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- Brand: a. smith bowman
- ABV: 45%
There are, to my knowledge, two Abraham Bowman Rye Whiskies, one that is high-proof, and this one, coming in at 45%. It's about 9.5 years old. I got a sample of the high-proof version and loved it, and then found this at a local store and decided to go for it. I did the tasting notes about a week ago, but never got around to posting them, or taking the photo of the bottle. Oh well!
Nose: Immediately, but lightly, on rye grain, sweet and dry cinnamon. It's pure rock-candy. The clean sugary goodness supplemented with soft, fresh wood and sawdust. A little varnish comes out with air, but it's all very refreshing. There's also some menthol and anise. Not terribly complicated, but it smells delicious.
Palate: A little rye spice and a full dose of the grain with a measure of soft cinnamon. A little sandal wood and cedar - and more of that pure, sugary rock candy. Very brief peppery spice on the entry, but goes more for the sweet: direct and simple.
Finish: Very short, which is a little disappointing, but this is incredibly drinkable. It is liquid candy. Fairly simple and straightforward on the whole, it just does those few things very well and is fun and easy to drink.
For what it is, it's really just loads of fun and is remarkably easy to like. This is really the sweet-spot, in a manner of speaking, for rye whiskies that aren't high-proof. It has that touch of grain and wood, and a lot of sweetness, and the alcohol never interferes. I'm really torn on scoring/grading this because, for what it is, it's just so enjoyable when you want something sweet and non-challenging. If you really want something with complexity, it'll leave you wanting a bit. That is, it's got its place. If simplicity is ok, in terms of what it does, it's a very high B+. If you're looking for something with a bit more complexity and layering, it's a B. Aside from the high-proof rye, this is my favorite bottling from A. Smith Bowman - it's better than the 18 year Abraham Bowman and the John J. Bowman (which is better than the 18 year, I think).