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Hancock's President's Reserve

Average score from 4 reviews and 10 ratings 87

Hancock's President's Reserve

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I have no clue, if a presiden would like this. But the name sounds impressive. It comes with 44.45% ABV. Nice correctness, nearly German-like, but Adrian Monk would crack the warehouse and add a dash of water just to get more suitable numbers for the ABV ;)

Immediately I am getting an intense punch of cherries on the nose. Also milk chocolate and sweet plum jam. I am getting lots of licorice and even maltiness. Some days ago I had malt sugar cough-sweet, this nose reminds me of that on some points.

This Bourbon is smooth with a medium body. The palate offers bitter and herbal aromas, nearly like Underberg or other bitters. This is a really special point in my opinion. There is mint, ginger and caramel. An intense bourbon-like aftertaste.

The finish is a bit spicy with oaky tones and a medium length.

Overall I have to say this might be for a president who wants to parry a cold. Just kidding, but the Hancock's really has to offer some uniquely aromas. I do like whisky with distinct profiles but this isn't a top dram on my list.


Hancock's President's Reserve is one of the single-barrel offerings of the Buffalo Trace distillery, and probably my favorite of the lot aside from the rather more expensive Blanton's Gold Edition.

Appearance: amber-brown toned.

Nose: Rich, sweet and fruity. Maple, toasty oak, cinnamon, juicy ripe fruit (nectarine, apple, pear, blackberry, dark cherry), dried figs.

Palate: Huge, strong spice notes of cinnamon, clove, orange zest and nutmeg, as well as a touch of oaky bitterness, counteract a rich, sweet flavor of maple, brown sugar, vanilla, and fresh fruit (nectarine, pear, and cherry). All the flavors blend together very harmoniously. For a fairly low-proof whiskey this one has a lot of flavor to it.

Finish: Medium-long and quite refined. Lingering spice, vanilla, oak tannin, bitter orange, and gentle fruity sweetness. Slowly dries, fading to a lasting mix of cinnamon, orange peel, and deep oak char.

Overall Impressions: Very good. Flawlessly balances refined complexity with huge, bold flavors, with beautiful mouth-watering juicy fruit notes balanced by a hefty punch of warming rye spice. Easy-drinking elegance despite (and partly because of) the spice, and with a beautiful mouth-coating rich sweetness at the start of the sip that I loved. Takes some time in the opened bottle for the flavors to really start to emerge.

I'd be very interested to see a higher-strength bottling of this - the fruit and spice flavors are already quite strong, but taking it up to 100 proof or so would make it that much bolder.

Thought about acquiring this one a couple times. Good to know its a fine one thanks.

Yep, this is fine bourbon. Not too widely distributed, though.


Hancock's President's Reserve is one of four Single Barrel products produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery, along with Blanton's, Elmer T. Lee, and Rock Hill Farms. I had a very delicious sample of Hancock's Reserve at a restaurant and so purchased a bottle when I found one for sale. In my area this is the scarcest to find of the four Buffalo Trace Single Barrel products.

There is no age statement or barrel number on the bottle. Most online speculation is that the age is approximately 8 years. The reviewed bottle has been open approximately 5 months.

Colour: deep caramel

Nose: rich sweet deep maple, with hints of chocolate, grapes, and plums. Strong vanilla and some caramel. Spice becomes strongly apparent in the nose after the whiskey has set in the glass for 20 minutes. A little water makes the nose far more intense and penetrating.

Taste: When the bottle was first opened, the flavours were locked up and disappointing. After two months the flavours blossomed and gelled. After two months: the first impression is that rich, lush, sweet maple thickly coats the mouth. There is very strong spicing from both rye and wood, but it creeps up quite deceptively after the first two or three tastes. The strong spicing keeps the strong sweetness in balance. The fruit flavours and chocolate notes from the nose are also present on the palate. As with the nose, a little water makes the flavours richer still and more penetrating.

Finish: the flavours stay strong for a long time and diminish slowly together, becoming rather dry and slightly sour into the finish.

Balance: I obtained the flavours I had remembered from my restaurant sample only after the bottle had been opened at least two months. This is quite a sweet bourbon with a lush style. Hancock's President's Reserve reminds me a good bit of my favourite Canadian whisky, Wiser's Legacy, though it is for me not quite Legacy's equal.

If you like the flavours described above, this is quite an excellent choice, assuming you are willing to wait for it to open up, as it may require. Hancock's President's Reserve is my personal favourite among the four Buffalo Trace Single Barrel products.

I love the fact that you state for how long your bottle as been open. I discovered by reading some of your reviews that letting breath my whisky for some time gave it more depth and flavor, specialy for some them that were at first less pleasurable then expected. Thanks for the tip.

@CognacFan, thank you. Indeed, whiskies are living breathing beings that change and develop.

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