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Our next contestant comes from Rick No. L-5, Barrel No. 14-1241 and was bottled on March 18 2014.
The colour is a rich coppery gold - pretty much identical to the last Single Barrel. On the nose, the pepper is more muted, but the salt is still there. Generally, similar notes are there - caramel, vanilla, banana - but they are quieter than expected; for example, I get creme brûlée as opposed to the deep, dark caramel of the last bottle. Water does little to the nose. Still has some complexity but the volume is simply turned down a little low.
The mouthfeel is not as oily as the last one, and again, everything just seems a little bit muted, except this one's a little spicier, with a little more zip. Very interesting that more spice has come out in front of the sweeter, fruitier notes. As water dampens down that spice, I would suggest keeping it neat.
The finish keeps the heat going but is otherwise surprisingly short. As you can imagine, there is not a great difference between these two - all JDSBs use new American white oak barrels, the Lincoln County Process, and the same distillate - but there are subtle differences that make the exercise worthwhile. I prefer the power of 13-6633 but appreciate the combination of spice and elegance of 14-1241. Using these numbers makes it like I'm comparing droids. Anyway - I recommend both.