2020 Whiskey Awards

It’s New Year’s Eve so it’s time for my second annual whiskey awards! There’s no Pappy 15, Alberta Premium or Larceny Barrel Proof to be found here. Just like last year I haven’t tasted nearly enough whiskies for this to be even remotely authoritative and I am just as unqualified to call something the best so these will just be my favorites.

Requirements to be on the list:

  • Released in 2020
  • I was able to get a bottle and drink a reasonable amount of it
  • No barrel picks for the non-barrel pick award categories (IB releases don’t count as barrel picks ie SCN)

Judging Criteria

  • For whiskies I wrote reviews for this year I respected the scores given
  • Otherwise it is whatever I enjoyed most

To be clear this my favorite whiskies released in 2019 and not “The best whiskies released” or “Whiskies I think everyone will love” and definitely not “Things you should tater over.”

Straight Bourbon

Winner: 2020 George T Stagg

Runner Up: Doc Swinon’s 15 Year Release 6

This year’s Stagg was even better than last year’s but not quite at ‘17 levels for me. That said it was definitely my favorite straight bourbon from this year. It feels bad to but a BTAC here since they are so hard to get but it really did stand out.

Doc Swinson’s first 15 year old release was also fantastic. It was sweet, nutty, complex and still approachable especially compared to something like Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. While the 7-9 releases were also good none of them was at the same level as the 6 for me.

Finished Bourbon:

Winner: Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend 19

Runner Up: Bardstown Bourbon Company Chateau De Laubade Collaboration

Basically the same as last year but what am I supposed to do? Cigar Blend remains one of my favorite pours and I think this was a great year even with the increase in the number of batches. I do think some of the batches from this year were a little weaker and sort of diverged from what I consider to be the classic Cigar Blend profile(ie 25 and 29) but the great batches this year like 19 were still some of the best bourbons I drank. This year Bardstown narrowed the gap with their exceptional Chateau De Laubade Collaboration which was MGP finished in Armagnac casks so it’s no surprise I loved it.

Straight Rye:

Winner: Thomas H Handy Sazerac 2020

Runner Up: High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 Year

After last year’s very disappointing Handy release I was cautiously optimistic after seeing some early hype for this year’s release and it definitely lived up to it. COVID has gotten in the way of me doing a BTAC/Van Winkle round up but I’m optimistic that bars will still have their bottles long enough for me to do it.

I learned that High West was bringing back their Rocky Mountain Rye early this year and was very excited especially when they announced that it was a blend of 16 year straight ryes, higher proof and was a relatively reasonable 130. Thankfully my Park City connection came through and the bottle delivered. It’s old and delicious and I’ll definitely be doing a longer write up on it.

Finished Rye:

Winner: Single Cask Nation Whistle Pig Rum and Vermouth Finish

Runner Up: Single Cask Nation Whistle Pig Tokaji Finish

These slapped basically everything else I tried this year. MWND 8 was enjoyable but wasn’t on the same level as these two and the same goes for the other various High West barrel select ryes I tried. I skipped the finished releases from Sagamore so I can’t say how they stacked up.

Bourbon Barrel Pick:

Winner: ADLS Smoke Wagon 13 Year

Runner Up: Bourbon Enthusiast XO Cognac

When I found out a local club I’m in was getting a 13 year old Smoke Wagon Private Barrel I almost couldn’t believe it. The presale sold out in minutes and thankfully I got one. I was fan of Smoke Wagon going into the year and this 13 year old bottle is right up there with the original Chip’s Liquor Drink Smoke Every Day for my favorite Smoke Wagon release. It’s a great balance of sweet MGP brown sugar and strong oak notes.

With Belle Meade putting their barrel selections on hiatus I was very fortunate to be able to grab a couple of Bourbon Enthusiast’s XO Cognac finished pick. Surprising no one I was a big fan of good cask strength MGP finished in a cognac barrel. The finish is heavy without being overwhelming leaving enough of the MGP notes to cut through the rich dark fruit.

Rye Barrel Pick:

Winner: Bourbon Boyz Nashville Barrel Company Rye

Runner Up: ADLS Nashville Barrel Company Rye

Nashville Barrel Company has been releasing some amazing 7 year old MGP and these two bottles easily topped my list of the 6 or so I tried this year and beat out the Barrell and Nulu 7 years ryes as well(though those were no slouches either). I’m super excited to see these middle aged MGP ryes coming back and still delivering.

Scotch:

Winner: GlenDronach Single Cask ‘The Belter’ GAS Selection

Runner Up Winner: Edradour Spec’s Single Cask

I was a little hesitant to buy an expensive scotch pick from a group I’d never heard of but I was very curious about these GlenDronach single casks and this was the lowest entry cost I’d had on one so I went for it and I’m glad I did. The PX sherry cask does wonders to GlenDronach’s excellent distillate leading to tons of rich dark fruit with leather, oak, spice and everything else I’d want in an old single malt.

Despite being only 10 years old this basically looks like motor oil thanks to the first fill Oloroso butt. I’d never had cask strength Edradour before and this little sherry bomb has made sure I won’t keep missing out. Hopefully more places here in Austin start doing scotch selections.

Whiskey You Can Actually Buy For a Reasonable Price:

The criteria here are simple a bottle must be on shelves at ~MSRP in Austin and <$5 for a 1.5 oz drink so <80 for a fifth or <40 for a pint.

Winner: Wilderness Trail Rye Picks

Runner Up: Remus Repeal Batch 4

The first one is sort of cheating but there are currently at least 2 Wilderness Trail rye picks sitting around town (ABC Liquor and Austin Shaker) and I think they are both great bottles. The Shaker pick is on the sweeter side of the Wilderness Trail profile while the ABC is a bit spicier.

This year’s Remus Repeal was another winner for me. I’m an MGP fan and 100 proof is a sweet spot for me so it’s not a surprise though.

 

Honorable Mentions

  • Willett Family Estate Single Barrels: I loved the Willett single barrel releases that hit town this year and grabbed as many of them as I could. Highway Kind was the standout bourbon and Walkin the Floor was the standout rye for me.
  • Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 3: The addition of older MGP to this years Discovery Blend led to a really interesting end product where both the Indiana and Kentucky notes shine through without overwhelming each other. That said it’s pretty pricey and if I was going to go by a ~150 bottle of bourbon it would Doc Swinson’s over Bardstown right now.
  • Moonshine Four Roses OESK: It was a tossup between this and Bourbon Enthusiast XO for the runner up spot for bourbon barrel picks for me this year. Moonshine keeps killing it with the Four Roses picks even if I did prefer the previous 12 year OBSV to this one. That said it handily beat out this year’s Beastmaster’s OESK and another random OESK from my shelf.
  • All the Whistle Pig picks I did this year: I did 3 different Whistle Pig picks with 3 different stores throughout the year which ended up being sort of awkward but I loved them all and would do it again haha. Also I’d definitely take a WP pick over Alberta Premium any day even with the higher price tag.
  • Boss Hog VII: I wasn’t sure whether to count this as a finished rye or not with the teakwood so I just dropped it here. I’ve never bought a Boss Hog before and I’m not sure I would again but this bottle was fantastic and tasted like cinnamon rolls to me. I had the chance to buy it in the low 400s, which is still crazy expensive, right when I was looking to buy something nice as a celebration bottle and this did the job.

Conclusion

2020 was another great year in bourbon for me and once again most of my favorites barrel picks or other releases outside the usual tater suspects. Ignore the awards, ignore the internet hype and drink what you like.

New high cost releases did a bit better for me in 2020 than in 2019. I didn’t get suckered into buying anything from Kentucky Owl this year and I skipped all the Cream of Kentucky releases. The gamble on Doc’s paid off, Bardstown’s Discovery releases were great and Four Gate was good if pricey for what it was. Still my general advice would be to stay away from these 100+ bottles if value is important to you.

Craft distilleries keep getting better with a slew of great picks coming out of New Riff and Wilderness Trail. Woodinville, Wyoming Whiskey and Still Austin here are also dialing it in and will be ones to watch for me. The New York craft distilleries haven’t impressed me yet and Texas whiskey is still divisive.

 

TL;DR: 2020 was a great year for bourbon

Tasting Notes: High West Double Rye! Barrel Select Debs Liquor

It took all year but here is the end of my 30 part series on finished American whiskies. In addition to drinking a lot of finished bourbon and rye this year I got to do participate in my first and second finished whiskey picks with two High West selections for Debs Liquor here in Austin.

For the first selection me and one other guy tasted through 10 barrels with 6 Double Ryes and 4 American Prairie Bourbons. It was very clear after the initial tasting that we wanted to go with a Double Rye. We narrowed it down to a funky Jamaican Rum and a more accessible Syrah finish that was reminiscent of a higher proof, less sweet Yippe Ki Yay. After some deliberation we landed on the Syrah.

 

High West Double Rye! Barrel Select

Age: NAS - finished for 9 months in Syrah

Abv: 103 proof

Price: $50

Barrel Number: 17247

Neat

Nose: Strong wine influence with lots of dark fruit and warm spice with subtler oak and vanilla.

Taste: A lot going on with rye spice, red wine, cloves, rich herbs and oak notes.

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

Conclusion

Obviously I am fan of the barrel we picked but I’m also biased since I picked it. For our second pick we unfortunately did not get the same wide selection. This time we only had 3 options with 2 Double Ryes and an American Prairie Bourbon. This time it was obvious which barrel we wanted to pick with a Double Rye finished in PX Sheryy easily outclassing the other two options. The barrel unfortunately got delayed into next year so it didn’t make it into this series but I’m looking forward to it as well.

Overall I’ve enjoyed tasting through so many finished American whiskies this year and I’m still a fan of what using a finishing cask can do. Scotch has been using wine casks to produce excellent whiskies forever and I’m glad to see this practice continuing to gain traction in America.

Lastly I am never writing a 30 part series again!

 

TL;DR: After writing about finished whiskey all year getting to do 2 finished rye picks was awesome! 30 parts is too many.

Review #276: Elijah Craig Beast Masters Club Beaver pick

Beast Masters Club released a series of 3 Elijah Craig picks this year “Smell”, “The” and “Beaver” and while I didn’t need that many EC picks I did decide to pickup Beaver.

 

Elijah Craig Beast Masters Club ‘Beaver’

Age: 10 years

Abv: 94 proof

Neat

Nose: Sharp vanilla and oak notes with sweet caramel underneath.

Taste: More caramel and rich oak with vanilla extract and faint spice. Nice mouthfeel for the proof.

Finish: Medium length finish with vanilla cream and a building spice.

Conclusion

Overall this was on par with most Elijah Craig picks I’ve had. It was heavy on the vanilla but I enjoyed it. I usually think EC picks are a great value but with Beast Masters Club’s New York prices and shipping I would have gladly settled for a local pick.

 

TL;DR: About what you would expect from an EC pick.

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 #274-275: Barrell Armida and High West Campfire Barrel Select

For the penultimate entry in the finished whiskey series I’m drinking two pretty unusual options with the newish Barrell Armida and a distillery release of High West Campfire. Both of these are blends of 3 different whiskies, 3 bourbons for the Armida and bourbon, rye and peated scotch for the Campfire, that are finished in amaro casks. I honestly didn’t know amaro was barrel aged before writing this! So let’s see how these hold up.

 

Barrell Armida

Age: NAS

Abv: 112.1

Finish: Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum and Sicilian Amaro

Neat

Nose: Honey, pear, holiday spices, rich herbs and vanilla.

Taste: Very sweet, almost cloying at first then spiced pear cider, oak and anise notes

Finish: Slightly harsh with lots of herbs and spices

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

I wasn’t really how to rate this. It doesn’t really taste like bourbon or even whiskey all that much anymore. It’s certainly interesting and enjoyable in its own way but it’s not something I’m ever reaching for.

High West Campfire Barrel Select

Age: NAS

Abv: 100.6 proof

Finish: 1 year and 2 months in Amaro

Barrel Number 16874

Neat

Nose: Rich herbs and savory smoke with some subtler sweet notes. What I assume a vegetarian BBQ would smell like.

Taste: Sweet and smokey with an initial caramel that gives way to BBQ smoke.

Finish: The amaro influence is more prevalent on the long finish with rich herbs, warm spices and subtler but lingering smoke.

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

This was another unusual one. I prefer it to the Barrell but not by much. The peated scotch component overpowers the amaro influence for the most part.

Conclusion

Overall these were enjoyable but a little too out there to be something I would want to have regularly. I definitely think that the wine and rum finishes are more to my taste!

 

TL;DR: Great whiskey at an unfortunately low proof and too high a price.

Scale

 

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

Reviews #271-273: Spec's Smoke Wagon Private Barrels

When Smoke Wagon first started releasing younger Private Barrels I was a little concerned for the the quality after loving the 12 year picks. On the other hand I’d heard plenty of hype around the old 7 year SAOS bourbon so I was cautiously optimistic for these picks.

 

Smoke Wagon Private Barrels Spec’s 8 year picks

Barrel 505

Age: 8 years

Abv: 115.6 proof

Price: $80ish

Neat

Nose: Caramel, vanilla with subtler oak and rye spice notes underneath.

Taste: Butterscotch, warm spices, faint oak. Very nice viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium to short finish with caramel and rye spice.

Barrel 507

Age: 8 years

Abv: 115.8 proof

Price: $80ish

Neat

Nose: Strong vanilla extract and fainter oak, ethanol and rye spice notes underneath.

Taste: Slightly medicinal with more vanilla extract and rye spice. Decent mouthfeel

Finish: Medium finish with warm spice, vanilla and caramel.

Barrel 515

Age: 8 years

Abv: 114.5 proof

Price: $80ish

Neat

Nose: Brown sugar, vanilla and oak.

Taste: Brown sugar, dark fruit, baking spice, rye spice and a touch of oak. Great mouthfeel.

Finish: Long warm finish with baking spice and oak balanced by a bit of caramel and fruit.

Conclusion

I enjoyed all of these and was glad I got them. The 8 year Smoke Wagon picks are holding up!

 

TL;DR: 515 was the clear winner for me.

Tasting Notes: Whistle Pig Picks Oak Liquor Cabinet and Debs

I had the good fortune to help with 2 Whistle Pig picks this year and now that they are both out it felt like a good time to do a side by side and write some notes. I tasted them blind and then sat down to write more detailed notes afterwards.

 

Oak Liquor Cabinet Sweet Sixteen

Age: 16 years

Abv: 115.6 proof

Price: $79.99

Neat

Nose: Rich oak, sweet vanilla and faint herbs.

Taste: Oaky without being dry or tannic with lots of sweet herbal notes and some rye spice.

Finish: Long and sweet with herbal liqueur and sweet vanilla notes balanced with some oak.

Obviously I am biased but this is honestly one of my favorite Alberta sourced ryes. It’s got a lot of oak without being over oaked, to me at least, and tons of herbal notes. It’s almost like a the rye already has a dash or two of herbal bitters in it.

Debs Liquor Fryeday The 15 Year

Age: 15 years

Abv: 106.2 proof

Price: $89.99

Neat

Nose: Oak and herbs with vanilla and fainter cinnamon candy(Red Hots or Hot Tamales etc) underneath.

Taste: It starts very sweet with vanilla cream and herbal notes then more cinnamon candy comes in as it goes.

Finish: Medium length but high intensity finish with more cinnamon candy, rich herbs and finally some oak.

I really like this pick too but it doesn’t beat out the Sweet Sixteen. The cinnamon candy note was very prevalent and reminded me a little bit of the wonderful cinnamon notes in the the Boss Hog VII. Overall this is one of the sweetest unfinished Whistle Pigs I’ve had but it still has a lot else going on and the sweetness isn’t cloying.

Conclusion

Austin had a great crop of Whistle Pig picks this year especially if you like the Alberta ryes. I was very glad I got to participate in the panel for two of these picks and am looking forward to more. It’s really interesting to me to see the different samples different shops get access to and the different ways groups pick. In both cases we didn’t know how old the samples were and didn’t check the proof until the end.

 

TL;DR: Great picks! Sweet Sixteen was the winner.

Review #270: Russell's Reserve 2003

I got lucky and got the call to get a bottle of Russell’s Reserve 2003 this week. I’m a big Russell’s Reserve fan and I enjoyed the Master’s Keep 17 year BiB from earlier this year even if I did think it was a bit pricey so I decided to take the plunge and buy a bottle. Let’s see how it holds up!

s Reserve 2003

 

Russell’s Reserve 2003

Age: 16 years

Abv: 89.5 proof

Price: $250

Neat

Nose: Surprisingly robust for the proof with rich oak and baking spices, Wild Turkey funk, sweet caramel and vanilla notes.

Taste: Sweeter than the nose with more caramel and vanilla along with something else I couldn’t place. The spice and oak picking up on the back of the palate. The specific taste of the baking spice notes is very nice. Unfortunately a relatively thin mouthfeel.

Finish: Very long finish with lingering oak, baking spice and sweet vanilla.

Conclusion

This is an excellent whiskey and is very well balanced. That said the low proof definitely takes a toll on the mouthfeel and there weren’t any really standout notes compared to a good Russell’s pick. On the other hand I was surprised how strong the nose was and how long the finish was with the low proof.

Overall I’d give a slight edge to the Master’s Keep 17 Year Bottled in Bond if you had to pick one of this year’s high end Turkey releases and I don’t think this bottle justifies the price. I am going to enjoy drinking it though.

 

TL;DR: Great whiskey at an unfortunately low proof and too high a price.

8 - an excellent bottle I’d like to have at home

Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money

Scale

 

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

Tasting Notes: Doc Swinson's Exploratory Cask Releases 7-9

The folks from Doc Swinson’s generously sent me a sample kit with 3 of their new 15 year bourbon releases and their new rye. I couldn’t wait to crack into the bourbons and the rye was proofed down to 90 so I haven’t sampled it yet. I was a big fan of their previous 15 year Kentucky Straight Bourbon so I went into this with high hopes. Since I got these samples for free I won’t be assigning a score.

s

 

Doc Swinson’s Exploratory Cask Series Tasting Notes

Release #7

Age: 15 years

Abv: 109.8 proof

Neat

Nose: Sweet and nutty with vanilla and caramel notes. Very slight spice.

Taste: Rich oak, sweet caramel, roasted nuts and warm baking spice. Slightly dry on the back of palate.

Finish: Long dry finish that combines strong oak and spice notes with subtler caramel.

Thoughts: This was a very classic bourbon profile. It reminds me a lot of the better Knob Creek 15 year picks out there but easier to drink without losing any flavor.

Release #8

Age: 15 years

Abv: 114.2 proof

Neat

Nose: Lots of oak with some vanilla in the background.

Taste: Earthier than batch 7 with more prominent spice notes as well. The sweet caramel is there but toned down.

Finish: Very long slightly hot finish with plenty of spice and oak.

Thoughts: The age and barrel notes come through a lot stronger on this batch. 7 was more to my taste but if you want something where you taste the age this batch does that! This dram also has one of the longest finishes I’ve had on a bourbon.

Release #9

Age: 15 years

Abv: 113.8 proof

Neat

Nose: Roasted nuts, baking spice and oak.

Taste: Starts sweet with a nice caramel note before the baking spice and oak kick in. Very viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium finish with fading baking spice and caramel.

Thoughts: This batch had the sweet to spicy flavor journey I enjoy and the palate was particularly good. The finish was a bit disappointing but that was possibly because the finish on the other two was fantastic.

 

TL;DR: Tasty samples, good bit of variance between releases. I think they are Beam now. 7 was my favorite of the bunch

Home Barrel Finishing

For part 28 of the finished whiskey series I’m finally tackling home finishing. I’ve got 5 different home finished options with 2 from me and 3 from other folks. For a bit of background my wife knows I am a fan of finished whiskies so she got me minibarrel last year so I could try my hand at it.

 

Grand Old Funk

What is it?: Old Granddad 114 finished in a mini barrel that previously held Rum Fire, an overproof white rum.

Neat

Nose: Funky Jamaican rum notes of banana and pineapple with ethanol and oak in the background.

Taste: Bitter oak, lots of funk, warm spices, faint nuts and vanilla.

Finish: Long oaky and funky.

Thoughts

The rum influence definitely makes the OGD114 more interesting and overall this is an improvement even if the added bitterness detracts a bit. I think this spent a little too long in the small barrel with the bitter oak notes on the palate. It’s definitely promising and another crack at it using either a more depleted mini barrel or a shorter finishing could be nice.

Belle Meade Reserve Rum Finish

What is it?: Belle Meade Cask Strength finished in a mini barrel that previously held whatever the cheapest overproof rum Spec’s had that week for 2 weeks.

Neat

Nose: A hint of ethanol then lots of oak with some caramel and vanilla.

Taste: Oak, caramel, warm spices and a sort of out of place banana note.

Finish: Medium length finish bananas and caramel.

Thoughts

This answered the question: what if I used a better base bourbon and cheaper rum but finished it for less time? Well it definitely made the Belle Meade worse. I can’t describe it particularly well but the rum and bourbon notes seemed to be clashing as opposed to being integrated with one another. I think it is marginally better than the Grand Old Funk but that was purely from the Belle Meade being better not from the barrel finish, which again made this bourbon worse.

Weller Special Reserve Boulevardier Finish

What is it?: Weller Special Reserve finished in a mini barrel that held rum, then Belle Meade, then two rounds of Bouldevardier cocktails made with 1792 Full Proof for 6 weeks.

Neat

Nose: Sweet, almost cloying but not quite, with red fruit, butterscotch, vanilla and cinnamon

Taste: Primarily a sort of muted caramel and oak with bits of red fruit and something bitter. Thin mouthfeel though.

Finish: Longer finish than I expected from WSR that pretty much tastes like a Boulevardier cocktail

Thoughts

I had a handle of WSR for some reason and after doing a couple barrel aged cocktails I decided to pour this in there and see what happened. I tasted it every couple days until it stopped improving and this was the result. Overall I am pretty happy with this iteration and I think depleting the oak in a minibarrel first is a good call. Overall I think this added some interesting notes to the WSR and is a nice substitute for an after dinner cocktail. That said it’s nothing special and I would certainly take a High West Double Rye Barrel Select over this any day.

XV Black Edition

What is it?: A super secret blend of Stagg Jr and a wheated bourbon finished in a French Oak mini barrel.

Neat

Nose: Rich oak and strong spice notes with something sweet I can’t place underneath

Taste: Lots of oak and lots of spice, definitely not Maker’s Mark notes and some cherry. Great mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length finish with more oak and spice as well as some of the same sweet notes from the nose.

Thoughts

Overall this was an enjoyable pour but much like the Belle Meade I would of rather had a glass of Stagg Jr. This also suffers from the oak domination that tends to occur with a new mini barrel.

XV Red Edition

What is it?: A super secret blend of Stagg Jr and a wheated bourbon finished in a cherry wood mini barrel.

Neat

Nose: Sweet and inviting with dark fruit and vanilla notes.

Taste: Cherry cola, warm spices, sweet caramel and vanilla cream. Great mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and sweet with cherry and caramel notes.

Thoughts

This was the best of the bunch for me. Perhaps a different kind of wood makes a big difference for mini barrel finishing?

Conclusion

That was an experience. Overall I think home finishing spirits is a hit or miss affair but can certainly be a fun thing to do with bottles you aren’t excited to drink. I’m not going to be finishing anything like Belle Meade Cask Strength again but I’ll definitely pour a random bottle that I didn’t care for in there and see what happens. The barrels do tend to get better as they get more use.

On the other hand barrel finishing cocktails at home has been awesome and will certainly stay the primary function of my mini barrel.

 

TL;DR: Mini barrel finishing is more fun than function for bourbon. It’s great for cocktails.

Jack Daniels Barrel Proof Maple Old Fashioned

Thanks to u/PucksNPlucks over on Reddit for suggesting this recipe. In a thread about Stagg Jr someone suggested using it to make an Old Fashioned to which u/PucksNPlucks suggested using Jack Daniel’s Barrel Proof. I have a 375ml bottle of the stuff that’s been chilling for a while as well as the other ingredients so it seemed like a good time to mix 1 or 2 up and try writing about a cocktail!

 

Jack Daniels Barrel Proof Maple Old Fashioned

Recipe

  • 2oz JD BP
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 3 dashes Orange bitters
  • 1 teaspoon dark maple syrup

On a rock

Nose: Strong banana and maple notes with subtler citrus

Taste: Bananas foster but with maple instead of caramel and some vanilla towards the end

Finish: Maple, citrus and vanilla ice cream

Conclusion

I quite liked this. Apart from the 2019 Heritage Barrel release I tend to only drinks JD when I’m in the mood for the banana notes but it was excellent in a cocktail. The high proof and strong base spirit
flavors really cut through the cocktail so that the bitters and maple syrup felt very much like they were adding to the flavor of the whiskey instead of masking it.

 

TL;DR: The strong banana notes in Jack Daniel’s Barrel Proof make for an excellent rendition of a classic cocktail.