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Ancient Age Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Nozinan Mini and Sample Series - 49

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@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

4th Jul 2018


Ancient Age Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

To acknowledge the US Independence day holiday I thought I would review some bourbons. Bourbons are going to be a little more expensive in the coming year thanks to our new trade war.

When I was in Maryland with @paddockjudge we came across three inexpensive bourbon bottles that were in the process of being opened and dumped. I can’t really say why. Well, I can, but I won’t. I managed to save a sample of each of them. The first one was Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon. The second one was Ancient Age Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

This expression, poured into a Kentucky bourbon glass, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.

Nose: 21/25

Spicy. I’m not an expert on mashbills but it seems to me that there might be a little more rye than the Heaven Hill. A bit of vanilla. A hint of cherry. Not much else. Water adds some richness to the nose. (21.5/25)

Taste: 20.5/25

I get a hit of cherry (as in Cott’s Black Cherry soda), some alcohol burn, and some vanilla and caramel. Not very exciting. The cherry is accentuated with the water, and tastes a little like twizzlers. (21/25)

Finish: 20/25

Unremarkable. Some oak.

Balance: 20/25

Underpowered, but balanced between the nose and the palate.

Score: Neat - 81.5/100 With Water: 82.5/100

With water this is a little nicer than the Heaven Hill. If there was nothing better and I wanted a drink in my hand I might have this if offered.

For fun, I put equal parts of the Heaven Hill, Ancient Age and Kentucky Gentleman into my MoM Couldn’t Finish sample bottle and let it marry for a little while. I believe the result is slightly greater than the sum of its parts.

The leftovers were dumped in the glass that had held my diet tonic water, soda, lemon and lime. Mixed with the spent lemon and lime, it’s quite tasty.

Related Ancient Age reviews


Victor commented

Standard 40% ABV Ancient Age bourbon is the member in lowest standing on the Buffalo Trace Distillery totem pole. The AA lines and AAA lines (Ancient Ancient Age) are all made with Buffalo Trace Mash Bill # 2, at about 15% rye content. This is average bourbon industry rye content, whereas BT Mash Bill # 1, used for standard Buffalo Trace bourbon, the Stagg bourbons, and others, is a low rye content mashbill containing about 8-10% rye. Standard Ancient Age is probably the only product made at Buffalo Trace which is pretty continuously available to buy off of a shelf in the US. Like all mass-market products, and especially lower shelf mass market products, it is very very batch variable. I wish I had been able to have tasted from this bottle of yours. I would have kept it if I had liked it. With standard AA, some batches are keepers for sippiing, others are not.

5 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

Looking back, I don't think I liked this as much as Canada 2018 which is an acceptable sipper. Yet I scored it lower. One of the difficulties with "batch variation" of scoring over time. This one is probably more of a mid 70s whiskey. I wish we could go back and change scores like in the old days...

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Nozinan, in the absence of a true edit your comments serve to modify the content.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?