Region – Tennessee – 62.35% ABV (multiply by 2 to get “proof”, if you feel you need to. Or just keep it simple and use the more logical ABV system) – $89/bottle and only available at Gordon’s Fine Wines in Watham, MA.
Last night I did a seminar at Gordon’s Fine Wines in Watham (you know you’re pronouncing the town name right as when you say it, it sounds like you’re clearing your throat), Massachusetts.
I only recently (recent being this past March) found out about Gordon’s because of my new job with ImpEx Beverages. Gordon’s is an account of mine. In working with Gordon’s, I found that both Nick and Kenny (my contacts there) seemed to know and care more about whisk(e)y than most people I know. As a whisky geek myself, that was exciting.
Actually, I recently reviewed one of their single cask selections. A Russell’s Reserve single cask bourbon. Their bottling and the one from Warehouse Liquors in Chicago selected by one of my favorite people, Gene Charness, helped me to appreciate these cask selections.
Anyway, after the seminar, Nick broke out bottles of “this and that” and we all had a good time tasting “this and that.”
As I was leaving, I asked Nick if there was anything else he felt I needed to taste of.
“Have you had our Barrell Bourbon selection?” asked Nick. “No,” I replied, “I’ve not had that one yet. I didn’t know that they were doing single cask bottlings.” Proudly, Nick said “actually, we were the first to do a Barrell Bourbon single cask selection.” “Well,” I exclaimed “let’s have a pour!”
Ladies and gents. this bourbon was the best bourbon I had this year hands down. Gordon’s being my account or no, I speak truths here. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is in the top 5 whiskies I’ve had all year. I had to buy a bottle, and buy a bottle I did.
I love bourbon, I really do. My issue with bourbon, however, is that it all tastes like bourbon. It’s all (for the most part) very samey with some fun nuances. This bourbon, however, presented flavors to me that made it stand apart from the rest.
Perhaps because it’s a Tennessee whisky (Yes, “whisky.” That’s how George Dickel spells it and we’re making an assumption here that this is a Dickel whisky) with their charcoal filtration process it’s different? Not sure. All I can say is — sweet fancy moses, this is good hooch!
So, what are the full details? 8yo & 6mos, new charred oak, cask # 013, bottle # 101, 62.35% ABV
Details on taste? Here you go:
On the nose — Corn (obviously, I mean this is a corn based spirit…). Fried treats such as apple fritters (heavy in oil) and funnel cakes with powdered sugar.
Candied nuts such as cashew, filbert and pecans. Sweet tomato sauce over fried dough on a paper bag with the oil soaking through the bag. I feel like they’ve bottled the smells from a fall country fair. Salted butterscotch caramels, too.
Everything in its right place here. Amazing.
In the mouth — F#ck and Yes. A powerful entry (62.35% ABV after all) but the whisky is so viscous, the juice wraps your tongue in Phyllo dough, honey and walnuts (and walnut oil). It’s like drinking baklava.
If you feel like you need to add water, go ahead. Me? I think it’s at the perfect strength.
Honey cooked coconut flesh over vanilla ice cream with Kahlua poured over it all. This is such an indulgent whisky.
Finish — Interminable. The nuttiness takes over but there’s a salty element here to balance it out.
In sum — Drop dead gorgeous. I’m in love. This is one of those rare moments where I wish I had enough $$ to buy a whole case. I will need a 2nd bottle for sure. This is as celebratory a dram as it gets. My hat’s off to you Nick and Kenny — a well selected cask of whisky!