Whisky Connosr

Abraham Bowman Rye Whiskey, 45%

Merger One-Off Rye

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@VictorReview by @Victor

16th Jan 2013


Abraham Bowman Rye Whiskey, 45%
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Abraham Bowman
  • ABV: 45%

The A. Smith Bowman distillery in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was incorporated into the Sazerac Company's empire in 2002-2003. Existing rye whiskey stocks which had been distilled in 2001, prior to the acquisition, were bottled in 2010 at the age of 9.5 years. The vatted release was diluted to 45% ABV and mostly sold within the state of Virginia through their state-run ABC stores. There were also three barrels sold privately to The Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky, which were bottled and sold undiluted. The reviewed bottle is just under two years opened, and is 80% full

Nose: relatively strong rye baking spices, and, especially after much oxidation, a lot of pleasant dark fruits, such as black cherries, plums, and raisins. Some floral notes also. This nose is far more fragrant than it was in the first year that the bottle was opened. First 18 months score: 21/25; current score 22/25

Taste: for most of this time, this was pretty basic rye, and relatively low-pitched in its tones. The wood flavours are mostly in the background. I must say that I am amazed how nicely this has oxidised. It is at its best now, 2 years later. It has grown fruitier and lighter. I've seen this with Old Overholt before, and also Van Winkle Rye. Many US straight ryes get fruitier with oxidation. First 18 months score: 20/25; current score 22/25

Finish: what it has going for it stays the course; that stuff is better now than before. Fruitier, lighter, tastier. First 18 months score: 20/25; current score 22/25

Balance: this is a decent standard rye, but nothing to seek out, and nothing to pay the state of Virginia $ 75 for. The balance is ok, but nothing special. Score first 18 months 20/25; current score 22/25

Summary scores: first 18 months: 81 pts/ current score 88 pts. I am going to post this as an average of 84 pts


numen commented

@Victor, nice review! I think that I'm trending in the opposite direction from you on this one. I cracked it out again recently and it seemed rather tired and non-descript. Still pleasant, but if I were to re-rate it, it'd be in the B-/B range. My bottle here has the floral notes, but none of the fruit or spice, and the grain's a bit short now. I fear that I've been sitting on it at half-fill for far too long.

11 years ago 0

Victor commented

@numen, yes, I was surprised when you initially reviewed this one higher than I would have. Sometimes these somewhat non-descript ryes get fruitier and more appetizing after long oxidation.

11 years ago 0