Bourbon & USA Whiskey Tasting

The thirst day of June started with another tasting organised by the fine people of DH17Slijteren, this time the subject of the tasting was somewhat different, the entire evening was dedicated to Bourbons and American Whiskey’s. Due to a really difficult market for American style whiskey’s we heard that putting the line-up together was difficult. Several times the bottles were sold out in the Netherlands, after several times adjusting their line-up DH17 came up with the following line-up (tasting glass Glencairn):

Platte Valley 100% Straight Corn Whiskey

Hmm where is the colour in this one? It is extremely light coloured. It has matured 30 months. I’d expected an extremely sweet whiskey, but it was rather mellow. The nose is quite hefty alcoholic (young!!, although just an ABV of 40%) with some glue-is notes as well. Everything in this dram is not outspoken. On the nose nothing much is happening, the taste is soft and very easy; the finish is soft, light sweetness and short. A nice starter but lacking complexity.

RI-One-Ultra Premium Rye (by Jim Bean)

Nice mid amber colour. Nose again quite alcoholic, but with herbal and orange marmalade influences, much better than the Platte Valley. Feels quite young (somewhat over a 4 year maturation) with sharp edges in the finish. I’d expected a lot from a Rye, but this one, despite the beautiful bottle, did not do it for me. It is just too young and could need a longer time in the barrel.

George Dickel No 12 Tennessee Whisky

This one has charcoal mellowing, they use sugar maple and different apple woods charcoal to filter the spirit and that comes out. It has apple on the nose, as if you are standing below a blossoming apple tree. It is not too soft; it lacks the sometimes hefty sweetness of other bourbons and displays some herbal and floral notes, combined with some nuttiness.  It is definitely more aged then the former ones. Bottled at 45%. It finishes in a warming mid-long and not to sweet caramel aftertaste. This one is very pleasant and could use a more serious tasting so I took a bottle home with me.

Kentucky Vintage Small Batch Straight Bourbon

We are getting there; this one displays much more complexity at again 45%. It starts with a rum-like sweetness accompanied by some banana, some coconut and nice hints of vanilla. It also has a pleasant somewhat spicy tang in the finish. Although it is breathing quite a while in the glass it keeps evolving. This one is just a very good dram! I took a bottle home with me so there will be a more detailed note in the future (although the list of dram’s in my cupboard to be tasted keeps growing so it could take a while).

Four Roses Single Barrel batch 34-2

This one is bottled at a higher abv (50%) and it screams it out, more power, but also a little bit of a strange smell on the nose as of perfumed soap, but no lavender and the Velpon glue arrives also. After a while the perfume disappears and overripe mango and anise comes into play. It is good balanced. Adding some water displays again that perfumed off-nose, but luckily it disappears fast. With this one I took a piece of dark chocolate and a sip, and wow that’s a beautiful combination, the cacao and bitterness of the chocolate comes together with the fruit and anise, making it creamy, soft and very pleasant!

Noah’s Mill Small Batch Bourbon

This one is complex and difficult to describe. It is bottled at 57,2%. It is sweet as most of the bourbons, spicy and herbal to balance the sweetness out. This is a powerful dram which I was not able to figure out in such a short time. One for on an ever growing wish list to revisit in a slower pace.

Conclusion

I had a great evening, I went a little sceptic about the Bourbons (the ones I had so far (not counting the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection ones, they are mostly of a different level in taste and price), but I did find out that especially the charcoal mellowed ones and the small batches/single barrels are pleasant and good. Thanks to Johan and Elise from DH17 for a very interesting and instructive evening

About gjr71

Whisky enthousiast, working for a auditing firm. Loves Whisky, Wine, Music and a good meal.
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