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Kentucky Vintage is one of the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers 'Small Batch' products, along with Noah's Mill, Rowan's Creek, and Pure Kentucky XO. I reviewed one other batch of Kentucky Vintage, and found it the most over-oaked bourbon, indeed, the most over-oaked whisk(e)y I have ever encountered. This sample from my sister's newly opened bottle is much much better, and like the batch which Jim Murray rated at 94.5 pts. There is no age statement on the bottle, but most reports are that this is at least 17 years old
Nose: deep rich maple, sweet, but not over-sweet, spicy, but in good balance
Taste: this translates onto the palate as oak a mile deep, but beautifully mellow...not the least intrusive nor overdone. Make no mistake, the oak influence in Kentucky Vintage is often some of the strongest you will see in any whisk(e)y, but in the case of batch 12-116 the flavours are delicious and the oak is mature, but neither overripe nor bitter
Finish: beautiful sweet maple finish, with plenty of rye spice to keep it in contrast. Sweet, long, and the best possible manifestation of "oaky"
Balance: some people like the flavour of oak, others not so much. The oak here is profound, but also clean. If you like the basic flavours coming from new oak, then this is a wonderfully rich whiskey, and very highly recommended. Beware though, some batches may not be as good. Note that Kentucky Vintage is not a commonly sold whiskey, but, where it is offered it is really very inexpensive, especially for a 17 yo bourbon. So if you see a bottle of Kentucky Vintage for sale, typically at around $ 25-30 in the US you should consider whether you feel lucky. If so you might get a fantastic bottle on the cheap. If you crap out on your bet, you may wind up with something with just too much oak. Good luck!