Doc Swinson’s is a distillery out of Washington who is sourcing barrels, batching and occasionally finishing them. The 6th release from their Exploratory Cask Series hit Austin this week and I honestly hadn’t heard much about them before then. I was skeptical at first given the unknown source and high price tag but the 15 year age statement, Kentucky source, proof and lack of chill filtration convinced me to give it a go. Let’s see if it was worth it.
Age: 15 years
Abv: 118.2 proof
Nose: Rich and sweet with brown sugar, roasted nuts, vanilla, tobacco, oak and allspice notes
Taste: Starts off with big vanilla and dry oak notes followed by caramel, warm spices and tobacco. Solid mouthfeel, about what I’d expect for the proof
Finish: Long, warm and dry with oak, vanilla, nuts and baking spice notes
Overall this was like an enhanced version of my favorite batches of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. It was rich and complex while remaining more approachable which made it easier to find the complexity. The nose in particular was excellent.
All that said it’s hard to recommend such an expensive bottle without any caveats. With 14+ year old Knob Creek picks and ECBP out there at half the price, this bottle isn’t going after value. On the other hand it is a step up from those two and holds up well to things like Baker’s 13 or Cream of Kentucky in that same price range.
TL;DR: Great whiskey, tough price point, glad I bought one, wouldn’t hunt/overpay
9 - a favorite I always try to keep on my shelf
Fair - Worth the money, happy with my purchase