When first popping the cork it’s a bit bitty with strange notes of iodine, but if you let this guy breathe some great things start to emerge. Things like dark fruit leather, overripe strawberries, hints of anise, vanilla custard, toasted marshmallow, spice and wood. Add a splash of water and the caramel starts to bellow and that traditional spicy bourbon nose really kicks up.
It has a fantastic peppery pop to it that blends well with the bourbon spice and cinnamon notes that hit up front and the in the back. After that initial pepper pop there are nice notes of strawberry jam, and not that over sugared garbage you get at the store, but more like the all natural stuff you get at the farmers market. Rounding out the taste are notes of dark cherries and a grainy rye like flavor. Add some water and fantastic roasted corn emerges. With or without water there is a nice light oak flavor that ties the whole thing together in a nice neat package for your palate.
Cherry licorice and a hint of sherry like sweetness kick off the aftertaste and then it fades down to wood, dark fruit, caramel, rye spice, green apples, something akin to fresh cut grass and barley. Sounds gritty, but it’s quite pleasant.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Hot. There is a remarkable amount of unexpected roughness in this bottle. That said, it’s still very manageable and really seems to add rather than detract from the overall character of this whiskey.