Young grain is predominant, as expected, with undertones of the typical caramel and treacle notes. I would say this is a small step above The Famous Grouse in pleasing flavors, and the creamy mouthfeel is quite nice in such an inexpensive blend.
The delectable hazelnut and honey flavors are many-layered, and are supported by an elegant, smooth-but-fiery sweet malty character. The sherry is definitely in the background. I wouldn’t call this well-balanced, but as the dominant nuttiness is so tasty, I definitely recommend it, especially if you can find a deal.
I am a lot more impressed by this bourbon than I was with any of the earlier cheap American whiskeys I’ve tried. The rawness of the grain is apparent in the nose, but subtly hidden on the palate by the surprising variety of fruit and sweet baked flavors. Still not as easy to drink and enjoy as a single malt, but definitely worth drinking neat, especially at this price. It’s even nicer with a dash of water.
While this is quite a decent sip, there is nothing outstanding about it to recommend it. Mild and smooth, oaky and with that familiar bourbon barrel-char and brown sugar flavors… it still doesn’t inspire me to drink more. I’m also not crazy about the nose – too composty for me. Maybe it’s the sulfur?
Not particularly brash, but also not particularly complex or interesting. The oak comes through, but without much vanilla to balance it. There aren’t any higher fruity notes either. Mostly a muddy, indistinct “bourbon-ness”.
Overall an extremely smooth, unchallenging dram. After a week drinking fiery young bourbons, I find that this one is miles ahead in sophistication. While it doesn’t yield many exciting flavors or anything unexpected, it is eminently drinkable and very satisfying.
Not impressed. It has more flavors going for it than your average bottom-shelf whiskey, but its brash young grain and overbearing corn sweetness are just too much to recommend it anywhere but the cocktail glass.
Tasty in its way, and (I would hazard) better than some cheaper bourbons. However, with those fake corn syrup flavors – almost reminiscent of aspartane or other non-sugar sweeteners – I can’t say I would ever be in the mood for it.
Are you going to be upset and go ranting about the unfairness of it all? Of course. Did you deserve this outcome? In my opinion, yes you did. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this happens very often, if at all… most of the Scotch brand names are fiercely protective of their heritage and staunchly ethical about the quality of their final product. In my opinion, though, it’s just as likely a series of events as the “nightmare scenario” in Forbes’s article, and personally, I think it’s a good thing.
Why painstakingly age expensive liquid in secondhand barrels for decades to coax out faint flavors like black cherry when you can just add that flavor straight to the whiskey! (Happy April Fool’s Everyone!)