Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon

Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon is a blend of sourced straight bourbons, with the youngest aged 5 years. As for the mash bill, Old Elk is once again an outlier: A whopping 34% malted barley, 51% corn, and 15% rye. I’ve never seen that much barley used in a bourbon before. They say it makes the whiskey extra smooth. The bourbon is bottled at an acceptable…

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Rare Breed is Wild Turkey’s approach to the fairly-standard “Small Batch, Cask Strength” expression that you’ll find in most distillery lineups. Rare Breed is made from a batch of Wild Turkey Kentucky straight bourbon aged in number 4 char bourbon barrels for 6, 8, and 12 years and bottled at cask strength. While a lot of bourbon distillers these days (especially the trendy ones) are marking up their cask strength bottles to portray them as…

Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon (Batch B520)

This “Barrel Proof” edition is a small batch release (just like Larceny’s non-cask-strength bottling) of Kentucky straight bourbon bottled at a whopping 61.1% ABV from casks aged between 6 and 8 years. The producers did not use chill filtration, according to the back of the bottle, which is rare to see on an American whiskey label. Heaven Hill releases a new batch of Larceny Barrel Proof…

Hirsch “The Horizon” Bourbon

The Horizon is a blend of straight bourbons, mostly (94%) 4 year and 11 month-old bourbon with a mash bill of 21% rye, 75% corn, and 4% malted barley, plus a bare 6% of 6 year and 8 month-old bourbon with a mash bill of 36% rye, 60% corn, and 4% malted barley. The barley is in there to provide enzymes that kickstart fermentation. I’m not sure whether the difference between these two parcels of bourbon is enough to warrant such a…

Kirkland Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon – Barton 1792

Just like Very Old Barton and 1792, this Kentucky Straight bourbon was distilled at the Barton 1792 distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. It’s a bottled-in-bond straight Kentucky bourbon which means it is at least four years old and bottled at 50% ABV. … it was an easy decision when I saw they had the Bottled-in-Bond expression on the shelf during my last shopping trip. It was only a week later after recommending it to a friend that I learned it had sold out of every Costco store within 100 miles…

Henry McKenna (10 year) Bottled in Bond Single Barrel

This barrel is from a batch of Henry McKenna’s Bottled in Bond line, which is usually a good sign in a bourbon these days. The 50% ABV required for BIB is (in my opinion) a great drinking strength, and the BIB requirements tend to lead to more of a quality mindset than a “big batch mass production” mindset in the producer. In case you didn’t bother to click on the links above, the short version is that the brand is Heaven Hill bourbon using the same mashbill as…

Kentucky Vintage Bourbon

This is “small batch” Kentucky straight bourbon made in Bardstown, Kentucky by Willett (DSP-KY-78). It’s bottled at 45% ABV. The label manages to use a lot of words to say basically nothing about the whiskey or how it was made, so that’s par for the course. It’s not clear whether this is sourced bourbon or if Willett is distilling it, but my guess is…

Smooth Ambler Big Level Wheated Bourbon

Apparently running with the “awkward naming convention” thing, “Big Level” is named after West Virginia’s local mountainous terrain. The bourbon is made from a mashbill of 71% corn, 21% wheat, and 8% malted barley, making it a wheated bourbon in the style of Maker’s Mark, Weller, or yes, Pappy Van Winkle. The process water is local West Virginian Appalachian spring water, and some of the grain comes from both local West Virginian farms that produce non-GMO grain. The rest of the grain…