Category: bourbon

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig is storied bourbon. The story goes that Elijah Craig was the first to use charred oak casks. Elijah Craig is known as the father of bourbon and since he was a Reverend, I guess he is the Father Father of Bourbon!

On the nose I get vanilla, caramel, lots of oak, and some cinnamon that carries. On the palate I taste lots of oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

This bourbon won’t knock your socks off, but it is a good step into quality bourbon. If you like this, give their barrel strength (or store picks) a try!

47% abv

Kentucky, USA

Old Ezra 7 Year Old

Old Ezra 7 Year Old

I gathered by best friends for this bottle because bourbon is all about friends, especially when it is to finish a bottle of a discontinued bourbon! This bourbon, distilled by Heaven Hill and bottled by Luxco is great on its own or with a cube. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a bottle of this in your cabinet already, you might not be able to find it. 

If you do find it, you’ll have a bottle that is 78% corn, 12% malted barley and 10% rye. You’ll smell notes of oak, vanilla, brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, and brown sweet spice. On the nose you’ll taste brown sweet spice to start on the top of your tongue, followed by oak, vanilla, and a bit of heat carried through by rye spice. This is a bourbon that is great neat or with a cube! Whatever makes you happy is fine by me!

101 proof / 50.5%

Kentucky, USA

Old Ezra 7 Year Old

Old Ezra 7 Year Old

I gathered by best friends for this bottle because bourbon is all about friends, especially when it is to finish a bottle of a discontinued bourbon! This bourbon, distilled by Heaven Hill and bottled by Luxco is great on its own or with a cube. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a bottle of this in your cabinet already, you might not be able to find it. 

If you do find it, you’ll have a bottle that is 78% corn, 12% malted barley and 10% rye. You’ll smell notes of oak, vanilla, brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, and brown sweet spice. On the nose you’ll taste brown sweet spice to start on the top of your tongue, followed by oak, vanilla, and a bit of heat carried through by rye spice. This is a bourbon that is great neat or with a cube! Whatever makes you happy is fine by me!

101 proof / 50.5%

Kentucky, USA

I.W. Harper 15

I.W. Harper 15

This bottle belongs in your bookshelf, so that’s why I’m there, in MY bookshelf. I’m about to tell you about a gentleman’s bourbon aged 15 years! If you look at the beautiful decanter this bourbon comes in, you can guess at the aroma and taste. Did you guess a smell of 1970s gentleman’s room? Notes of vanilla, leather, cedar, wood, old cigarettes, tobacco, and old wood? Of course you did. Well, that’s what I got too. 

On the nose, did you pick up notes of smooth butterscotch, oak, vanilla, leather, and cedar? I bet you did. Look, I know that Ron Burgundy likes scotch, but if he came to my house and I was out of scotch, I’d pour this for him and he’d be very, very happy. This bourbon isn’t cask strength and its not big and bold like some of the other bourbons out there – this is a thinking man’s (and woman’s) bourbon and I can tell you it is worth seeking out.

43% abv

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

I.W. Harper 15

I.W. Harper 15

This bottle belongs in your bookshelf, so that’s why I’m there, in MY bookshelf. I’m about to tell you about a gentleman’s bourbon aged 15 years! If you look at the beautiful decanter this bourbon comes in, you can guess at the aroma and taste. Did you guess a smell of 1970s gentleman’s room? Notes of vanilla, leather, cedar, wood, old cigarettes, tobacco, and old wood? Of course you did. Well, that’s what I got too. 

On the nose, did you pick up notes of smooth butterscotch, oak, vanilla, leather, and cedar? I bet you did. Look, I know that Ron Burgundy likes scotch, but if he came to my house and I was out of scotch, I’d pour this for him and he’d be very, very happy. This bourbon isn’t cask strength and its not big and bold like some of the other bourbons out there – this is a thinking man’s (and woman’s) bourbon and I can tell you it is worth seeking out.

43% abv

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Weller Antique 107

Weller Antique 107

So you liked Weller Special Reserve, huh? I knew you would. FoxFriend here clearly liked it a bit too much…

Once you’ve gotten used to that kind of luxury in the Special Reserve, take a step up to Weller Antique 107. This ups the proof, the body, the flavor, and the length from the regular Special Reserve. On the nose you’ll smell lots of spice – brown spice and cinnamon – and then oak, vanilla, and caramel. You’ll then notice leather, more cinnamon and nutmeg. The nose reminds me of thanksgiving – a mix of late fall and early winter spices. 

On the palate, the bourbon is clearly higher in proof – and more amped up – than the Special Reserve. Higher spice and a fuller mouthfeel is obvious. This isn’t messing around. There is a bit of spice, much like the Maker’s Mark Cask Strength. You’ll notice oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. While it remains smooth, it is fuller and more brawny than the Special Reserve. 

If you can’t tell, I think this is a wonderful wheated dram. 

53.5% abv

Frankfort, Kentucky, USA

Weller Special Reserve

Weller Special Reserve

Weller. Weller, Weller, Weller. I’ve got my paw on this bottle so Squishable friend here can’t take it from me. In many parts of the US, this is very hard to find. The original wheated bourbon? You’d better believe it. On the nose, you’ll spell apples, caramel, vanilla, oak, and you’ll smell what can best be described as creaminess. On the palate, you’ll pick up vanilla, salted caramel, and just, well, and unctuous mouthfeel. This is sweet and delicious. Think cooked sweet apples with vanilla creme sauce. It finished with oak and white flowers.

This bourbon at retail, under $30 or less, is great. Don’t spend much more than that. You might have to make friends with someone to find it at retail, but that’s okay – put in the time and effort. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy. 

45% abv

Frankfort, Kentucky, USA

1792 High Rye

1792 High Rye

Half of my face thinks this is sweet. The other half thinks this is spicy. Can you tell which is which? 

1792 always tastes sweet to me – a dessert bourbon, if you will – and this is no different, even though it is a high rye.

I smell honey nut cherries, caramel apples, and oak. On the palate, I taste cinnamon toast crunch, honey nut cherrios (lots of fun kiddie cereal here), cinnamon sugar, apples, and peppered orange peel. 

If you want to work your way into high rye bourbons, this might be a good place to start. The sweetness balances out the bite of the rye. 

47.15% ABV

Bardstown, Kentucky, USA

Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon

You might have a serious bourbon drinker in your family. Like someone who is 60. A grandad or an older gentleman. Maybe someone who was an offensive lineman in the B1G Ten.  

This is a no-nonsense, big, brash bourbon. This isn’t maple finished. It isn’t sauternes finished. No port finished, either. This is just big, bold bourbon.

Even the bottle is thick and squat, as if you needed a warning about what you are about to get inside.

I opened this and poured it an HOUR before I tasted it. It really needs that much time. This is a big boy. Give it time to stretch out.

On the nose you will get cinnamon, clove, graham crackers, black and white cracked pepper, allspice, burnt caramel

On the palate, this bourbon is full and hot, even before you swallow and even if you add some water. You feel the heat on your tongue – this is the kind of bourbon that your grandfather (duh) would pour for your and then judge your entire existence on how you respond to it. No pressure. 

The heat is as much alcohol as peppery price, hot cinnamon and allspice. Wood and caramel and graham crackers round out the note. 

114 proof 

Clermont, Kentucky, USA

Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon

Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon

Oof! You can tell from my mouth that this is a hot bourbon! On the nose I get aromas of cinnamon, toffee, and toast. When I take a sip neat, I taste a lot of hot brown spices – like cinnamon – even some cracked pepper. Rye notes join the toffee and wood.

This is hot neat and a bit softer with water. 

50% abv

Kentucky, USA