Showing posts with label Sazerac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sazerac. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2022

McAfee's Benchmark Old No. 8 Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

 


Do you like Buffalo Trace?  How about George T. StaggEH Taylor?  If you're a fan of all of those, they're made from the Buffalo Trace #1 mash bill. Well, guess what? McAfee's Benchmark Old No. 8 is made from the lineage.


Benchmark's history is fascinating. It began with Seagram's in the 1960s as a luxury Bourbon brand. It was distilled and aged at Four Roses back when Seagram's owned it. Before Four Roses was sold off, Benchmark was acquired by Sazerac (the parent company of Buffalo Trace) in 1992. Sazerac also tacked on McAfee's to the branding to pay homage to the McAfee brothers.  


"Named after the McAfee brothers who surveyed a site just north of Frankfort in the late 1700s, this rye recipe bourbon is yet another label that honors the storied history of the Distillery and the land it sits on." - Sazerac

This is a dirt-cheap whiskey that carries a 3-year age statement. It is bottled at 40% ABV (80°), and if you want a 750ml or even a 1L, you can expect to pay around $15.00 for it.


I picked up a shooter on one of my various liquor store runs for about $0.99. I couldn't even get a soda for that price, so I considered it a wise investment no matter the outcome. Plus, I'm always on the prowl for something that makes me #RespectTheBottomShelf. Let's see if that happens while I #DrinkCurious.


Appearance:  Served neat in my Glencairn glass, Benchmark was the color of golden straw. It formed a medium rim that gave way to fat, medium-weight droplets that fell back into the pool. 


Nose:  The nose was lovely with candied green apple, candy corn, and vanilla sugar wafers. Those were joined by a tad of tartness with lemon zest. As I pulled the air into my mouth, I discovered more candied green apples. 


Palate:  The mouthfeel was extremely thin. The front featured corn and vanilla. The middle was almond and light caramel. Feint oak and bubblegum were on the back. 


Finish:  Short-to-medium in length, the finish consisted of corn, nuts, allspice, and bubblegum.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  This is a tough one. There's nothing remotely offensive about Benchmark, but at the same time, there's nothing memorable, either. Was I to introduce someone to the world of Bourbon, and they feared burning or being too strong, this would be a perfect toe-dipping opportunity. 


I hear all the time from folks that something they're not a big fan of would be a "good mixer." I don't believe in good mixers. Oh, I know they exist, and sometimes you're stuck staving off buyer's remorse that way, but I don't recommend whiskey thinking of its mixing potential. Every whiskey I try is poured neat and perhaps a drop or two of water if I'm curious what that may do. They're all judged on that basis.


You could use Benchmark Old No. 8 as a mixer. It could also be a Bourbon to drink on a hot summer's day when you want something light. And, if that's your goal, this would be a Bottle rating. However, for me, this is far too muted. This isn't a Bust by any means, but unless you can find a 50ml sample bottle at the store, you'll want to try it at a Bar first.  That's my rating; 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.





Friday, May 13, 2022

Eagle Rare 10 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

 


Considering the years I've been penning reviews, I'm often surprised what I've not reviewed.  Not the off-the-radar stuff, not the limited-editions, but the basic, legacy whiskeys that should be the basics of any reviewer's library. Yet, I believe, in my quest to try the overlooked or relatively unknown and #DrinkCurious, I forget the staples out there. One of those is Eagle Rare Bourbon


Back in 1975, Charles L. Beam was the master distiller at Seagram's. He created a new brand called (you guessed it) Eagle Rare, and it was a vatted 101° whiskey distilled at the Four Roses Distillery. Then, in 1992, Sazerac purchased the brand and started distilling it at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. 


Sazerac continued to produce Eagle Rare at 101° until 2005 when the whole thing was pretty much revamped. It was no longer a small batch Bourbon and, instead, became a single barrel. The single barrel designation has since been dropped. The proof also changed and was reduced to 90°. That's continued into 2021. It still carries the 10-year age statement, but that no longer appears on the necker. Instead, it was moved to the back label.


"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - the cornerstones of the birth of a nation, epitomized by the American bald eagle. That notion has come to represent freedom, spirit, and independence of the individual, giving the world products and innovations that are uniquely its own. One such innovation was Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey." - Sazerac 


Eagle Rare is made from Buffalo Trace's mashbill #1, rumored to be 75% corn, 10% rye, and 15% malted barley. It should retail for about $35.00. Finding it on the shelf for that price can be challenging but not impossible. More likely, if you do find it, you can expect to pay $50.00 or more.


Is Eagle Rare allocated?  That's a sketchy question. No, not really. But, like Buffalo Trace, folks seem to clear the shelves when they find it. And, some store owners hold it back for either their "best" patrons or for raffles and auctions.


How's it taste? Let's get to that right now.


Appearance:  Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, Eagle Rare was absolutely caramel in color. It formed a medium rim which led to slow, long legs that fell back into the pool of liquid sunshine. 


Nose:  Very fragrant even in the glass, fruit just bursts into the air. Berries and cherry are unmistakable. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, fresh leather, and toasted oak are all tucked beneath the fruit. When I pulled the air into my mouth, plum danced across my tongue.


PalateSmooth is a descriptor many whiskey nerds hate. But there's really no other word to do the mouthfeel justice. On the front of the palate, I discovered honey, citrus, brown sugar, and vanilla. The middle featured plum, cherry, and berry fruit. Then, on the back, flavors of mint, dry oak, pepper, and clove were quite pronounced. 


Finish:  Initially, the finish was concise. But, a second sip proved that wrong, and I experienced a medium-to-long one. It started with plum, then moved to dry, smoked oak. From there, pepper, vanilla, and candied orange peel rounded things out.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: It is tough to not find Eagle Rare enjoyable. At least, in my opinion, it is a step up from the regular Buffalo Trace and a step below E.H. Taylor. This is a no-brainer slam-dunk Bottle recommendation if you see this for about $30-$45. Once you hit about $50 and above, I'd start second-guessing things. Of course, others would happily pay more; I'm just not in that camp. The takeaway is that there's really nothing not to like with Eagle Rare. 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.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Thomas S. Moore Extended Finish Bourbon Reviews & Tasting Notes (2022 Release)

 


At the end of 2020, Barton 1792 Distillery released its first expressions of Thomas S. Moore Bourbons. It featured “extended” cask finished whiskeys, meaning instead of barrel-finishing for weeks or months, Thomas S. Moore Bourbons are finished for years.

 

But wait, what’s finishing mean? When you take a fully-matured whiskey, remove it from the barrel it was aged in, and transfer the contents to another barrel, that additional aging is finishing. That finishing barrel could be brand new, or it could have contained pretty much anything else, including other whiskeys, Tobasco sauce, coffee beans, beer, etc. Just let your mind go wild.

 

In late 2020, Thomas S. Moore’s finishes included Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Port casks. You can read all about them in my review from January 2021. 

 

In 2022, second releases consist of Madiera, Merlot, Sherry, and Cognac casks, which we’ll explore today. Each expression begins with the high-rye recipe, aged between five and six years in new, charred oak barrels.


“This second Thomas S. Moore release really reinforces that the extended aging is quite significant. What we are seeing are complex, fuller textures being developed. Savory flavors and aromas are unquestionably enhanced and continue to develop in the secondary cask in ways that are very different from the primary barrel aging. The result is an elevated, premium collection unlike any other.”Danny Kahn, Master Distiller

 

Each finish is packaged at a different proof, but all are available in 750ml bottles for $69.99 each. Before I get started on the tasting notes and ratings, I thank Barton 1792 for providing me with samples of all four in exchange for no-strings-attached, honest reviews.

 

And now, let’s #DrinkCurious!


 


The Madiera Finish will be the first of the four. This Bourbon was transferred to the Madiera casks, where it mingled between two and four years with the wine-soaked wood. It is packaged at 96.5°.

 

Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, the Madiera finish presented as deep caramel. A medium-to-thick rim released slow, sticky legs that eventually fell back to the pool.

 

Nose: An exciting aroma of cedar, oak, dry tobacco, lemon peel, and raisin started the show, and when I inhaled through my mouth, only the tobacco came through.

 

Palate:  I found the texture both oily and airy. Flavors of plum, lemon zest, and sweet corn were on the front, and as the liquid moved to the middle, I tasted leather, tobacco, and raisin. On the back, the raisin blended with charred oak and green peppercorn.

 

Finish:  The medium finish offered more green peppercorn, joined by leather, dry tobacco, clove, oak, and a touch of lemon zest.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  While I liked the Madeira finished Bourbon, something was missing from it that I just can’t put my palate on aside from a lack of cohesiveness. I could have been looking for more nut and caramel flavors representative of the fortified wine. Regardless, for $69.99, I believe this is one to try at a Bar before committing to the investment.


 



Second in line is the Merlot Finish Bourbon, which rested between two and four years in the Merlot wine cask before being diluted to 93.3°.

 

Appearance: The Merlot finished Bourbon was more of an orange amber than I would have anticipated in my Glencairn glass. It formed a medium-thick rim that yielded fast legs.

 

Nose: Thick, rich caramel, vanilla, and heavier black cherry and ripe plum notes lulled me to a daydream. I could be happy just sniffing without ever having to taste it; the nose was heavenly. Raspberry and blackberry caressed my tongue when I pulled the air into my mouth.

 

Palate: The mouthfeel was light and crisp, leading to cherries and plums. The middle featured a single note of caramel, while the back had flavors of dry oak, tobacco, and black pepper.

 

Finish:  My mind drifted off as I was reminiscing about the nose, and when I started to pay attention, black cherry and vanilla brought me back to reality. Black pepper and dry oak offered some pucker power. Medium in length, it blew a kiss of caramel at the end.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I truly enjoyed the Merlot finish, everything from the nosing to the final caramel kiss. I don’t often get lost in thought, but this Bourbon made me fantasize about sweet orchard fruits. The palate wasn’t complex, but what was there was enchanting. I’d rate this one a Bottle without any hesitation.





Next up is the Sherry Finish. What type of Sherry casks were selected is not disclosed. However, I’d suspect it to be Oloroso per my notes below. The finishing period was between one and four years and packaged at 98.7°.

 

Appearance: The lovely chestnut color was eye-catching in my Glencairn glass. A medium rim led to fast, thick legs, which crashed back to the pool.

 

Nose: An aroma comprised of fig, prune, apricot, pecan, almond, and vanilla teased my olfactory sense. As I breathed it into my mouth, the fig continued.

 

Palate: The mouthfeel was soft and creamy. At the front of my palate, I picked out dark chocolate, toffee, and almond, while the middle featured raisin, dried cherry, and plum. The back offered tobacco leaf, dry oak, pecan, and hazelnut.

 

Finish:  A short-to-medium finish left behind flavors of tobacco leaf, dry oak, nuts, chocolate, and raisins.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: For the most part, I savor sherry-bomb whiskeys, especially Scotch. And, the Sherry finish version came darned close to some interior Highland whiskies aged in Sherry casks. Did I enjoy this? Yes. Would I pay $69.99 for it? I’m not convinced. Therefore, I’ll give this one a Bar rating.


 



The final expression is a Cognac finish. Like the Sherry finish, Barton 1792 doesn’t share what kind of Cognac casks were selected; however, it took between two and four years before they were deemed complete and offered at 93.4°.

 

Appearance: This Bourbon appeared as the color of roasted almonds. It is, by far, the lightest brown of the four. A thick rim with slow, jagged tears fell down the wall of my Glencairn glass.

 

Nose: The smells of lime, lemon, and orange zests wafted out, then morphed to cherry, apricot, and raisin. I also experienced floral notes, possibly from the rye content. A blast of apricot crossed my tongue as I drew the air into my mouth.

 

Palate:  A heavy, very creamy texture delivered vanilla, orange zest, lemon zest, and sweet apricot to the front of my palate. As it moved across my tongue, I tasted almond and mushroom on the middle, while the back became spicy with dry oak, black pepper, and clove.

 

Finish:  The boldest finish of the four belonged to this Cognac-finished Bourbon (and, frankly, expected). It wasn’t the longest, but what it brought to the table was impressive. Vanilla, mushroom, and dry oak accompanied black pepper, clove, and old leather.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I’ve had many Cognac-finished whiskeys before, and there were some familiar notes on the nose and palate. They’re also similarly priced. This one was delicious, and the best part, in my opinion, is that bold finish. I’d drop $69.99 on it and recommend a Bottle rating.


Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for a Bourbon-tasting Bourbon, none of these Thomas S. Moore expressions will satisfy you. Most of the Bourbon characteristics have been “finished out” during the extended contact with the various vintage barrels. As I alluded to in the Sherry finish review, they’re more of a Scotch-drinker’s Bourbon. For me, that’s not a bad thing – I love all types of Scotch. But if you’re not into Speyside and Highland whiskies, these may be too much for you. If asked to state my favorite, it would be the Merlot finish. 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.

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Canadian Mist Blended Canadian Whisky Review & Tasting Notes


Let’s get something out of the way here. I’ve not tried Canadian Mist in probably the last dozen years. Why? Because the last time it passed my lips, I was in Orlando, and it was the only whisky poured at the event I was attending. It was hideous. Canadian Mist is the whisky that turned me off of Canadian whiskies.

 

I wasn’t reviewing whiskey a dozen years ago. My palate has refined significantly since then. With the whole #DrinkCurious mantra, I’m supposed to return to things I didn’t previously enjoy and give them second (and sometimes third) chances.

 

What is Canadian Mist? It is a blended Canadian whisky founded in 1967 by Brown-Forman. It is made from a mash of rye from Ontario and Alberta, corn grown from within 100 miles of the distillery in Collingwood, Ontario, and malted barley. Triple-distilled in a column still, Canadian Mist uses water sourced from Georgian Bay. It rested “at least” 36 months in used, charred oak barrels that formerly held “heavier whiskeys” in climate-controlled warehouses. Sazerac purchased the brand in 2020. You can expect to spend $9.99 for a 750ml, 40% ABV (80°) package.


I picked up a 50ml taster for $0.99 at some random liquor store. Let’s see if this is any better than I remember.

 

Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, Canadian Mist was the color of yellow straw. A medium rim led to fat, sticky tears.

 

Nose: I smelled acetone, caramel, butterscotch, and something like synthetic citrus. When I brought the air into my mouth, it was kinda-sorta butterscotch.

 

Palate:  The texture was thin. The first thing I tasted was something chemical. It took a lot to get past it, but I eked out maple and a fake-tasting caramel. Please don’t ask me to break it up into the front, middle, and back because I can’t.

 

Finish:  Too long and bitter, Canadian Mist’s finish featured caramel and more acetone.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  My gosh, it all came back at me as I was smelling this. The only thing I can say that is attractive about Canadian Mist is it is dirt cheap. It is a palate wrecker. I can’t see attempting to salvage this in a cocktail, and I refuse even to try. Rating Canadian Mist as a Bust does a disservice to the Bust rating. Drink anything else.

 

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.

 


 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Sazerac Straight Rye Review & Tasting Notes

 


Let's get something out of the way. Sazerac has the best marketing team in the Wonderful World of Whiskey, hands down. Nobody does a better job of creating excitement and hype than they do. People will pay 10x (and higher) retail on some of their offerings (Antique Collection, anything Van Winkle, Blanton's, etc.). Even their flagship offerings (Buffalo Trace) seem to fly off the shelves like it is something truly special.


Mind you, I'm not badmouthing Sazerac at all. I enjoy much of what Buffalo Trace and 1792 Barton put out there. I'm simply saying there are several where I'm left scratching my head wondering what folks are doing for average whiskeys and there's no other answer than they want to like it because of the hype. 


Today's review is Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey, lovingly called Baby Saz by its fans. They call it Baby Saz because part of the Antique Collection is Sazerac Rye, which I guess is Big Daddy Saz. It starts with Buffalo Trace's low-rye rye mashbill, rumored to be barely legal (meaning, at or about 51% rye content). As a straight whiskey, it is at least two years old. As a non-age-stated whiskey, it must be at least four years old. In the not too distant past, it carried a six-year age statement. Packaged at 90°, you can expect to pay about $29.00 for a 750ml bottle of Baby Saz unless you live in an area where it becomes more difficult to find. Then things, like anything else Buffalo Trace, get crazy.


I sampled a pour of Baby Saz at a local watering hole here called The Malt House. Time to #DrinkCurious and discover what this is all about.


Appearance:   Poured neat in my Glencairn glass (yes, I brought my own as The Malt House serves in rocks glasses), Baby Saz presented as a brassy amber. It created a medium rim that formed fast legs.


Nose:  Citrus and berries started things off, followed by aromas of oak, clove, and black pepper. When I inhaled through my lips, vanilla took a stroll across my palate.


Palate:  A thin, oily mouthfeel led to flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel on the front. Mid-palate featured plum, raisin, and anise. Mint, oak, and clove closed things up on the back.


Finish:  Medium in length, the finish offered black pepper, cinnamon, and rye spice before moving to vanilla, oak, and anise. 


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Baby Saz is decent, but it isn't the end-all-and-be-all of ryes. It is a pretty good value for $29.00 but I'd not pay more than that. It is absolutely over-hyped and frankly, it could get lost amongst other barely legal ryes such as Old Forester and Rittenhouse, both at higher proof and much easier to get your hands on. I'll give it a Bar rating if you find this above retail, but if you've got a bottle sitting on a store shelf for under $30, go ahead and grab it.  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.

Monday, June 21, 2021

A. Smith Bowman Cask Strength Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

 



The A. Smith Bowman Distillery is Virginia's oldest, tracing its roots to before Prohibition. Originally distilled in Sunset Hills on the family dairy farm and granary, the Bowmans used their excess grain to distill spirits. In 1934, the Bowmans built a state-of-the-art distillery at Sunset Hills Farm. Then, in 1988, a new distillery was constructed near Fredericksburg.


A. Smith Bowman doesn't do large-scale distilling. In fact, if you visit the campus, you'd consider it a micro-distillery more than anything else. Owned by Sazerac (the parent company of Buffalo Trace and Barton), Bowman takes advantage of the relationship to craft its art.


This month, A. Smith Bowman is releasing a brand new, permanent expression to its lineup:  Cask Strength Bourbon.  This will be an annual release, likely limited in availability, it starts with a blend of Buffalo Trace's Mashbills #1 and #2, which is then sent to the distillery in Virginia, where it is distilled a third time on-site, using one of its two copper stills named Mary and George, honoring the Bowman Brothers' parents.  The Bourbon is then aged for a decade and bottled at, as advertised, cask strength.  In the case of this first batch, that's hazmat, weighing in at a tremendous 141.1°!  Suggested retail is $99.99, but my guess is you'll pay more than that if you buy anywhere aside from the distillery.


"We're excited to add another offering in the A. Smith Bowman line of bourbons, especially a Cask Strength, which we're sure will be really popular with our fans. This first release in this annual series contains barrels selected from the lower tiers in Warehouses A1 and A. We thought the flavor combinations resulted in a delicate sipping bourbon that drinks like a much lower proof. We hope you agree!" - Brian Prewitt, Master Distiller


I'm going to #DrinkCurious and explore this in greater detail, and plan to hold Prewitt to his words. But first, I'd like thank A. Smith Bowman for sending me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. 


Appearance:  Served neat in my Glencairn glass, A. Smith Bowman was the a serious reddish-amber that could pass itself off as cherry juice. It created a medium-thick rim on the wall, and that produced husky, slow legs that fell back to the pool of liquid sunshine. 


Nose:  Not to be mistaken for the firecracker, this was a cherry bomb on the nose. Cherry crushed my olfactory senses and it took true effort to get past it. I eventually came across vanilla and cocoa. When I breathed in through my lips, apple and pear came from nowhere and raced across my tongue.


Palate:  My first sip slid across my palate with an oily mouthfeel. I tasted brown sugar, praline pecan, and toated coconut on the front. Plum, cherry, and fig then took over at the middle. The back featured charred oak, cocoa, and cherry syrup.


Finish:  Char and plum stuck around for the encore, and then the spotlight went to black pepper and dark chocolate. If you like long finishes, this was one of those unstoppable freight trains that went on for several minutes before eventually retreating.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  This Bourbon was one heck of a treat. It was warming but I'd never guess it was 141.1° - Prewitt was correct, this one drinks way below its stated proof. It was amazingly approachable. The problem with that, however, is that as you're sitting there sipping this with a smile on your face, this bad boy is sneaking up behind you with a 2x4, ready to smack you in the skull. Or, at least that's what happened to me. 


Another problem is that I enjoyed A. Smith Bowman Cask Strength so much, it would be an easy contender for Bourbon of the Year,  except for the fact that it is immediately disqualified for being an allocated whiskey. If you see this on the shelf, just shut up and grab it. It is an excellent representation of a Bottle rating and you will be happy to hand over your money. 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 to do so responsibly. 


Saturday, January 4, 2020

DeVine Liquor "Gold Vine Antique" Old Weller Antique Tasting Notes


Being a whiskey reviewer has its perks. Every so often, I'll get a sample of some random whiskey from friends who ask me to review it. I get a kick out of it, not only because it is a nice gesture, but also because it helps me discover new things which, in turn, I can share with you.


In this case, the friend sent me four samples for review. Each of them is from his favorite, local store and wants to know my opinion on their barrel selection ability. I'm perfectly happy to do this, with the same understanding that these are honest reviews with no strings attached.  In this case, the store in question is DeVine Liquor, which has locations in River Falls and Menomonie, WI and the first of four samples is an Old Weller Antique pick called Gold Vine Antique


In this instance, I don't know the price and for the purpose of this review, it really doesn't matter. On Old Weller Antique, assuming the store is being fair, retail would be $35-$60, depending on where and when (because Buffalo Trace enacted a price increase mid-2019).  What I can tell you is Old Weller Antique is always bottled at 107°, it is a wheater (meaning the mashbill's second-largest ingredient is wheat instead of rye). This particular version is non-chill filtered, which some folks believe leads to a more flavorful whiskey. 


In my Glencairn glass, Gold Vine Antique presented as a clear, deep copper. It left a medium-thick rim on the wall that just stuck there. Fat droplets formed, but they also didn't seem to go anywhere, even waiting several minutes before they started crawling.


Aromas of cherry and oak started the nosing process. Then, a mixture of orange citrus and honeysuckle took over. When I inhaled through my lips, thick, sweet caramel rolled across my palate. 


At first sip, Gold Vine Antique had a thin and oily mouthfeel. It coated my entire mouth. Vanilla and dry oak flavors were at the front. Those phased to cocoa and white chocolate. Then, on the back, it became a lovely mix of caramel and cinnamon.


The medium-length finish consisted of cherry and toasted oak. The cherry wandered off, leaving the toasted oak behind.


Bottle, Bar or Bust:  A few things need to be said. Old Weller Antique and, especially store picks of it, typically disappear off the shelf before they're even settled in. Moreover, this series is more a judgment on DeVine's barrel selection ability. But, Gold Vine Antique is a wonderful representation of Old Weller Antique and far as Round One goes, I'm impressed. If you happen to stumble upon a bottle, grab it. Cheers!



Saturday, July 27, 2019



As some of you know, FB and Instagram have cracked down and shut down many secondary-market groups. Of course, this was against the TOS anyway, but it seems Sazerac stepped in due to a growing concern of the counterfeit market, which, in reality, is a legitimate concern.

I wrote about this subject several years ago over at Bourbon & Banter.

Cheers!