1792 Sweet Wheat

A while back I went through a big 1792 craze and bought entirely too many bottles of their whiskey. I’m slowly catching up on reviewing them.

1792 Sweet Wheat

Age: NAS

Abv: 91.2 proof

Color: A medium amber

Neat

Nose: Vanilla, oak, butterscotch, citrus and banana

Taste: Very sweet with butterscotch, vanilla, oak and spice a little thin on the mouthfeel but solid for the proof

Finish: Medium length finish with vanilla, oak and light spice

Conclusion

I am a big fan of wheaters in general and this is solid entry that category so it’s no surprise I liked it. I’d put it over a readily available offering like Larceny, Maker’s or even Weller Special Reserve that said it falls a bit short of something in a similar price/scarcity range like Weller Antique 107. Maybe it would be able to compete if this were bottled at a higher proof? I’ll never understand why 1792 releases most things at less than 100 proof 🤷‍♂️ That said this is a super accessible drinker with great flavors so if you are in the mood for sweet, smooth and easy to drink this is checks all those boxes.

1 Star - Good whiskey: I would choose to drink this over readily available whiskies

Scale

 

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Sample Mountain Week 14: Angel's Envy Cask Strength

Week 14 of Sample Mountain is Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Week! I was in Kentcuky this week picking barrels for a couple local stores when I trolled self by buying 4 1oz samples of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength from their gift shop effectively setting my sample clearing project back by a week :/

Angel’s Envy releases a cask strength version of their port finished bourbon once a year but they have a deep library of samples for sale at their gift shop. I picked the 2013 because it was the oldest, 2020 because it was the newest and then 2 in between based on the provided tasting notes. All I know for sure if that this is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in port casks and that Angel’s Envy sources from multiple distilleries. I’d guess there is at least some Heaven Hill in the blends but who knows?

 

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength 2013

Proof: 123

Neat

Nose: Sweet with vanilla and dried fruit notes with hints of nuts underneath. Gentle for the proof.

Taste: Similar to the nose but with more of a caramel sweetness. Same dried fruit and nuts balanced with some oak. Nice mouthfeel as I would expect for the proof.

Finish: Medium to long finish with a sticky sweetness and some bitter oak.

Buy a bottle? No

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength 2014

Proof: 119.4

Neat

Nose: Deep and rich with dark fruit, sweet caramel, rich oak and bit of chocolate.

Taste: Almost like an armagnac with dark fruit, oak, leather and sweet caramel plus that bit of chocolate from the nose. Great mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and lingering with rich oak, dried fruit and faint spice.

Buy a bottle? Probably if I’d found it at retail back in the day

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength 2017

Proof: 124.5

Neat

Nose: Very similar to the 2013 but a little nuttier and more potent.

Taste: Nice caramel sweetness, nutty notes, warm spice and fainter but present dried fruit. Good mouthfeel in line with the proof.

Finish: Nice, long finish with sweet caramel and slightly bitter oak.

Buy a bottle? No

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength 2020

Proof: 120.4

Neat

Nose: Dark and rich with dark fruit and vanilla cream notes.

Taste: Holiday spices, dried fruit, sweet vanilla and oak.

Finish: Long sweet and spicy finish with just a little bit of bitter oak.

Buy a bottle? No

Conclusion

To start with the positives all of these had great proof integration and were surprisingly(dangerously?) easy to drink for being around 120 proof. They also all tasted like bourbon with port influence so good job doing what it says on the label. Otherwise for the most part these were enjoyable but nothing special especially given the limited nature and high price point. The one possible exception was the 2014 which reminded me of Bardstown Bourbon Company Chateau De Laubade and of Blood Oath 6 in a very nice way. That said I am a fan of both of those releases and they were cheaper and easier to get 🤷‍♂️ On another note the 2020 reminded me a little more of Four Roses also in a good way but not enough to justify the cost and hunt.

 

TL;DR: 14 >> 2020 > 2017 > 2013. They were all enjoyable but 2014 was the only one I would have considering buying.

 

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Sample Mountain Week 13: Thomas H Handy Sazerac

Sample Mountain Week 13 is Thomas H Handy week! I finally wrapped up something in my non-bourbon life so I wanted to crack into some top shelf samples and what better to get into than some BTAC. This week I did a blind tasting of 3 samples 2011, 2014 and 2019 as well as my open 2020 bottle. I have previously reviewed the 2019 and will have a full write up on the 2020 soonish (now that I’ll have more time for hobbies again).

I did this as a sort of rambling blind tasting then sat down to write up more detailed notes on the ‘11 and ‘14.

 

2011 Thomas H Handy Sazerac

Age: 6 years 5 months

Proof: 128.6 proof

Neat

Nose: Brown sugar and rye spice. Just the right balance

Taste: Sweet herbs, rye spice and a sticky sweetness. Great mouthfeel that’s viscous but not too oily.

Finish: Long, warm finish with herbs and spices balanced by brown sugar

Buy a bottle compared to recent releases? Maybe? It was one of the best THHs I’ve had but so is ‘20

2014 Thomas H Handy Sazerac

Age: 6 years 3 months

Proof: 129.2

Neat

Nose: Rich herbs, vanilla, warm spice

Taste: Rye and baking spices, sweet vanilla cream, herbal notes and a touch of oak. Good mouthfeel but not as enjoyable as the ‘11

Finish: Long and lingering but fainter than the ‘11 with rye spice, herbs and something sweet I can’t quite place.

Buy a bottle compared to recent releases? No. It’s good but just grab a ‘17, ‘18 or ‘20

Conclusion

Overall I felt like my priors were validated with ‘20 being a great year and ‘19 being a let down. The ‘11 was also something special but the hassle and/or cost of getting dusty BTAC is even worse than getting the current stuff so I can’t recommend trying to track one down unless you are a THH aficionado. The ‘14 was great but overshadowed by the ‘20 and ‘11 making it even less worth tracking down. As for the ‘19 if you magically stumble upon it at retail sure buy it but otherwise easy pass.

 

TL;DR: ‘20 and ‘11 are 🔥 ‘14 was great and ‘19 was good but not up to the standard of the other 3

 

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Michter's 10 Rye 2020

I was very fortunately able to grab both the Michter’s 10 bourbon and rye last year and after an unexpected delay here is the rye review!

 

Michter’s 10 Rye 2020

Age: 10 years

Proof: 92.8

Price: 160

Barrel No: 20E925

Neat

Nose: Vanilla extract, herbs, baking spices and cinnamon.

Taste: Vanilla cream, oak, cinnamon and rye spices. Decent but unremarkable mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length slightly dry finish with more vanilla, cinnamon and oak.

Conclusion

Similar to the bourbon M10 Rye packs a ton of flavor into a low proof, very drinkable offering. The mouthfeel suffers a bit from the proofing down but while it is lowlight it’s still enjoyable. Unlike the bourbon I was able to get this at retail but the retail on this is higher than the bourbon. Compared to the only 10+ year old rye that sits on shelves I can think of, Kentucky Owl, I think M10R is the clear winner and is cheaper. On the other hand I don’t think it holds up to the recent High West Rocky Mountain Rye release and it’s hard to compete on value with those extra aged Whistle Pig picks that have been hitting lately.

Overall this is another great bottle and consistent with Michter’s high price, high quality approach to the 10 year releases.

 

TL;DR: Tons of flavor in a low proof offering, tough price

2 Stars - Very good whiskey: I would want to have a bottle

Scale

 

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Sample Mountain Week 12: Weird Stuff

For Week 12 of Sample Mountain I wanted to visit some weirder stuff. First up will be a peated bourbon from Kings County and since I am not particularly a fan of heavy peat or Kings County this will be exciting! Next up in a double oak rye from Peerless. Rebarreling can be hit or miss though I tend to like the results. Last up is Old Carter American Whiskey Batch 3 which I believe is a light whiskey from MGP.

 

Kings County Peated Bourbon

Age: NAS

Proof: 90

Neat

Nose: Young grain and acrid smoke.

Taste: Hot for 90 proof with more smoke and grain.

Finish: Long and lingering with fading heat and lasting smoke with hints of grain.

Buy a bottle? No.

Peerless Double Oak Rye

Age: NAS

Proof: Unknown (most bottles online are between 108-110)

Neat

Nose: Herbs and spices with some proof sting and a fainter sweetness.

Taste: Really balanced between rye spice, oak notes and a vanilla sweetness. Very pleasant mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length finish

Buy a bottle? Yes - if I was at the distillery and they had it stocked in the giftshop

Old Carter American Whiskey Batch 3

Age: NAS

Proof: 138.1 proof

Neat

Nose: Potent with sweet caramel, oak and warm spice. The proof is present and almost too much.

Taste: Ethanol, heat, a nice caramel note toward the end. Astringent mouthfeel.

Finish: Long, dry and hot. Deserty.

Buy a bottle? No

Conclusion

The Kings County Peated was very much not for me. It was harsh and had an unusual finish. I’d buy Laphroaig 10 over this all day if I was looking for a peat fix.

The Peerless was surprisingly good but given the scarcity (gift shop releases) and price (34/200ml) I wouldn’t seek it out. That said I’d happily pick up a 200ml bottle if I was visiting the gift shop. This is on brand for Peerless with a high quality but even higher priced release.

I had very low hopes for the Old Carter Batch 3 after my previous experience with high proof MGP light whiskey and the disappointing Batch 3 of their bourbon. My low expectations were spot on. Whatever it is about these high proof MGP light whiskies just isn’t for me. There are some nice caramels but they are lost in the hot mess.

 

TL;DR: Peerless solid but pricey, the other two were not for me.

 

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Sample Mountain Week 11: Sixth Street Bourbon

I’m a couple days late but here’s Sample Mountain Week 11 Sixth Street Bourbon featuring Joseph Magnus. I recently acquired samples of 2 12 year old cask strength MGP pick from Sixth Street Bourbon here in Texas and decided that a Magnus pick from another Texas group, DFW Whiskey Club, would be a great benchmark. The first pick is from Liquor Depot in Giddings, Texas which dropped on a Friday morning during a call I couldn’t reschedule or else I would have been there. Thankfully someone from a local group drove out there and did a bottle share. The next pick is Black Cat, I’m sort of unclear who picked this or where it came from, but I got a sample from a friend in Dallas(and drank some from his bottle just to be safe).

 

DFW Whiskey Club Magnus Pick #1

Age: Unknown (I believe 12 or 13)

Proof: Unknown

Neat

Nose: Leather and oak balanced by brown sugar.

Taste: Lots of oak, baking spices, some leather and brown sugar. Pleasant but unremarkable mouthfeel

Finish: Medium length, slightly dry finish with bitter oak, warm spice and faint brown sugar.

Buy a bottle? No at the retail price of ~120

Sixth Street Bourbon Liquor Depot Pick

Age: 12 years

Proof: 106

Neat

Nose: Herbal notes, especially mint, with a sugary sweetness, warm spices and faint oak in the background.

Taste: Sweet and herbal with more sugar and less mint than the nose balanced with a good amount of oak and subtler spice notes. Average mouthfeel for the proof.

Finish: Long and almost sticky with more sweetness and more mint.

Buy a bottle? Yes - assuming the retail price was ~100-120

Sixth Street Bourbon Black Cat Pick

Age: 12 years

Proof: 116 proof

Neat

Nose: Barrel char, something sweet,

Taste: Charred oak, coffee, sweet caramel, warm spices . Nice mouthfeel and great proof integration.

Finish: Long finish with lots of coffee, spice, oak and some sweetness.

Buy a bottle? Yes - I’d pay more for it but not whatever the crazy secondary on MGP is these days

Conclusion

I am typically a Magnus fan and when I nosed this pick I was very excited but it was a little too dry and bitter for me. Over oaked for my taste. The second Magnus pick DFW Whiskey Club did was significantly better for me. It had similar notes but they were balanced very differently. The second pick dialed down the dry, bitter parts and turned the sweet and spice notes up.

The first Sixth Street pick was nice. The herbal notes remind me a bit of Four Roses F yeast strain and a few other MGP picks I’ve had. I wouldn’t seek it out compared to other 12 year old MGP but if I’d had the chance to grab one I would have. I’ll definitely keep an eye out if Sixth releases more of these nearby.

The Black Cat pick was really off profile. The charred oak and coffee notes were not something I usually get from MGP. Maybe the time(unclear how long) in Texas made a difference? I can definitely see this being divisive if the drinker was expecting something closer to Smooth Ambler or Smoke Wagon. That said black coffee and whiskey are my two favorite drinks so when I get some coffee notes in my bourbon I’m not complaining. This was unique and to my taste so I’d definitely like to get a bottle but MGP prices these days are crazy 🤷‍♂️

 

TL;DR: Black Cat > Liquor Depot. The Magnus pick was a miss for me.

 

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Sample Mountain Week 10: Eagle Rare

Week 10 of Sample Mountain is Eagle Rare week featuring some local store picks and a semi dusty bottle. All of these are 10 year age stated and 90 proof and for the “Buy a bottle?” question it will be comparing whether it is worth it vs regular Eagle Rare. The first sample is a Spec’s pick from last year but that’s all I know about it. The second sample is the Moonshine pick from last year which I bought as part of a cocktail to go kit. I used the rest of the kit with some other whiskey and saved the ER to drink neat. Last up is an Old Prentice distilled Eagle Rare that was bottled in 2007. A local club I’m in did a bottle share on this and I have high hopes knowing it came from what would later be Four Roses!

 

Spec’s Pick 2020

Neat

Nose: Softer than I expected with cherry, earthy and oak notes.

Taste: More cherry and more oak with some vanilla and spice coming in towards the end. Average mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length finish with fading sweetness and lingering oak.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Moonshine Pick 2020

Neat

Nose: Spicier, stronger and more complex than the Spec’s pick with the cherry taking a back seat.

Taste: Sweet vanilla, warm spices, rich oak, fainter earthy notes and then a rush of cherry syrup at the end. Also middling mouthfeel.

Finish: Longer finish with lingering cherry syrup notes.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Old Prentice 2007

Neat

Nose: Salted caramel, tobacco and fainter spice notes.

Taste: More caramel with oak and earthy notes with spice toward the end. Unremarkable mouthfeel.

Finish: Long oak forward finish with some sweet and spice to balance and add complexity but mostly oak.

Buy a bottle? No

Conclusion

The Spec’s pick was the most similar to a regular Eagle Rare bottle with the earth notes toned down and the cherry turned up. I liked the extra sweetness and I’m a fan of Eagle Rare so I will definitely pick up the next Spec’s pick given the chance!

The Moonshine pick was the winner here with more spice and more complexity without neglecting the oak and cherry notes I enjoy in older Buffalo Trace distillate. The finish was particularly pleasant compared to the other two.

The Old Prentice was different with more of a caramel sweetness than the Buffalo Trace cherry. While it is a nice changeup from modern ER it is not significantly better and is not worth hunting down or overpaying for and I actually think I prefer the Buffalo Trace take on Eagle Rare. I had higher hopes from this knowing was distilled at what is now Four Roses but at least it was enjoyable!

 

TL;DR: Moonshine pick was the winner, the Old Prentice didn’t live up to my admittedly high hopes and Spec’s pick was enjoyable but nothing special.

 

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Sample Mountain Week 9: Weller Antique

Week 9 of sample mountain is Weller Week with three Weller Antique picks. The first is Cherry Potter a pick from Redstone Liquors with a suitably tater sticker and apparently loads of cherry notes (we’ll see). Next up is Unholy Trinity which I think is from a group called Brotherhood of the Barrel who has since removed all their social media content and that’s pretty much all I know about that. Last up is a sample of an old pick from 2015 by 1789b. These are all 107 proof and NAS. Unfortunately I was unable to verify if any of them were non chill filtered.

Since all of these are older single barrels and there is no way to buy them at a sane price I’m instead comparing them to an average Weller Antique pick which for me is most of the ones with the state of Texas stickers.

 

Cherry Potter

Neat

Nose: Sweet with cherry, butterscotch and cinnamon. Almost no proof sting.

Taste: Sweet notes that didn’t quite read as caramel or butterscotch for me, cherry syrup, cinnamon sugar and some baking spice. Pleasant viscosity and no ethanol notes.

Finish: Long finish that leaves sweet cherry and warm spice notes lingering.

Buy a bottle vs ‘average’ Weller Antique pick? Yes

Unholy Trinity

Neat

Nose: Soft and sweet with butterscotch and honey wheat bread notes.

Taste: It starts sweet with more butterscotch then some baking spices come in before a slight twinge of bitterness toward the end. The mouthfeel was not as nice as Cherry Potter.

Finish: Medium length with the butterscotch and wheat breads notes coming back.

Buy a bottle vs ‘average’ Weller Antique pick? No

1789b 2015

Neat

Nose: Big departure from the other two with a leathery note followed by sweet vanilla.

Taste: Closer to the usual profile with a rush of sweet butterscotch then the return of the leather with some spice. Nice viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: An unusual but not unpleasant leather note dominates the long finish with baking spice and some fainter sweetness.

Buy a bottle vs ‘average’ Weller Antique pick? No

Conclusion

The Cherry Potter does what it says on the sticker. It wasn’t overwhelmingly cherry but that note was clear and present throughout and otherwise it was about what I would expect from Weller Antique. Overall it was very enjoyable especially if you like the cherry side of the Buffalo Trace profile, obviously I do. The proof was well integrated into the whiskey and was only really noticeable on the finish.

Unholy Trinity was a clear step down from Cherry Potter for me. It was simpler, had some grain and some bitter notes and didn’t have anything particularly noteworthy about it. Overall it was enjoyable but I’m not sure I would put it ahead of a normal bottle of Weller Antique.

The 1789b pick was definitely unique but it lost some of the things I love about Weller Antique in the process. I typically like leather notes in bourbon, especially in Joseph Magnus, but for some reason it didn’t fit here for me. I can why folks would like this profile though.

 

TL;DR: Cherry Potter was great, the other two were enjoyable but not my favorites.

 

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Sample Mountain Week 8: Old Forester

I went to grab Glencairns for Week 8 of Sample Mountain and the first one I grabbed happened to be branded by Old Forester so naturally it had to be Old Forester Week. These were tasted from lowest to highest proof starting with 2019 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, the 150th Anniversary Batch 2 and lastly The Austin Shaker’s 2021 pick.

 

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2019

Age: 11 years

Proof: 105

Neat

Nose: Candy bar nose with caramel, chocolate and vanilla notes and almost no proof sting. There was a touch of spice if I looked for it.

Taste: Caramel and spice backed up by oak and vanilla with a slightly bitter note toward the end. Middling mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length finish with some bitterness balanced with more caramel.

Buy a bottle? No

Old Forester 150th Anniversary Batch 2

Age: NAS

Proof: 126.4

Neat

Nose: Bigger and bolder than the Birthday with rye spice, caramel, vanilla and rich oak. The proof is present but well integrated.

Taste: Complex and intense with rye and baking spices, caramel and chocolate, smoky oak, vanilla and something else I couldn’t place. Nice and viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and slightly dry but in a pleasant way like fine wine with a fading caramel then lingering oak, spice and vanilla.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel String The Austin Shaker 2021

Age: NAS

Proof: 127.2

Neat

Nose: Intense nose with a good bit of proof sting and notes of caramel, rye spice and chocolate.

Taste: Great vanilla and caramel burst up front with the baking and rye spice picking up toward the end. Excellent mouthfeel that really hits the front of my mouth. The proof comes through stronger than it did on the 150th.

Finish: Medium to short finish with a flash of sweetness then spice.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Conclusion

The nose was great on the BB, went downhill from there. It’s enjoyable but nothing special and I’m not sure it’s even worth the retail price to me. I definitely wouldn’t hunt this one.

OF Anniversary was 🔥. It’s right up there with the President’s Choice I tried as the best Old Forester that I’ve had. Definitely sad I missed this one and would gladly pick it up nearish to retail. This was hands down better than the ‘19 Birthday Bourbon for me.

I feel like these Old Forester Barrel Proof picks are young, high proof bruisers that are enjoyable buy not worth $80 like many craft releases. On the other I definitely would have bought this had I been able to make it down to Shaker that day and after tasting it I only feel that more. It’s certainly no unicorn bottle, no OFBP pick I’ve had it, but think it goes to show that with sufficient volume a distiller can produce some young barrels that come close to Stagg Jr and ECBP especially when you are cranking out the volume that Brown Forman is.

I’m not the biggest Old Forester fan and I typically don’t think their special releases are worth it but the 150th is an exception but the ‘19 BB is not. Even so if I had to pick a rare bottle from last year to grab it would not be the Old Forester 150th over something like GTS, 4 Roses LE or even a great Willett single barrel. I am a barrel proof barrel pick tater and the Shaker pick is no exception, I’d happily have bought one.

 

TL;DR: 150th was surprisingly great, Shaker pick was enjoyable but pricey for the age, Birthday Bourbon was a let down.

 

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Sample Mountain Week 7: Heaven Hill Barrel Proof Bourbon

Week 7 of Sample Mountain is Heaven Hill Barrel Proof Bourbon Week! I needed some strong bourbons to recover from the ice apocalypse this week here in Austin and these definitely fit the bill. I tasted these in order of proof starting with the 2020 Parker’s Heritage Heavy Char, then an Elijah Craig Barrel Proof before wrapping up with William Heaven Hill.

 

Parker’s Heritage Heavy Char 10 Year Bourbon

Age: 10 years

Proof: 120

Neat

Nose: Caramel, oak, fainter nuttiness than I expected, subtle spices and smoke plus a touch of burn.

Taste: Predominantly vanilla and a lightly salted caramel with smokey oak and baking spice towards the end.

Finish: Long slightly dry finish with lingering spice, vanilla and oak.

Buy a bottle? At retail probably because 🥔 but not worth hunting

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B519

Age: 12 years

Proof: 122.2

Neat

Nose: Very similar to the PH10

Taste: Vanilla cream, caramel, rich oak and baking spice. No Heaven Hill nuts. Great mouthfeel

Finish: Long and balanced with sweet vanilla and baking spice and subtle oak.

Buy a bottle? Yes, honestly preferred it to the PH10

William Heaven Hill 12 Year

Age: 12 years

Proof: 134.4 proof

Neat

Nose: Very strong compared to the first two with the baking spice notes taking the top billing

Taste: More complex than the first two with baking and rye spices, caramel, lots of oak but no bitterness, vanilla, subtler smoke and an almost leathery note. Very viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and strong with complex spices, oak, smoke and vanilla.

Buy a bottle? Yes

Conclusion

The Parker’s was like a great batch of ECPB. The slight saltiness to it was very pleasant and not something I usually get with Heaven Hill. That said given the price and scarcity this one is not worth the hunt or paying a markup vs just grabbing a new batch of ECBP.

B517 and B519 are my favorite batches of Elijah Craig Barrel proof so far so I wasn’t surprised when this was a winner. Great execution of the classic bourbon profile. No surprises but everything came together great. It edged out the Parker’s and at half the price. This also made me realize that I am running low on ECBP so looking forward to B521 this summer!

The William Heaven Hill was definitely the winner here. The spice notes were more complex, the flavors were more intense on the nose and finish and the mouthfeel was easily the best of the bunch. I actually based on this at the Heaven Hill gift shop the day before we did the r/bourbon New Riff pick and now I regret it. Apart from the leather at the end it didn’t have new flavors compared to the other two but the spices tasted like someone went from using like 2 spices to 7, the oak had no dryness or bitterness and the caramel was sweeter at the same time. Sure the price is crazy but this is the pinnacle of that ECBP profile for me.

 

TL;DR: Enjoyed all 3, WHH was the easy winner, can’t be the value on ECBP, PH10 was borderline not worth it.

 

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