Thanks to all of you who attended tasting number 20 on Thursday evening. I have to say that I wasn’t expecting too much from this session’s line-up of whiskeys. I had already tasted several off of the list and wasn’t super excited by some of the others. But man was I wrong!
Our winner hands down was BOURYE by HIGH WEST our of Park City. It had been a long time since I had tasted Bourye and it once again vaulted to the front of my list as one of the top three or four American whiskeys in our store! Just the smell of this whiskey sets it apart from most, with a mix of the classic sweet bourbon tones mixed with a unique wet rock smell and the char of the barrells. And then the taste transitions from the same classic sweet cherry bourbon, to a very mellow rye finish. If you are wanting to treat yourself to a truly unique whiskey I can’t recommend this enough. (Along with Jefferson’s Ocean which is equally as incredible.)
Second place went to JEFFERSON’s BOURBON. This is their entry level expression and it lives up to Jefferson’s reputation as one of the best whiskey blenders in America. I would classify this as a very "classic" bourbon. It has all of the elements in nose and taste that we look for in a good bourbon and could be served to any bourbon fan any time with total confidence. It is interesting to note, that our first and second place finishers are both distillerys that have made their names by purchasing whiskeys made by other companies and blending and finishing them. Most of their whiskey comes from the old Seagrams 7 facility in Clarksville Indiana (now owned by MGP.) While some folks would rather purchase whiskeys directly from the actual maker, there is no doubt in my mind that both JEFFERSONS and HIGH WEST are two of the most reliable whiskey makers today. You can buy ANY of their different expressions and know that you are getting one of the finest whiskeys at whatever price point you are purchasing. I grew up driving past the giant brick Seagrams 7 distillery on my way to Cincinnati Reds baseball games from my hometown in Indiana so I find myself 1000% okay with MGP based products when they have the quality that these do.
THIRD PLACE went to EH TAYLOR SMALL BATCH. For me personally, the EH TAYLOR actually beat-out the Jeffersons. But the crowd has voted and this whiskey was a scant 4 points behind for third place. I have struggled with some EH Taylor expressions over the years as I have WANTED to like them but they have sometimes fallen a bit short. For me the single barrel expressions have always been a bit too hot. I found this to be an ideal whiskey and the perfect whiskey to show the classic EH Taylor tasting profiles at their best. I found it to be especially interesting in the mouth with at least two pronounced tastes competing for attention in my mouth. I’d call the two tastes a grain-forward sherry sweetness with a darker, almost tannic hint at the end. I was really surprised by this one and I look forward to taking a bottle home for future "analysis!"
FOURTH PLACE was another surprise for me. I had had WILLETT POT STILL RESERVE a few years ago and frankly found it disappointing. But this year’s expression is absolutely worth the money and worth a try. Of all of the top four whiskeys I found this to be the most accessible and sweetest. The nose reminded me of pink cotton candy and that light, bubbly profile continued all the way through the taste. It seemed to me to be a light and fun bourbon as compared to so many. And while I tend to lean towards whiskeys with less sweetness and minerality I found myself wanting more of this one.
FIFTH PLACE went to MCCARTHY’s AMERICAN SINGLE MALT. As you may know, at every tasting we throw a "odd ball" whiskey into the mix. MCCARTHYS AMERICAN SINGLE MALT is a single malt Scotch. Except, it isn’t made in Scotland so we can’t call it a Scotch but rather a single malt. I found this to be very smooth and well made and if you track the cost of Single Malt Scotchs at all, you should note that this is a very good value as well. While it didn’t score terribly well, I think it would score very well in a scotch tasting and if you are interested at all I’d try a bottle. We have seen this sector of, "non Scotch Single Malts" explode over the past few years with incredible whiskys coming from Japan, France, Ireland and now America.
The voting wrapped up with SIXTH PLACE taken by Mattingly and Moore Bourbon and SEVENTH PLACE by DRY HILLS BIN 7 WHEAT WHISKEY.
This month’s winner of our bottle give away is DOUG RAIFORD who wins a bottle of JEFFERSON BOURBON! Congrats Doug and thanks to all who participated.
Jeff Crouch Owner Grizzly Liquor Grizzly Wine and Spirits, LLC … See MoreSee Less