A bit uninspiring and tired for a 12 year old.
Notes: This whiskey is produced at the scenic Buffalo Trace Distillery in
Frankfort (close to Woodford Reserve Distillery if you are touring) home
of numerous other whiskies such as Ancient Ancient Age, Ancient Age,Blanton’s, Eagle Rare 10 and Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock Presidents Reserve, George T. Stagg, Old Charter, Old Charter 10 Year Old, W.L.Weller Special Reserve, and Elmer T.Lee and Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye. (See our Adventure Section for a tour of the distillery). This is a straight (unblended) sour mash bourbon which uses wheat in preference to rye as an ingredient (as does Makers Mark).
This is a straight (unblended) sour mash bourbon.
Appearance: Noticeably more red in color than its younger 7 year-old sibling. Reddish gold in the bottle, wheat colored in the glass, on swirling leaves a even coat on the glass.
First Impression: Banna ester, leather, spice, mild toffee, a touch of char.
Taste: Corn, char, warmth, spice, nuts. But not much else, seems a bit tired. Opens up with a little water. Burnt-sugar caramel comes through.
Drinks: Didn’t fare well against vermouth in a Manhattan.
Cigars: Light-bodied cigar.
Final Thoughts: Frankly, I am not a big wheated bourbon fan. Maybe that is part of the problem. But frankly, I found this bourbon to be tired and rather nondescript in taste; especially for a 12 year-old.
While technically correct (I can’t find fault with the distillation) it is not a riot of taste either. If you have had Makers Mark (by far the most popular wheated style bourbon), and like it, you might give this one a try as it is milder, but also lacks the depth you would expect, so be warned.
Bottle: Handbell shaped bottle (long neck wide cylidrical bottom) makes for a nice grip for pouring. Simple layout on rectangular label gives it a antique feel. Raised printing on the label (almost never see that anymore) makes it convenient for the blind and nice feel for the rest of us. Black neck tag with age statement (Rare Kentucky Bourbon Aged 12 Years ) and black cap. Writing on back label could be larger – we feel old enough already!
Fast loading with a slightly annoying intro (no need for it). This however is
followed by a display of all the bourbons they make (over 20, not counting
overseas variations). Extensive information and good pictures of each one, with reviews and ratings by different people and organizations.