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Still on my quest for a good every day cooking/cocktail/sipping bourbon. Here is the most recent contender. On this evening I tasted: Jack Danie’s, Evan Williams Green & Black, Maker’s Mark, Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star, and Rare Breed.
Nose: Sweet baked apples and brown sugar with a background of tart lemon peel. This guy is both the sweet and the sour. Definitely the biggest contrast of what I am comparing tonight. Cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, burnt matches, gun power, anise, and turpentine. The nose really grows on me. This might be my favorite whisky sour nose ever! It is both immature and thin (compared to ECBP and Stagg Jr.), but also elusive and beguiling. I might take it over the Rare Breed by a hair. – With water: more ice cream, tobacco, and baked apple notes.
Taste: Very tart and sweet. Big mouth feel, with both brown sugar and lemons. Less sweet then the Jack, but also more sour. Sweet light-brown sugar and sour apple in a wonderful balance. - With water: applesauce, apple tart, and apple jelly Definitely delivering what the nose promised.
Finish: Very spicy finish with tons of pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne. There is a nice intake of breath and then a huge building of power and presence to a wonderful sweet, sour, salty and spicy finale. Lovely sweet, sour, and spicy finish. It has both lemon juice, brown sugar, and sea salt - leaves a nice saltiness in the mouth. Really good stuff this.
Balance, Complexity: Very nice and interesting balance of sour and sweet along with spice and saltiness. I quite enjoy the extremes. And it certainly doesn’t disappoint on the taste or finish. Not as balanced as the Makers but more complex . . . I call it even.
Aesthetic experience: I love the ABV of 50.5%. It might be my favorite “sipping” strength (where I also enjoy the extreme 57%+ category for tasting). It does say “middle shelf” with the crazy turkey on the label. At $24.90 here in Virginia it is a very good whiskey for the price.
Conclusion: After my lower end bourbon tasting I am left with AAA 10 Star, OGD 114 and this WT101. I have to say that of the three I think this flat out tastes the best to me. I think I enjoy OGD114 more for its power and price point. But the AAA 10 Star is hard to beat at less then half the price. Decisions, decision. Maybe I will just have to keep one of each on hand. I will definitely buy this bottle again.