Reviews #8 & #9: Wild Turkey 101 and Jack Daniel's #7 on a plane

Info

My wife wanted to fly Southwest so I’m limited to their excellent whiskey selection this evening but it seemed like as good a time an any to review some Wild Turkey 101 and some Jack Daniel’s #7. Typing this up on mobile so forgive any typos. Also the photo is the Turkey; you guys can imagine what Jack looks like in a plastic cup.

Wild Turkey

Mashbill: Unknown but high rye

Abv: 101 proof (50.5% ABV)

Age: NAS

Price: ~$7 USD for a 50ml bottle

Review

Color: A darker amber

Neat

Nose: Somewhat alcohol forward with sweet and spicy notes

Taste: Hot and a little harsh though the baking spice comes through after the initial taste

Finish: Surprisingly nice medium finish that is spicy and just a little sweet

On a rock

Nose: More muted but still alcohol forward. The spice remains but any sweetness was muted.

Taste: Much less heat with baking spice and a touch of honey. Surprisingly nice.

Finish: The finish holds up well with the ice with a balance of sweet and spice

Jack Daniel’s

Mashbill: Unknown

Abv: 80 proof (40% ABV)

Age: NAS

Price: ~$7 USD for a 50ml bottle

Review

Color: A medium golden color

Neat

Nose: Sweet smooth and a little fruity, easily the best part

Taste: Bananas with nuts, almost like a somewhat disappointing bananas foster. I’m disappointed there is alcohol heat in something 80 proof

Finish: Medium finish with banana notes and then something a little funky at the end

On a rock

Nose: Muted but light alcohol and fruit notes

Taste: The banana and nuttiness are still there but less so and any alcohol heat is gone. Somewhat dull and bland.

Finish: Just that little bit of funk

With Coke Zero

Nose: Sweet notes of cola

Taste: Tastes heavily of cola but with the banana note sneaking through

Finish: Blessedly gone, just a bit of that cola tatse

Conclusion

I’ll start by saying the Turkey was definitely better than flying without whiskey but it won’t be a regular choice for me. I’d definitely be happy to use it as a mixer or drink it on the rocks in a pinch.

As for the Jack it was not good though I did enjoy it with a Coke Zero. It still baffles me how this became one of the most popular whiskies in America. On a completely random note my brother has picked up a bit of taste in whiskey from me and is trying to convert his Air Force squadron away from Jack to something better in a similar price range. I’ve already suggested Evan Williams and Old Grandad but let me know if you have any better ideas.

Wild Turkey

5 - I would drink it if offered and I didn’t have to pay for it

Jack Daniel’s

4 - Maybe a mixer though I wouldn’t want to pay for it

Scale

My reviews are mostly about taste but occasionally take price into consideration generally dropping a point from whiskies in the 8-9 range that seem significantly more expensive than similar quality bottles.

10 - a unicorn, I haven’t found it yet

9 - a favorite that I almost always have a bottle of on my shelf

8 - an excellent bottle I’d be happy to buy

7 - a solid whiskey I’d happily order at bar if they don’t have something 8+

6 - a decent whiskey that I don’t prefer but wouldn’t avoid and would be fine having as a mixer or in a pinch somewhere with a poor selection

5 - I would drink it if offered and I didn’t have to pay for it

4 - Maybe a mixer though I wouldn’t want to pay for it

3 and below - no thanks

Review #7: Barrell Bourbon Single Barrel Select Oak Liquor Cabinet

Info

Tonight’s bourbon is Barrell Bourbon Single Barrel Oak Liquor Cabinet Select. I don’t know much about the brand but I’m a sucker for single barrels and store selects and I was curious about the 14 year age statement. I couldn’t find much about them online either.

Mashbill: Unknown

Abv: 115.4 proof (57.7% ABV)

Age: 14 years (thanks u/bvndwidth)

Price: ~$80 USD for a 750ml bottle

Review

Color: A golden amber, very bourbony

Neat

Nose: Sweet, toasted marshmellow with a hint of something floral

Taste: More toastd marshmellow but surprisingly short and simple for something aged 14 years with just a touch of heat

Finish: Again sweet and disappointly short.

On a rock

Nose: Opens up with floral honey notes, this was the best part

Taste: Honey and toasted marshmellow. A slight improvement over neat.

Finish: Not much of one. Maybe a touch of sweetness?

Conclusion

This was perfectly good bourbon but nothing special at all. I was a bit hyped up on this so that probably contributed to my disappointment. I’d always sort of wondered why bourbon generally isn’t aged as long as scotch usually is but this bottle suggests that the shorter aging is the way to go. With how medicocre this was, especially given that this is a store select, single barrel and sort of pricy, I don’t think I’ll be following up on more of their catalog.

7 - a great whiskey I’d order at a bar

Scale

You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.

Reviews #5 & #6: Basil Hayden's Straight Bourbon and Dark Rye

Narrative

I’ve mostly been writing reviews of whiskey that I love so far so I thought I’d try my hand at some reviews with a lower score. I tend to have a bottle of Basil Hayden’s Straight Bourbon on hand and my wife bought me a bottle of their Dark Rye because I like ryes and she recognized the bottle. The straigh bourbon is of course a straight bourbon but the Dark Rye is some sort of Dr Moreau combination of rye, canadian and port.

Straight Bourbon

Abv: 80 proof (40% ABV)

Age: NAS

Review

Color: A lighter golden color

Neat

Nose: Weak nose, slightly sweet with a hint of acetone

Taste: The taste actually starts off nicely with a little sweet and a touch of spice but nothing ever comes of it

Finish: Almost none, it sort of caught me by surprise when it ended

On a rock

Nose: I mostly smelled the ice and the glass

Taste: Opens up a lot smooth with a little more of the sweet and spice blend from the neat

Finish: Equally short but I was ready for it this time

Dark Rye

Mashbill: Unknown but some blend of Rye, Canadian and Port?

Abv: 80 proof (40% ABV)

Age: NAS

Review

Color: A dark red and brown, lives up to the “Dark” part of the name

Neat

Nose: Smells strongly of something sweet, almost like maple syrup. Definitely the port coming through,

Taste: Not good. All the worst parts of rye whiskey, Canadian whiskey and port come together to taste like sadness. Notes of syrup and nail polish remover.

Finish: Blessedly short

On a rock

Nose: The sickly sweetness is more muted and some fruit starts to creep into the nose

Taste: More palpable but not by much. I can’t even.

Finish: Again blessedly short

Conclusion

Basil Hayden’s straight bourbon is solid but completely unremarkable; nothing wrong with it but nothing exciting either. I used to really enjoy it but as I’ve learned to appreciate more complex and stronger flavors it’s fallen by the wayside. I still usually have a bottle on my shelf since it’s a good entry point for newer folks and because my dad likes it. THe Dark Rye on the other hand is awful. Easily the worst whiskey over $20 for a bottle I’ve ever had. I poured out the rest of my glass after writing this. I think it’s discontinued in favor of their Darker Rye and Two by Two but if you do see it don’t buy it just to be safe.

Straight Bourbon

6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink

Dark Rye

2 - Mixer only

Scale

You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.

Review #4: William Larue Weller

Data

Tasted this at the Roosevelt Room in downtown Austin at some after dinner drinks this weekend with some family. This seemed like a recent bottling but I am still learning how to discern these things as I continue my BTAC adventure. If anyone knows a great bar to try Saz 18, ER 17 or George T Stagg in Austin let me know on Instagram or Reddit!

Mashbill: Unknown but it’s a wheater

Abv: 128.2 proof (64.1% ABV)

Price: $32 USD for a ~2oz pour

Review

Color: A deep, reddish color, very appealing the in the low light

Neat

Nose: Mostly sticky toffee with a hint of something stronger

Taste: Toffee, caramel and a vibrant fruity taste, dark cherries perhaps?

Finish: Smooth and sweet leaving me wanting more

On a rock

Nose: The sweetness is more muted and some of the fruit starts to creep into the nose

Taste: Lighter than it was neat but still full of sweet fruitiness and a bit of something like marshmellow added in

Finish: Unfortunately muted by the ice. Short and sweet.

Conclusion

My second taste of the BTAC was excellent but I preferred the Handy, especially on ice. Strong but a lot smoother than the proof would lead you to believe. A little too focused on the sweetness for me, I like sweet whiskey but prefer it to have something to spice it up a bit. If you’re all or mostly sweettooth you’ll love this though. I also let me dad taste it since he was visiting but he said it was too strong for him so we got him a Weller 12 instead.

9 - a favorite I’d like to keep on my shelf

Scale

You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.

Review #3: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

Data

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac is a Rye Whiskey from the Buffalo Trace Antique collection and I found it tonight at my favorite North Austin Bar. I believe this is the 2017 bottling but I am not 100% sure.

Mashbill: Unknown but >51% Rye

Abv: 126 proof (63.1% ABV)

Age: No Age Statement

Price: ~$29 USD for a ~1.5 oz pour

Review

Color: A reddish amber

Neat

Nose: Brown sugar with hints of floral honey

Taste: The honey turns into a rich butterscotch with a layer of baking spice spice with the brown sugar remaining prevalent throughout

Finish: Sweet but a little short with mostly brown sugar and hints of spice

On a rock

Nose: The honey from the neat nose surges to the front with the brown sugar taking a more subtle note

Taste: The ice unlocks the sweetness leading to pure butterscotchy bliss

Finish: Still sweet and a touch spicy, it didn’t particularly change from neat

Conclusion

I loved this rye, this is a near 10 for me. If it was on the shelves at my local shop I’d buy it in a heartbeat. My wife tasted a bit and said it was like the moment when you pour brown sugar into your cookie batter(maybe she should be writing these reviews) and she usually thinks whiskey tastes like sweet mouthwash haha.

9 - a favorite I’d like to keep on my shelf

Scale

You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.

Review #2: Booker's Kathleen's Batch

Data

Picked this up from Oak Liquor Cabinet a few weeks ago and just got around to having my second glass. The case it came in was cool but I just threw it out so nothing to write home about. They include these little cards with tasting notes and a break down of which floors of which warehouse the whiskey came from. I’m not sure that is information I care about but whatever.

Abv: 127 proof (63.7% ABV)

Age: 6 years 3 months 14 days

Review

Color: A deep, rich amber

Neat

Nose: Honey and hints of spice

Taste: The honey from the nose transitions into a richer, sweet caramel. Surisingly little heat despite the proof

Finish: Long sweet caramel finish with just a touch of spice at the end

On a rock

Nose: On ice the sweet nose is preserved and almost reminds me of a dessert wine

Taste: A delicious explosion of caramel and butterscotch. Very tasty indeed.

Finish: Unfortunately shortened by the ice and mostly just a touch of spice

Conclusion

An excellent bourbon though I wish the spice was a little more prevalent and that the finish stood up to ice a bit better(it’s hot here). I was also a bit disappointed not to catch the cherry notes the card that came with it mentioned. I probably won’t pick up another bottle of Kathleen’s batch but I will be keeping my eye out for another bottle from another batch. I do like high abv sweet bourbons :)

8 - an excellent bottle I’ll buy from time to time

Scale

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Review #1: Four Rose Single Barrel OBSQ Recipe

Data

This is the store selection from Oak Liquor Cabinet in Austin, TX. It’s a single barrel OBSQ.

O - Distilled at Four Roses in Lawrenceburg, KY

B - 65-30-5 mash bill

S - Straight Whiskey

Q - Floral Essence

Mashbill: 60% corn, 35% rye, 5% malted barley

Abv: 110 proof (55% ABV)

Age: 9 years 10 month

Review

Neat

Nose: Floral and sweet with a bit of cherry and a hint of oak

Taste: A little harsh for me but still sweet with cherries, oak, baking spice and vanilla. A little floral but not as much as the nose.

Finish: Long finish with lingering cherry and spice. Probably my favorite part of this whiskey

On a rock

Nose: The ice definitely cuts the nose though the floral aroma survives it

Taste: Rich, smooth and sweet. Removes any harshness present when it was neat but otherwise tastes very similar if not a little sweeter.

Finish: Just as good as neat

Conclusion

A sweet bourbon for sure but I have a bit of sweet tooth when it comes to drinking. It’s super hot here in Texas so definitely preferred it on the rocks. This was the whiskey that inspired me to start reviewing on Reddit

8 - an excellent bottle I’ll buy from time to time

Scale

You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.