Friday, November 4, 2022

A Sampling of Buzzard's Roost Whiskeys: Reviews & Tasting Notes





American whiskey blenders are nothing new. Several very talented blenders produce incredible whiskeys. Others seem to hunt and peck and learn as they go. As I’ve said for several years, blending is an art form; it doesn’t matter what type of whiskey you’re working with.

 

One blender that’s been around a while is Jason Brauner. He’s got two decades of experience under his belt and is the founder and master blender of Buzzard’s Roost Sipping Whiskey. Jason was one of the pioneers involved with restaurants offering their own whiskey barrels.

 

“After taking part in more than a [sic] 100 barrel selections over his career, Jason is embarking on his most exciting challenge yet  - Buzzard’s Roost Sipping Whiskey, a Rye he designed with the bourbon drinker in mind.  His goal with Buzzard’s Roost is still the same as it was 19 years ago,  to educate and share his love of whiskey.” – Buzzard’s Roost

 

Buzzard’s Roost gets its barrels from MGP/Ross and Squibb, transferring traditionally-aged whiskeys to proprietary barrels, where they sit for a handful of weeks before being dumped and bottled. Its current distribution is Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Mexico, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alberta, Canada.

 

A kind friend provided me with five different samples of Buzzard’s Roost and asked for my thoughts. So, let’s #DrinkCurious and get to exploring.

 

Toasted American Oak Bourbon, Batch 1

 

 


 

  • Cooperage: Lightly charred, toasted 53-gallon American white oak barrels
  • Mashbill: A blend of 59% corn, 36% rye, and 5% malted barley with 74% corn, 21% rye, and 5% malted barley
  • Age: NAS (but between 4-5 years)
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $75.00

 

Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this toasted Bourbon presented at a bright, gold amber and created a thicker rim with watery tears.

 

Nose:  The toasted oak heavily influenced the nose, but beneath it were plum and nutmeg. When I drew the air through my lips, I tasted vanilla.

 

Palate: I found a creamy mouthfeel offered toasted oak and black tea on the front of my palate. The middle suggested mint and honey, while the back was clove and caramel.

 

Finish:  Medium-to-long in duration, the finish kept the wood, mint, and clove throughout.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Toasted American Oak Bourbon is an uncomplicated whiskey, and that’s part of its shortcoming. I can’t see this standing head-to-head with similarly-priced Bourbons. It isn’t unpleasant and, thus, doesn’t deserve a Bust, but all things considered, a Bar is a fair rating.

 

◊◊◊◊◊

 

Toasted Barrel Rye, Batch 2

  

 


 

  • Cooperage: No char, toasted 53-gallon American white oak barrels
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age:  36 months
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $80.00

 

Appearance: In my Glencairn glass, this orange-amber Rye formed a thin rim and thick, sticky legs.

 

Nose: Toasted oak and eucalyptus wafted from the glass, while closer examination led to floral rye and vanilla. Pulling the vapor into my mouth gave a sensation of rye spice.

 

Palate: A thin, oily mouthfeel introduced my palate to juniper, oak, and vanilla to the front of my tongue, while white pepper, black tea, and eucalyptus formed the middle. The back consisted of mint, caramel, and heavy clove.

 

Finish:  Clove, white pepper, and mint carried through for a very long finish.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Juniper is my immediate attention-getter, mostly because I dislike it. Instead, I concentrated on the other notes. I ran into a similar issue as the Toasted American Oak Bourbon; this is pricy for a three-year American Rye. No matter how much I tried to ignore the juniper, I wasn't a fan. But, if that’s not something that offends you, you’ll want to try it yourself. Thus, it takes a Bar rating. 

 

◊◊◊◊◊

 

Single Barrel Straight Rye

 

 

 

 

  • Cooperage: Toasted and lightly-charred 53-gallon American white oak barrel
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age:  Undisclosed to me
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $70.00

 

Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, the bronze color was enticing. A microthin rim produced a wavy curtain of legs that crashed back to the pool.

 

Nose: There was a lot of caramel and vanilla on the nose, which I found pleasant. Floral rye took an effort to find, as was the tannin quality. When the air hit my mouth, minty vanilla coated everywhere.

 

Palate: The texture was very oily. The front of my palate encountered caramel, vanilla, and light mint. Flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg formed the middle, while the back was toasted oak and rye spice.

 

Finish:  A medium finish offered toasted oak, mint, and white pepper. I struggled to find something else, but if there was, it eluded me.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  The Single Barrel Rye was the most pleasant of the three tasted so far, but it also is not a $70.00 rye. There was nothing to dislike; there wasn’t anything remarkable about it. Like the others, this finds itself taking a Bar rating.

 

◊◊◊◊◊

 

Cigar Rye, Batch 1



 

  • Cooperage: Toasted and lightly-charred 53-gallon American white oak barrels, cold-smoked with aged Kentucky tobacco leaves
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age: 4 years
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $75.00

 

Appearance:  A neat pour in my Glencairn glass showed off a golden-amber liquid. The medium rim gave up slow, sticky legs.

 

Nose: An aroma of rye spice combined with nutmeg, allspice, and freshly-shredded tobacco leaf. Pulling the air past my lips gave a whisp of minty tobacco.

 

Palate: Cigar Rye had a silky texture. I got a mouthful of fresh fruit with strawberry, plum, and cherry on the front. Tobacco leaves, light smoke, and vanilla formed the middle. The back tasted of oak, rye spice, and clove.

 

Finish: Big vanilla and tobacco were accompanied by nutmeg and plum for a medium-length finish.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Cigar Rye is the breakout whiskey of the four I’ve tasted so far. I believe this one can compete against similarly-priced ryes, and the tobacco adds a lot to ponder. Cigar Rye takes my Bottle rating.

 

◊◊◊◊◊

 

Barrel Strength Rye, Westport Whiskey & Wine Selection, Barrel #1416B24

 


 

  • Cooperage: Toasted and lightly-charred 53-gallon American white oak barrel
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age: undisclosed
  • 56.48% ABV (112.96°)
  • Price:  $88.99
  • Westport Whiskey & Wine, Louisville, KY

 

Appearance:  Poured neat into my Glencairn glass, the whiskey from this private barrel of Rye presented as dark, orange amber. A medium-thick rim made sticky droplets that clung to the wall.

 

Nose: The aroma that emanated from my glass included plum, cherry, mint, vanilla, and oak. Aside from the mint, which was nondescript, the nose could pass for a barely legal Rye or even a Bourbon. Cherry and vanilla rolled across my tongue as I pulled the air through my lips.

 

Palate:  An incredibly oily mouthfeel dropped cherry, plum, and creamy caramel on the front of my palate. Midway through, I tasted vanilla cola. The back featured toasted oak, candied ginger, and clove.

 

Finish:  I found this whiskey’s finish to be long and warming with caramel, toasted oak, plum, ginger, and clove.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: This Rye started to remind me of Dr. Pepper at some point. That’s one of my two favorite soft drinks (the other being Mr. Pibb). The flavors were well-defined, and I couldn’t get enough of this Rye’s texture. It was an excellent example of why MGP Ryes can be remarkable. It is also an example of age being just a number because it doesn’t matter. It easily snags my Bottle rating and is the best of the five Buzzard’s Roost I was given. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.


 

No comments:

Post a Comment

As we should drink in moderation, all comments are subject to it. Cheers!