what I got on the nose. Sweet caramel, vanilla and toasted nuts. Not much in the way of secondary tastes, maybe just a slight bitter, medicinal flavor.

Todd:   Like the nose, nothing dominates. I get hints of the grain, leather, tobacco and oak that I got on the nose. Also pick up faint tastes of yeast and the bitterness that Ron mentioned.

FINISH

Ron:    A sweet medium-long finish with just a trace of something that is reminiscent of walnut shells.

Todd:     Medium to medium-long finish with a nutty sweetness.

OVERALL

Ron:    This was a bottle Todd picked up at a Bourbon lottery last December, and while I liked it I am not sure it is worth the premium price. One note, I did like it slightly moreso once a cube had melted.

Todd:     Yeah, I remember the lottery and how this was about the only thing left that I didn’t have or hadn’t tasted. I have to echo Ron’s sentiments, enjoyed it but probably not worth $45-$50.

Nose     4 out of 5

Taste      8 out of 10

Finish     3.75 out of 5

Final score      15.75 out of 20 barrels

As we have stated many times we take price into consideration and while this Bourbon was enjoyable to drink, it is priced a little too high. At $45-$50 plus, it is too expensive to mix with anything but water, and not complex enough neat or on the rocks to justify the price.

Final Verdict, If you see Yellowstone Kentucky Straight Bourbon Select on sale for under $40, give it a try. If not, there are others more deserving of your hard earned cash.

Baker’s

                                          Today we are reviewing Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This is another offering from Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection. This is a special edition blog post from Talking Bourbon. We were invited to talk at the monthly meeting of the Bourbon Society of Indianapolis, by their president Kyle LeClere. After a brief speech about us and our new book, we lead them in a tasting of Baker’s. Everyone was provided with one our tasting sheets to fill out and return to us. So many were returned we decided to combined their results to a single voice called BSOI or “the group”.

Baker’s sells for around $55 for the 750 ml bottle, comes in a fairly nondescript corked bottle and can sometimes be a little difficult to find. It is aged 7 years and bottled at 107 proof. The Jim Beam website states that it is barreled and aged in small batches which are then stored in the center racks of the rick house, not near the bottom or top, for aging.

Like everything that comes from Beam, we are always skeptical that we are just getting a higher proof, longer aged, more expensive version of the highly popular, but very unpopular here at TB, Jim Beam White label. There are exceptions though, we both like Booker’s and to a lesser degree Basil Hayden’s.

NOSE

Todd:   A sweet scent of caramel is the most prevalent. Behind this are aromas of grain, citrus and spice. Not bad but expect a little more considering the price.

Ron:   I get clean spicy vanilla upfront. This is followed by smells of toast, wood and Rye. Finally a very slight nose of almonds.

BSOI:   Corn, spice and grain seems to be the most popular response from the group.  Second is fruit, wood, and caramel.

TASTE

Todd:   I taste the caramel, citrus and grain that I got on the nose along with some oak. I get some background taste of black fruit and leather.

Ron:  Lots of great flavors, including strong tastes of wood/oak, spice and sweetness. I also get a slight hint of leather and even slighter hint of clove.

BSOI:   The majority get a nutty spicy taste along with caramel. Secondary flavors included tobacco, pepper, leather, and Rye.

FINISH

Todd:  Medium long with a nice sweetness and maybe a bit more citrus.

Ron:   Medium long to long with a warming caramel.

BSOI:   A dry medium long finish with some saying bitter and others saying sweet. Caramel and oak also get some mention.

OVERALL

Todd:   I liked Baker’s but I probably wouldn’t pay $55 for a bottle.

Ron:    Some good things going on but have to agree with Todd.

BSOI:   Good stuff but about $25 too high.

Nose      4 out of 5

Taste      8 out of 10

Finish     3.75 out of 5

Total score     15.75 out of 20 Barrels

Baker’s did convince us that it is not just an older, higher proof version of Beam White label. In fact it doesn’t even taste like the same mash bill, which is a good thing.

Baker’s is actually a good Bourbon, but as our readers know, we do take price in consideration. At this price point or under, there are just too many things we would recommend over Baker’s.  Having said that, if you do buy a bottle and pour yourself a glass, we are confident you will enjoy it and there are a lot worse things than that.

Thanks again to the Bourbon Society of Indianapolis for inviting us to talk and in helping taste Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.