1792 Ridgemont Reserve has always been one of my favourite bourbons (though it's a bit pricey, it's usually relatively available). So I was quick to snap up (and drink most of) this barrel proof, non-chill filtered bottling. Although there is no age statement on the label, it is 8 1/2 years old.
The nose is a dark, reddish caramel. Deep wood smoke on the nose, with black cherries, crushed mint and charred oak. Sticky toffee pudding. Vanilla pods simmering in pannacotta. Dark chocolate raisins. Water brings out more smoke and a certain maltiness, but even at this proof it's really not necessary. This is beautiful stuff, extremely rich but it has its subtleties.
A burst of flavour on the palate with chili chocolate, burnt dark caramel, black liquorice and baked apple cinnamon. Creamy mouthfeel. With water there is raspberries and strong dark roast. Again - this is fantastic but it packs a wallop.
The finish is long and smoky with cloves, pinot tannins and an absinthe note right at the end. This is incredible whisky (if you can find it) but there seems to be some argument as to the ABV. The bottle clearly states 62.5%, but the LCBO stickered over it with a 61.87%! So at some point between bottling in Kentucky and the lab analysis at the LCBO (probably in Toronto), it lost 0.63%? LCBO warehouse "angel's share"? How long was this sitting on the shelf there, anyway? Not good for Ontarians, but hey at least we got the damn thing. Incidentally, John Hansell scores this a 92, and Jim Murray a fat 96.