Early Times Kentucky

  • Rating: 6
  • Value: 8
Ingredients: , , ,
Proof: 80 (40%)
Age: 3 Years
Price: $9.99 - 750 ML
Price Range:

If you had a bad day panhandling this might work for you.

Notes: The official Mint Julep whisky for the Kentucky Derby. An old brand which has had a bit of a recent makeover. It is not bourbon, as even though it is made from the same basic ingredients, it does not use new charred oak barrels but used ones after they were emptied of bourbon. Most bourbon barrels are sold to scotch producers after they are used but we are now seeing them used for the production of ‘American Whiskies’ and occasionally for high end beer. This is one of those new whiskies.

Appearance: Amber gold color, very clear. Not quite as dark as a 3 year-old bourbon but getting there. Thin edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whisky on swirling.

First Impression: Fruit, sherry, vanilla, and caramel notes on nosing.

Taste: Rye, sweet, spicy with some sherry sweetness to it. Rye, corn, and oak for the most part some touch of vanilla and caramel at the end. Finish is sweet and a touch hot, a bit short. A lot like some Canadian whiskies.

Drinks: Most people drink this on the rocks, smoothes it right out. A good well drink for making basic bourbon or whisky drinks. Not bad for spiking eggnog or similar projects.

Cigars: White Owl.

Bottle: The bottle is clear plastic in the form of a large flask. As with the original flasks it is curved to fit a pocket (vest or pants) or a boot (hence the name bootlegger, by the way). A 750 ML bottle fits in a front pants pocket very nicely for those of you having that kind of evening out. Being all plastic it is lighter to carry and is more acceptable around pools or hot tubs.It will also of course pass through metal detectors at concerts or work. Plastic pour in the neck makes even the pouring stealthy. Since it is a squeezable plastic for the mildly serious you can replace the regular cap with a sports bottle cap, for the truly serious do what my Russian friends do, unscrew the cap and throw it over your shoulder- you won’t be needing it.

Final Thoughts: I tried this with minimal expectations given the price point. It lacked the depth and complexity of a good bourbon or rye but was not rotgut either. Surprisingly drinkable for the money. If economy is important, this is a excellent choice for the category.

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