Elijah Craig 18 Year Old

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Distillery/Brand: Heaven Hill Distilleries
Bottling: Elijah Craig 18 Year old
Region: Kentucky, USA
ABV: 45%
Colour: Burgundy

Nose: 23
Taste: 24
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review
This exceptional bourbon from Heaven Hill Distilleries is from a single barrel (the Scotch equivalent of single cask) and has spent 18 years in one place becoming sexy. This was one of the first bourbons I had ever tasted and I was hooked!

Nose: Beautifully creamy and elegant. There’s french toast and toffee apples dipped in dark honey with a side of gorgeous vanilla infused roasted carrots.

Palate: The creaminess continues with a chocolate waffle and cherries mixture. But the balanced spices are what makes this special. Black pepper, cloves and cumin all come wonderfully together in tiny pinpricks.

Finish: Long with an oily oakiness and mild spices.

This is truly an exceptional bourbon and one of the oldest I’ve drunk. And let me tell you something. There was a fire 18 years ago at the distillery which wiped out most of the stock so don’t expect a new batch of 18 year olds coming out any time soon.

Rating: 93

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

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Distillery/Brand: Heaven Hill Distilleries
Bottling: Fighting Cock 6 Year old
Region: Kentucky, USA
ABV: 51.5%
Colour: Deep Gold

Nose: 22
Taste: 22
Finish: 22
Balance: 22

Review
Bottled after a full 6 years in charred white oak barrels at 103 proof, Fighting Cock has the robust, full bodied flavor that I’ve come to love in a good solid bourbon.

Maybe not the most complex of flavors but possibly the most value for money whisky out there. Also has an edge as this one has rye replacing wheat in the mashbill.

Nose: Strong. Solid. Lots of caramel mocha and chocolate chips. A second wave brings in leathery tobacco with a nice vanilla clove spiciness. Classic aromas.

Palate: It starts with a lovely woody spiced clove and then mellows out to a mild maple syrup and cardamom infused dark citrus.

Finish: Long. Oily. Spicy.

This is a solid no nonsense bourbon and at a price which should allow you an unlimited lifetime supply.

Rating: 88

Bernheim Original

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Distillery/Brand: Bernheim
Region: USA
ABV: 45%
Colour: Young Sauternes

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 23
Balance: 22

Review
I started drinking whisky only because of my love for bourbons. Big bold personalities unashamed of smothering you with flavors whereas most Scottish single malts chose to remain restrained and courteous.

And Bernheim Original was one of the first that I managed to get my hands on.

Nose: Made from 100% wheat grain the nose is an intense pounding of warm chocolate and maple syrup with squished blue berries and raisins. All poured into a bowl of steaming hot caramel marchiato with a few cardamom pods.

Palate: The intensity continues on the palate with the same clove infused maple syrup drizzled on a chocolate orange cake. Fantastic.

Finish: The long finish is once again bristling with chocolate covered cloves.

This is brilliant stuff. Unafraid and brash with a wagon full of attitude.

Rating: 93

Parkers Heritage Collection

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Distillery/Brand: Parkers
Bottling: Parkers Heritage Collection
ABV: 50%
Colour: Old Sauternes

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 24
Balance: 23

Review
This was one of my earlier purchases and I hadn’t tasted it in a long time. I just remembered that it was good. How good? I had totally forgotten!

The nose is a massive burst of vanilla, coconut, leather and burnt toast. Just like a good bourbon should be. But what sets this one apart is the crisp intensity of each aroma. Add to this a beautiful mix of ground coffee, a slice of chocolate cake, fresh tobacco and cardamom and you invariably reach for the non-existant six shooter by your side!

The taste is as explosive as the nose with caramel, vanilla, orange liqueur and big cinnamon playing a country song on your palate. Oaky honey and maple syrup cascade in next to round off a lip smacking delivery.

As the long, oily and spicy finish hints of boiled sweets and cigar box you can’t help but salivate at the thought of the next sip.

A must-have winter night dram – preferably out in the open fields.

Rating: 95

George T Stagg

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Distiller:
Buffalo Trace

ABV:
71.4%

Colour:
Copper

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 24
Balance: 24

Review:
There are few sights in this world that can have a whisky drinkers’ heart racing than 71.4% ABV scrawled across a bottle of bourbon. I mean who in their right mind would let mere mortals drink this?

The geniuses at Buffalo Trace, who else?

Get past the heady alcohol fumes and you will find a treasure trove of dynamite aromas in this bourbon; like sitting down for breakfast at the local tanner’s, some where in the Wild West. All around you are piles of wood and leather products. His wife graciously serves you a cup of steaming mochaccino and ladles a healthy dollop of dark caramel into the giant steel cup. She then proceeds to add cloves, cinnamon and black pepper corns to spice things up a bit. And last, but not the least, gives you a thick piece of burnt toast spread with a chunky coat of orange marmalade to complete your meal. Gorgeous!

Have it unadulterated and you are thrown head-first into a hot chocolate fudge cake covered in wild gooseberries, treacle, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cloves and burnt sugar on top. Possibly one of the most delicious palates that exist.

The finish stays with you, I suspect, until you retire and start collecting pension. Chocolate brownies covered in nuts and massive spices round off this awe inspiring Wild West experience.

Why are you still reading this? Go get one now!

Rating : 96

Evan Williams 23

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Distiller:
Evan Williams

ABV:
54%

Colour:
Copper

Review:
Holy 107 Proof! This bourbon is so good it’s not even funny. Drink it neat and the pure alcohol evaporates off your tongue and hits your upper palate. Very nice sweet nose with a touches of woody oak. The taste is sublime – starts sweet (vanilla, caramel, chocolate) and then becomes so complex and dry (full of oaky goodness with a hint of smoke). And the finish? What the hell is that? I can still savor it on my palate after two days.

Rating : 95

Elijah Craig 18

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Distiller:
Elijah Craig

Colour:
Old Gold

Review:
I can’t get over how good bourbon is for the soul. Smooth and satisfying nose full of chocolate and leather. A little subdued on the palate for my liking (I like my bourbons to kick me in the face). Unmistakable oaky fruits and tobacco on the palate. Medium to long dry finish. Extremely accomplished drink named after a Baptist preacher.

Rating : 90