Whisky Connosr

Early Times 354 Bourbon

Early Times in New Wood

1 181

@VictorReview by @Victor

14th Nov 2012


Early Times 354 Bourbon
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Early Times
  • ABV: 40%

Early Times 354 Bourbon is a product of Brown-Forman, which also owns the Jack Daniels, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve brands. Early Times 354 Bourbon is the relatively recently re-introduced true bourbon whiskey version of Early Times, which has marketed a very widely sold Early Times Whiskey which is not a true bourbon, because it is aged in a combination of some new wood, but also some used oak. Bourbon cannot by US law be the product of any used wood aging. This is a review from a newly opened bottle. If I observe significant oxidation effects from this bottle later, I will post them in the future. There is no age statement on the bottle. I would estimate the age to be 3 to 4 years old

Nose: smell of heavy char, strong wood with strong wood spice, moderate rye spice. Quite sweet, and also floral, with the scent of carnations. A very decent nose for a 40% ABV bourbon

Taste: everything in the nose translates onto the palate, though with less finesse and less definition. There is a lot of flavour for a 40% ABV bourbon here, including a lot of char flavour. Heavy char works against subtlety in my mind, but it gives robustness. The wood flavours are ok, but not great. More wood aging would probably improve this a lot. I'm not adding water to a 40% ABV bourbon

Finish: long, with lots of sweet wood flavours and char. Robust once again, but unrefined

Balance: the nose is actually the high point here. Overall balance is reasonably good

This is young but with a lot of flavour. Early Times 354 Bourbon is not at all bad if you like heavy charring being used to bring out the wood in a young whiskey. I don't like the heavy char flavours myself, but I think many in the mass market will find them acceptable, especially for mixers and on the rocks. High flavour heavy char bourbons work relatively well with ice

This is not a connoisseur's whiskey, but is probably fine as a mixer. Early Times 354 Bourbon is certainly more interesting than the Early Times non-bourbon Whiskey


Victor commented

Early Times 354 Bourbon came and went pretty quickly from the marketplace. Not sure what Brown-Forman was thinking there. Sampling this now, 4 years after opening the bottle, my impressions are about the same as they were 4 years ago. At this point, this would rate a point or two less than the 81 I gave it when it was freshly opened. This would still be bang-up cocktail whiskey, I think.

Early Times 354 Bourbon is still WAY better than that perennial bottom shelf American domestic sales favourite (not with me) Early Times Whiskey.

7 years ago 0