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Early Times Bottled in Bond

Decent Mid-Shelf BiB

5 979

@casualtortureReview by @casualtorture

27th Sep 2020

0

  • Nose
    20
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    18
  • Balance
    19
  • Overall
    79

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Early Times
  • ABV: 50%

Got this bottle as a gift. Early times is a Kentucky bourbon that, until a few months ago, was owned by Brown Foreman. They have now sold it to the Sazerac Company who owns Buffalo Trace. So hopefully they won't make it impossible to find like they do with most of their other whiskies.

The mash bill is 79% corn, 11% rye and 10% malted barley. This bottle has been opened right at a week and is 80% full. Neat in a Glencairn.

Nose: If someone asked me to find them the most "bourbony" nose, I might point them in this direction. Caramel, vanilla, a tad bit of apple and nutmeg. Exactly what comes to mind when you say "bourbon."

Palate: Quite an interesting palate for something in this price range. A decent amount of stuff going on. Graham crackers jump out first, with some apples and vanilla. APPLE CRISP. Got it. This tastes like apple crisp dessert made with gala apples instead of granny smiths. Towards the end there is a slight pickle note that, on one end, adds something different, but if anything it throws things out of whack a bit.

Finish: The pickle note actually builds on the finish and I don't care for it. The apple crisp is gone and it has left a pickle, sourdough bread thing behind. Not my favorite part of the dram.

Overall: At the price point of $23 for a liter, I find this a good value mid-shelf BiB bourbon. Average nose, a darn good palate, and a below average finish. Honestly a bit more than I expected. I'd buy this.

9 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@casualtorture, thank you for your review. From what I have read, Early Times BIB has a very limited release market as of now.

Sazerac now owns Early Times? Very interesting. So now they own both Fireball and Early Times, two very big sellers on the non-Connoisseur-y end of whiskey popularity. Those guys at Sazerac are very sharp businessmen. I expect that this bodes well for the money-making prospects of the Sazerac Company...which bodes well for them to be able to continue to put out special releases, like the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. When New Orleans fully re-opens for business I look forward to seeing Sazerac's new Visitor Center there. At Tales of the Cocktail 2019 a Sazerac rep disclosed that Sazerac was planning a very big expansion of whiskey production and storage. I wonder whether Covid-related issues have changed that plan.

Early Times has done some bourbons in the past, but mostly their "American Whiskey" which is not bourbon because they use partially re-used cooperage. 8 years ago, in 2012, I did Connosr reviews of both Early Times Whiskey and the short-lived 40% ABV Early Times 354 Bourbon. The 354 Bourbon wasn't bad, but I'm sure it's now better still at 50% ABV.

connosr.com/early-times-354-bourbon-whisky…

connosr.com/early-times-whiskey-whisky-rev…

24 days ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@Victor Sazerac has elevated the BTAC collection to a status I would never have imagined in American whiskey. They do know what they're doing, that's for sure. I'll never understand people paying over $1k for a bottle of PVW. Anyway, thanks for posting the links to those older reviews. It's interesting to see how a whiskey can progress throughout the years. That's one of the many great things about Connosr!

24 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@casualtorture thanks for reading my Early Times reviews.

Ten years ago, in 2010, when I first started getting interested in the high end American whiskeys, you could still get some Van Winkle and BTAC whiskeys if you HUSTLED. It was never easy then, but you could pick up a bottle here and there with a lot of effort. Typical cost was $ 60- 80 for BTAC and PVW 15, but the bottles were extremely scarce. All of the insanity broke in the 3rd quarter of 2012, when secondary prices for these whiskies started to go vertical. What is especially sad to me about the current scarcity and massive price increases for these whiskeys is that this puts the experience of drinking these whiskeys out of the reach of many current whiskey-lovers. People don't even get the chance to try them, unless they are willing to pay, e.g. for PVW 15 $150+ for a shot in a bar. There is a deprivation of experience which results. Any bar sample will have an extremely difficult time satisfying the consumer that it was worth $ 150. If you own a bottle, on the other hand, you get to know the whiskey at leisure and without the pressure of having to get your experience of the whiskey from a 30 - 45 ml pour. Large numbers of bourbon fans have never had the chance to own a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo for under $ 300

24 days ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor It will be interesting to see if distilleries follow through on their promises to "be better" for women in the whiskey industry. Many companies are denouncing outdated sexist attitudes, yet they have been complicit in perpetuating these attitudes by paying Instagram "influencers" (i.e. attractive women) to post pictures of themselves holding (unopened) rare bottles (GTS, PVW, etc.).

That said, I don't see these rare releases becoming more readily accessible or affordable, even if every "influencer" stopped receiving free bottles. The secondary "flipper" market is too lucrative right now. In one Facebook whisky group, I simply inquired, out of curiosity, what a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 Year with the age statement on the front was selling for these days. I was flooded with messages. Everyone seemed to have bottles to sell me....at no less than $150 CAD (and as high as $225 CAD). Obviously, I purchased exactly zero bottles at those prices, but that tells me that some people must be paying that. Yikes.

24 days ago 3Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@OdysseusUnbound I wish they'd give me bottles to post on social media! Although I probably wouldn't look as good in yoga pants as I'm sure their "influencers" do. There is some sense of depravity that distillers feel they have to stoop that low to get the word out to younger people.

24 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@casualtorture Dude. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY wants to see me in yoga pants. I especially don't want to see me in yoga pants. grimacing

24 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I once had a bottle of EC 12 YO that I let go for a fraction of that price. What a fool I was...!

24 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan At least you know the guy who bought it won’t flip it. I happen to know he’ll drink it.

24 days ago 1Who liked this?

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