Dram Review: Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 Years Old (Bottled Circa 2014)

[45.2%・20 Years Old・Bottled in 2014・Buffalo Trace Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

A complex nose, an intensely rich dose of brown sugar drenched walnuts with an orange zing.  Hearty doses of cinnamon spices, leather and smoked sandalwood with some vanilla, thick toffee, dark chocolate and raisins.  The char is sweet and mesmerizing..

Palate & Finish:

Big charred oak presence, sweet on the palate with some candied apple, orange peels and a hint of salted caramel.  Some lighter floral and honey notes float around, cinnamon and milk chocolate before the woodiness blankets over things.

A satisfyingly soothing finish of seasoned char, wood oil and lasting warming spices.

Thoughts:

A hospitable, beautiful bourbon. In my honest opinion the oak really makes for a special experience..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac (Fall 2009 Release)

[69.5%・7 Years Old・Distilled in 2002・Bottled in 2009・Buffalo Trace Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Big peppery nose at first, then cinnamon, Chinese hawthorn, charred oak, orange and tanned leather.  Eye watering pungent spices.

Palate & Finish:

A thick maple sweetness first appeared on the palate, a couple of lemon twists to lift the body as the caramel and milk chocolate moves in along with apricots and tea.

The spices and oak take over in the finish.

Thoughts:

I suppose one ought to buy into the idea of full proof rye to fully appreciate this dram, not exactly a problem for Australians now is it..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: George T. Stagg (2007 Release)

[72.4%・15 Years Old・Distilled in 1992・Bottled in 2007・Buffalo Trace Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

The nose comprises of sticky walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar and burnt toast. Homey but heavy.

Palate & Finish:

Condensed brown sugar sweetness on the palate with the spices being rather overwhelming.  Such power displayed from the grain and oak.

The spiciness stays on for a long while with notes of leather and dried fruits slowly being released from the high proof shackles.

Thoughts:

There is a certain exhilarating thrill with this bourbon, fiery and sensational.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Sazerac 18 Years Old (Spring 2015 Release)

[45.0%・18 Years Old・Bottled in 2015・Buffalo Trace Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose: 

The nose is real attractive, cherries with a polite splash of cinnamon and perfect almond of buttery sweetness, freshly baked almond cookies, wholesome vanilla, brown sugar and this fine Horween leather note giving this fine satisfaction like a generous bosom.

Palate & Finish:

Green apples, apricots and grapefruits, the initial citrus is soon replaced by the fairly dry rye note, tobacco and menthol with ample of oak giving this classy burn.

Dark chocolate dust lingers on with the rugged oak and hint of pineapple syrup in the aftertaste.

Thoughts:

The nose is as satisfying as it gets as far as my limited rye experience goes..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Stagg Jr. Batch 1

[67.2% • NAS • Bottled in 2013 • Limited Edition]

Nose:

Cinnamon and hot spices. Dark chocolate, charred oak on a barbecue giving that but of oiliness. Raisins, brown sugar and vanilla. The nose has been maxed out with flavours.

Palate & Finish:

Brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins. Woove, a masculine hit of spices to the face.

A charred oak finish that is very much overpoweringly hot but still syrupy.

Thoughts:

The experience can best be described as being licked then slapped across the face by a smoking exotic dancer, whilst engaging in other debauchery acts.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

Nicholas