Samples: KO, Clyde Mays and Booker's

A quick tasting of 3 samples. Trying to get back on the horse with getting through this mountain.

Kentucky Owl Batch 11

Age: NAS

Proof: 118.8


Nose: Cinnamon sugar, caramel, rich oak and a bit of proof sting.

Taste: Nice balance of sweet and heat with more cinnamon sugar, cherry, caramel, oak and a bit of leather. Nice but unremarkable mouthfeel for the proof.

Finish: Long warm, slightly dry finish with cinnamon, oak and baking spice.

Buy a bottle? No

Clyde Mays 12 Year Alabama Style Whiskey

Age: 12 years

Proof: 120


Nose: Spiced apple cider, caramel, artificial sweetener and vanilla extract

Taste: Unpleasant with a bit of an artificial almost plastic taste. Also hot.

Finish: Too long, more plastic and artificial sweetener.

Buy a bottle? No, definitely not

Booker’s 2015-01 “Big Man Small Batch”

Age: 7 years 2 months 16 days

Proof: 128.7


Nose: Classic bourbon nose with caramel, rich oak, vanilla cream and just a hint of nuts.

Taste: Big and bold with baking spice, brown sugar, oak, vanilla cream and a hint of nuts again. Very nice, viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and warm with a Kentucky hug and notes of baking spice, caramel and oak.

Buy a bottle? Yes even at the new Booker’s retail


The Kentucky Owl was exactly what I expected great bourbon at too high a price. If it was ~150 like Bardstown Discovery I’d definitely buy a bottle but at 300 it’s just not worth it to me. The cinnamon was pleasant, the proof was well integrated and there was a nice depth of flavor.

The Clyde Mays reminded me of my least favorite whiskies that I’ve reviewed. I hope to never drink it again. It’s a shame because their 15 year old bourbon is great!

Batches like this one are what made Booker’s reputation. There’s not exotic tasting notes or anything fancy but it is just a great execution on the classic Beam profile that’s big enough to let you know it’s barrel proof but not overwhelming. The younger, more expensive batches we get today usually don’t hit the spot like this batch does.

TL;DR: KO was great but not worth the price, Clyde Mays was rough and the 2015 Booker’s was a hitter