– Small Batch 10-Year Old Bourbon
Distilled by: Austin Nichols Distilling Company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA.
90 Proof (45% Alc/Vol)
North Carolina Price: $33.50
Served: Neat and then on the rocks.
At first glance, the Russell’s Reserve bottle has a rustically, simple appearance. After pulling the wooden cork-backed stopper, the thick industrial pipe flange style glass neck of the bottle provokes images of what I imagine a bottle from the 1920’s or 30’s might have had. Next, a scent of oak and licorice was pleasantly welcomed. Served neat, the first sip had a strong but gentle spicy warmth. It was extremely smooth in the middle with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel. At the finish, a smooth taste of licorice with a touch of pleasant oak flavors went down very easy. Then the Russell’s was sampled on the rocks. As seems to be the case with most bourbons and no different here, ice only enhances the smoothness of the bourbon. In this case the start to finish only became that much smoother with each sip. This is one of the best small batch bourbons that I have sampled to date. Russell’s Reserve 10-Year Small Batch bourbon is outstanding. When I try things for the first time a question that I ask myself is: Would I have or buy it again? This bourbon is certainly on my list of one to keep on the shelf.
At the 25 to 35 dollar range, I would rate this bourbon (on a 1-5 scale) as a 4.8 for taste and a 4.8 for value. Hats off to the father and son collaboration of Jimmy and Chet Russell for producing such a fine small batch bourbon. I can’t wait to find a bottle of the Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel.
Eagle Rare – Single Barrel
Aged 10 Years
Proof: 90 (45% Alc/Vol)
North Carolina Price: $28.95
Distilled, Aged, and Bottled by: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY
Buffalo Trace’s Eagle Rare started off with a pleasant caramel and citrus aroma and a hint of orange filling the senses. Always starting with a pour served neat, my first thoughts were of a strong spiciness and a bit of a peppery start. After a few swirls about the pallet, a welcome softening and smoothness was revealed. On the rocks, hints of orange, citrus, and clove flavors warmed the pallet with a smooth buttery feel after the initial peppery/spiciness start. The finish was good, but still a hint of spiciness. Complex flavors of vanilla and caramel were noted during the smooth buttery phase midway through the tasting. The longer I sipped this bourbon on ice; it only became smoother start to finish. Now in this third review, I am finding this to be the case with the bourbons sampled thus far.
This Buffalo Trace Eagle Rare Single Barrel bourbon was enjoyable. For overall value I would rank it a respectable 4.4 out of 5 and a 4.2 for taste.
January 5, 2013
This weeks inaugural bourbon review is for Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon. It is bottled by McLain and Adkyne. Website: Jeffersonsbourbon.com. Being a “little r” republican, I may be showing just a bit of favoritism given their homage to one of our most recognized founding fathers and 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson.
Batch No. 212
Bottle No. 1529
Proof: 82.3 (43.15%)
North Carolina Price: $28.95 (750ml)
Served: Neat and then on the rocks.
The bottle I purchased was packaged with a special edition glass as pictured. It was quit interesting given its very simple design and single label. It simply says Jefferson’s across the center front while incorporating an image of the former President along the back wall of bottle glass creating this unique, almost 3D view trough the bourbon. A very nice amber appearance with a round spout and ample wooden/crooked top.
Upon opening the bottle, a pleasant oaky aroma filled the nares. The first sip proved equally enjoyable. At this price point, one should expect a very full, rich taste that does not overwhelm the platte. Jefferson’s Very Small Batch did not let me down. My first sip impression was a very smooth feel. It brought flavors of carmel, vanilla, and mild clove with hints of oak. There was a feel of richness and mild spiciness that filled the senses as swirled around. The finish was also pleasing with a hint of pepperiness that felt good all the way down. Adding ice to this bourbon only seemed to enhance the smoothness and soften the finish. The beverage is great for special occasions, but affordable enough to enjoy anytime.
At the 25 to 35 dollar range, I would rate this bourbon (on a 1-5 scale) as a 4.5 for taste and a 4.5 for value. Trey Zoeller and his father Chet have done an outstanding job producing this fine spirit.