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Nose: Deep brown sugar and molasses. Rubber boots and engine oil. Definitely a dark mellow sweetness balanced with nice earthy notes. There is also a sharp rye spike when you look for it. I am getting sweet corn here as well as shoe polish. Very interesting. This is a harsh and difficult nose. I can see why some people are put off. I rather like it. It does get a bit bitter, but not bad. However, compared to the ECBP and Stagg Jr. this is thin, young, and sour. Water only brings out the intensity of the nose.
Taste: Sweetness on the tip. Nice brown sugar sweetness (not too sweet) and it singes the tongue. It develops into a searing rage of fire, oak, molasses, and salted pork.
Finish: Big wave of sourness (more like sour grapes). It is a huge wave . . . . with a second big wave following it a few seconds later. Very long and warming with huge power . . . sweet apple syrup coated roasted pork bbq on a spit. There is a nice rye spice that is really present on the finish. There is way more sharp rye then the Stagg Jr. or ECBP.
Balance, Complexity: Wonderful complexity on the nose and finish, but it misses on the palate. I love the intensity. But surprisingly the nose is not as sharp as the Larceny. It has a depth and power that Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star lacks. So I have to give it points for all that. Comparing it to ECBP and Stagg Jr. just isn’t fair.
Aesthetic experience: I kind of like this bottle, but it does look a little cheep. However, I LOVE the ABV for the price. And the name is just cool.
Conclusion: There are rumors that this guy will soon be gone. That will make me sad indeed. For the money to ABV you just can’t beat it. What else can you drink at “navy proof” for around $20? This is a hard one for me to score, but it is easily a solid B if not a B+ for the price to ABV.
87.5 and I’ll round it up to 88.