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Kentucky Gentleman

Nozinan Mini and Sample Series - 50

0 1282

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

4th Jul 2018

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  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    82

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Kentucky Gentleman
  • ABV: 40%

Given it is July 4, I thought I would review some bourbons. Bourbons are going to be a little more expensive in the coming year thanks to our new trade war.

When I was in Maryland with @paddockjudge, we came across three inexpensive bourbon bottles that were in the process of being opened and dumped. I can’t really say why. Well, I can, but I shouldn’t. If the dumper wishes to comment that is fine with me. I managed to save a sample of each of them. The first one was Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon. The second one was Ancient Age Kentucky Straight Bourbon. This was the third one.

I don’t know much about this but it claims to be a blend of Straight bourbon and “Spirit from the finest grains”. I though bourbon itself was made of grain spirit. So maybe the bourbon wasn’t from the finest grains? Let’s check it out.

This expression, poured into a Kentucky bourbon glass, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.


Nose: 21/25

Sweet, fruity nose. Over-ripe fruit? The richest of the three I reviewed together. Something solventy. Butterscotch. Not a bad nose.

Taste: 20.5/25

A little thin. Fruit-forward palate. Spirity. Some vanilla and caramel in the background. Water makes it more bitter. (20/25)

Finish: 21/25

Short spicy finish, leaving astringency.

Balance: 20/25

The nose and palate are consistent. Not very complex and a little sweet.

Score: Neat - 82.5/100 With Water: 82/100


Surprisingly, almost a drinkable bourbon.


For fun, I put equal parts of the Heaven Hill, Ancient Age and Kentucky Gentleman into my MoM Couldn’t Finish sample bottle and let it marry for a little while. I believe the result is slightly greater than the sum of its parts.

The leftovers were dumped in the glass that had held my diet tonic water, soda, lemon and lime. Mixed with the spent lemon and lime, it’s quite tasty.

12 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, I am charmed that you are reviewing Kentucky Gentleman! Kentucky Gentleman is a "blended bourbon", which is to say that it contains grain neutral spirits blended with 'proper' bourbon. In this case I think the neutral sprits comprise 49% of the blend, which is typical for this genre. In the 1970s blended bourbons were very very common when the taste was for light spirts like vodka and rum. In 2018 few blended bourbons are sold.

Kentucky Gentleman is produced at the Barton/1792 Ridgemont Distillery, which is owned, along with the Buffalo Trace Distillery and the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, by Sazerac Company in New Orleans.

Kentucky Gentleman is surprisingly good, considering the high concentration of neutral spirits. It seems only connoisseurs will give it a chance, though. Almost all of the very basic drinkers I know revile the stuff. I like it, myself, quite a bit. In The Jim Murray Whisky Bibles, Jim Murray scored Kentucky Gentleman higher than he did Pappy Van Winkle 23 yo, and Pappy Van Winkle 20 yo, whiskeys which have $ 2,000+ asking prices on the secondary markets.

Price for Kentucky Gentleman in my county in Maryland is $ 8.06 for 750 ml, or $ 14.16 for 1.75 L, tax included.

2 months ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Victor, but does that say more about Kentucky Gentleman or Jim Murray?

2 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt Well, if it's on par with Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye...

2 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan Pump the brakes there, Super Chief. Ain’t nothing wrong with CRNH. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt, some of each I would say. It is certainly true that the 20 and 23 yo Pappy Van Winkle bourbons are too woody for some people. Other people pay $ 2,000 per bottle for them.

As for the taste of Jim Murray, even though he and I like Kentucky Gentleman, I don't find my taste to be very close to his. What would be the approximate degree of congruence, on a 10 scale? Maybe 5/10. For congruence of my taste with the taste of @Nock, by contrast, I would estimate the congruence to be a little north of 8/10.

@OdysseusUnbound, and I would hate to see a whiskey I like, like Kentucky Gentleman, lumped in with Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye!

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor I’ll accept the burden of lone defender of CRNH on this site. I don’t love it the way JM does, not even close, but I do like it most of the time. I’ve mentioned before that the good batches of Northern Harvest Rye would easily be 87-89 point whiskies for me. The less stellar batches...78-80 points. So it is prone to more extreme variations than other whiskies I’ve tried. For comparison’s sake, I’ve never tasted a “standard” (i.e. 43% ABV) Lot 40 that I’d rate lower than 87 points, and it usually comes in at about an 89 point whisky for me.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, I have no trouble imagining a very good batch of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky. I just haven't tasted one of those yet.

We have no good choice but to make our assessments based upon our own direct experience. I do respect your loyalty to your experience of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, and that that experience encompasses a lot more batches of it sampled than the one I have tasted.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I think my impression of a whisky is tainted even before tasting if it makes Murray's top 5

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, I believe you were very generous with your scoring of all three of these $10 bottles.

@Victor, this was not a particularly good batch of Kentucky Gentleman. I tasted each of these on the day they were opened. Perhaps I am blinded by the incredible line-up of whiskies we enjoyed over three days, but a score above 70 for any of these three would be a reach for the paddockjudge.

@OdysseusUnbound, I am a fan of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye. Every batch of CRNHR from which I have tasted is by far better than any of these bottom shelfers...and yes, they were on bottom shelves in stores.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I think you're right. But I didn't want to insult anyone...

2 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

I hope my “riding to the defense” of CRNH was taken in the facetious sense it was intended. I’m completely fine with others who don’t like the same whiskies as me. I’m sure I enjoy Lagavulin and Laphroaig expressions more than most of the esteemed Connosrs on this site. And I hope @Victor will forgive me, but there have been few bourbons that have “wowed” me. (Those that did wow me were suggested by the aforementioned Connosr, however).

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Nozinan, insult?

How would your opinion on a whisky insult anyone?

2 months ago 0

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