Happy 2021! I have a mountain of samples I need to work through so I am trying not to open any new bottles until I’ve cleared out enough samples that they all fit in their dedicated space of 3 Little Book and 1 Booker’s 30th boxes. Going forward for these sample reviews I’ll be trying to stay brief and just focus on whether the sample convinced me I’d want to buy a bottle or not.
All samples are tasted neat after 5-10 minutes of resting.
Age: 13 years
Nose: Sweet and oaky with brown sugar, leather and faint spice.
Taste: Thick and leathery with supporting oak and spice. Great mouthfeel
Finish: Long and slightly dry with more oak and leather balanced by a sweeter vanilla
Buy a bottle? Yes
Age: 10 years and 1 month
Nose: Sweet and rich with herbal and fruity notes
Taste: Very on profile for Four Roses with sweet fruit, oak and warm spice. Nice viscous mouthfeel.
Finish: Long finish with slightly cooling herbal notes, almost minty
Buy a bottle? Yes
Age: 12 years
Nose: Grape! Sticky dark fruit, sweet.
Taste: More dark fruit and sticky sweetness with some rich oak coming in. Decent mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium to long finish that basically taste like armagnac.
Buy a bottle? No
Overall all 3 of these were enjoyable bourbons. The Magnus pick just leans in on the leathery and oaky notes I like in older MGP. It’s definitely on the drier side on the finish and that’s certainly not for everyone but I like it. Even with the relatively high retail price of Magnus picks I would have bought this. The nose and finish were great on the Four Roses while the taste was just good. That said the almost minty finish was really unique and just good for Four Roses is still something I like. I’ve had other OBSFs like the Beastmaster’s Crude Oil that I prefer but this, like most Four Roses picks, would be a Buy from me near retail pricing. I’ll start by saying I am generally a fan of what Bardstown is doing but this bottle just didn’t land for me. It was almost in this weird uncanny valley between bourbon and brandy where I’d rather either have more of the MGP bourbon notes come through or just drink a armagnac. I’m also a little disappointed at it being proofed down. I probably wouldn’t say no to a bottle if it was offered but between the price, scarcity and step down from the Chateau De Laubade and Apple Brandy releases this is an easy pass.
My goal to do one of these every week during 2021.
TL;DR: The Magnus and Four Roses pick were awesome. This BBC Collaboration was too heavy on the sherry for me.