When Jim Rutledge left Four Roses to start his own distillery he kicked things off by sourcing some 11.5 year old barrels from Barton and resurrected the Cream of Kentucky brand. As a fan of 4 Roses, Barton and dick jokes I was excited. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be distributed in Texas and had a somewhat prohibitive price point so I missed out on batch 1. Thankfully a fellow Austin Bourbon hunter is from Maryland and batch 2 of CoK didn’t exactly fly off the shelves there so he was willing to mule a few bottles back to trade. I’m always looking to trade up as I tend to have more of a shopping problem than a drinking problem.
Age: 11.5 years
Abv: 102 proof
Price: ~$130(Traded a Blanton’s and ECPB that were both purchased at retail)
Nose: Sweet, fruity and oaky with vanilla, caramel, banana rich oak and subtle spice notes.
Taste: More of the same from the nose with caramel and oak coming to the front and the banana taking a backseat. Decent mouthfeel but what I would expect for the proof.
Finish: Medium length and starts with a little vanilla and banana that fade to rye spice and oak.
This was like a good 1792 FP pick that was watered down a bit and marked way up with a little extra oak. If it wasn’t for the price I’d be interested in grabbing the next batch though I am still open minded about future offerings from Rutledge. I wrote up the tasting notes before having some folks over this weekend just in case people loved the CoK and killed the bottle but my fears were very unfounded
I’ll be doing a blind tasting video of this vs a couple of 1792 offerings on Instagram sometime soonish to verify my assertion about this bottle.
TL;DR: Good juice, too high a price, look for a good 1792 pick instead
8 - an excellent bottle I’ll buy from time to time
Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money