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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.