Tasting Notes

Angel’s Envy

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon is finished in port wine casks for an award-winning spirit. We guide each batch’s conditioning, blending our handcrafted bourbon in small batches of 8 to 12 barrels at a time.

It’s typically aged for up to 6 years. While we lose about 5% of the spirit each year to evaporation, or “the Angel’s Share,” what’s left behind after we’re done is truly worthy of envy.

Once it’s deemed ready, we finish our bourbon in ruby port wine casks, which adds subtly distinct flavor nuances that enhance the whiskey without challenging it. Our port finishing process lasts between three to six months, depending on taste.

We use 60-gallon ruby port barrels made from French oak and imported directly from Portugal. This creates a whiskey of unprecedented smoothness, sweetness and balance.

(86.6 Proof)

  • Nose: Dark cherry and licorice mingle with star anise and brown sugar, all surrounded by a notable dark wood scent. Hearty and balanced, the nose emits the perfect amount of spice and pepper.
  • Palate: Astringent, but with a rich mouth feel, the whiskey manages to be both velvety and biting. Dark cherry again, but with a syrup note emerging, as does brown sugar and leather. A touch of baking spices and orange oil lend a depth likely taken from the Port wood finish, balancing the sweetness. Lacking in bitterness – but not bite
  • Finish: The finish is medium, warm. Reminiscent of snickerdoodles

Elijah Craig Small Batch

The signature Bourbon bearing the name of Rev. Elijah Craig, a Bourbon pioneer who is credited with being the first distiller to age his whiskey in charred oak barrels.

Nose: Delightfully complex with notes of vanilla bean, sweet fruit, and fresh mint
Taste: Smooth and warm; pleasantly woody with accents of spice, smoke, and nutmeg
Finish: Long, sweet, and slightly toasty

 

 

Four Roses

Four Roses is unlike any other Bourbon. Perhaps it’s because only Four Roses handcrafts 10 distinct and extraordinary Bourbon recipes. One has been selected by hand to become Four Roses Single Barrel. Four are expertly mingled by hand to create Four Roses Small Batch. And as many as all 10 are used to create Four Roses Bourbon.

 

  • Straight Bourbon
    • Nose: Fruit, floral essences, gentle spice & honey.
    • Palate: Crisp, yet soft & smooth, fresh fruit, hints of pear & apple.
  • Small Batch
    • Nose: Mellow spice, rich fruit, hints of sweet oak & caramel.
    • Palate: Mellow, ripened red berries, dried spice, well-balanced, rich.

Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses uses 2 different mashbills and 5 different yeast strains to create 10 unique bourbon recipes. Their standard 100 proof single barrel is always OBSV, and consequently if it is a Four Roses Single Barrel and 100 proof then it must be OBSV (for example their Secretariat Single Barrel release). This mashbill consists of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley. The strain of yeast used is version “V” which is described as being delicate fruit, spicy, and creamy. It’s also interesting to note that Four Roses releases single barrel, barrel proof versions of all 10 of their recipes. These are available via private selection or as part of their now discontinued annual Limited Edition Single Barrel releases.

(100 proof, aged 10 years)

  • Nose: A balanced, rich, fruity nose. Notes of spices and chocolate. Toffee and vanilla.
  • Palate: Tart stone fruits, prunes, spices, morello cherries, cocoa and vanilla.
  • Finish: Oak, chocolate, butterscotch.

 

Henry McKenna Single Barrel

This high proof (100), Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon was named for Henry McKenna, the Irish immigrant who adapted his family’s whiskey recipe to work the grains he found in Kentucky. Henry McKenna is the longest aged Bottled-in-Bond available today, resting in the barrel through 40 Kentucky seasons (10 years). Critics agree that this is perfectly balanced Bourbon.

Aroma: Vanilla, caramel, oak, and a light herbaceous note
Taste: Smooth oak, sharp spices, honey and sweetness
Finish: Long, sweet and spicy

I. W. Harper

The Bernheim Bros. distillery opened its doors in 1870 and thrived through Prohibition. The I.W. Harper namesake was born by 1872 and began producing a whiskey that would win Gold Medals throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s.

By 1955, I.W. Harper was a household name and international sensation. The iconic bourbon graced pages of popular men’s magazines, inspired a clothing line, debuted in blockbuster films and cruised around the world as an ocean liner favorite. By 1966, I.W. Harper was enjoyed in 110 countries.

After thirty years overseas, I.W. Harper returned home in 2015. The brand has reconnected with its style roots by building strong relationships with niche retailers, style collectives, and fashion figures.

I.W. Harper is now owned and operated by Diageo. Diageo choose to bring it back to the domestic marketplace in 2015, both as a NAS bourbon and a 15 year age stated bourbon.

It was distilled at the New Bernheim Distillery, aged in Stitzel-Weller Distillery warehouses, and bottled at Diageo’s Tullahoma, Tennessee facility.

Aged15 Years

(86 Proof)

  • Nose: Bright and enjoyable thanks to an abundance of fruit notes. Cherry and apricot are the most striking, with orange and lemon coming across a bit fainter. Mint and dark chocolate inhabit deeper layers that become more apparent as the fruit scents dissipate.
  • Palate: The milder fruit flavors dissipate and give way to heavier notes of oak and leather. Chocolate and caramel also pop up.  It’s smooth creamy mouthfeel helps the sweeter flavors coat your mouth until the finish kicks in.
  • Finish: It begins with a manageable amount of heat that soon gives way to an oaky underbelly. New notes of vanilla and caramel become more noticeable and a mild oaky aftertaste lingers on the finish.

 

 

Jefferson’s Whiskey

 

  • Jefferson’s Bourbon
    • Nose: Very crisp and fresh on the nose, lots of creamy vanilla and warm, spicy flavour. Notes of oak, toffee, hints of smoke.
    • Palate: Soft, warming and supple. Notes of sweet vanilla, spices, toffee, berry fruits, a touch of orange zest, spices and honey.
  • Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon
    • Nose: Gentle, dried fruits, hay, warming, hints of spice, cream, vanilla. Lovely sweetness.
    • Palate: Very summery, light and supple bourbon which offers good, clean delivery, pleasant sweetness, hints of cigar leaf, pepper and toffee.

Jefferson’s Ocean

This bourbon started out as an experiment with just three bourbon barrels on Trey’s friend, Chris Fischer of OCEARCH’s ship, in a curious effort to discover what would happen if bourbon was left to weather the extreme elements: temperature fluctuations, salt air and the gentle rocking of the ship. The result was a thick, dark bourbon that showcases complex flavors reminiscent of other spirits; the almost black color and caramel flavors resemble a dark rum as the sugars within the barrels caramelized; the briny, savory taste from the barrels breathing the sea air is reminiscent of Islay Scotch; and at its core, it’s a true bourbon. Due to a massive demand from consumers, Trey has now commercialized this experiment and sent hundreds of barrels around the world. Each voyage of Jefferson’s Ocean typically crosses the equator four times, visits five continents and over 30 ports on an average sailing.

Estimated: Aged 7-8 years on land before casks are placed on a ship for 5-10 months

  • Nose: This particular batch lines up with its rye grain recipe bourbon with strong floral notes that balance with salted caramel.
  • Palate: The front of the palate leads off with floral notes, citrus notes, and a light black pepper spice. In the mid palate, those flavors taper off and the bourbon sweetens with caramel driving most of the flavor.
  • Finish: Dark chocolate really appears as well as more cinnamon and vanilla.

 

Knob Creek

There’s no faking full bourbon flavor. It has to be earned. So that’s what we do in Clermont: we earn it. We start by selecting the finest grains. And we finish by meticulously aging our whiskey in white oak barrels with maximum char, for an unmistakable richness and signature sweetness. It’s the natural way. And there’s just no cheating nature.

 

  • Straight Bourbon
    • Nose: Quite spicy and sweet. Melted salty butter on granary toast, toasty oak and a touch of rye with caramel sweetness.
    • Palate: Peppy and full. Notes of candy floss and nut oil, a touch of spice and dark chocolate, a little spice and charred oak.

 

  • Straight Rye
    • Nose: Rich caramel, bright ginger and lingering menthol hints, with more herbaceous touches developing with the robust rye notes. A good core of oak spice, too.
    • Palate: Traditional rye spiciness, rich and mouth-coating, but not as overpowering as some other rye whiskey. Instead, there’s more development of the vanilla, brown sugar and soft butter notes.
  • Single Barrel Reserve
    • Nose: The aroma is intense, with a nice blend of oak, navel orange, pencil, and vanilla bean, with a twinge of heat.
    • Palate: Medium body and heat, although it’s less than expected for 120 proof. It’s fairly sweet and rich, with notes of sweet corn, dark caramel, medium kilned barley.

 

Larceny Wheated Bourbon

Larceny was hand selected by the Master Distillers to have a taste profile of a six-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Made with wheat as the secondary grain, instead of the traditional rye, Larceny is a smoother tasting Bourbon.

Aroma:Fresh bread and toffee, with a note of butterscotch
Taste:Buttery caramel and honeyed notes, with a rich mouthfeel
Finish:Long, gently sweet and savory

 

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2019 Limited Release Bourbon

Finished with 10 very distinct wood staves (Stave Profile RC6), the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2019 Limited Release Bourbon was crafted to feature more pronounced fruit notes and a brighter finish while retaining the balance of baking spice and sweetness found in the original Maker’s Mark.

Released as a permanent fixture back in 2010, Maker’s 46 was the distillery’s first stave-finishing experiment. Likewise, the brand’s Wood Finishing Series showcases not only the extreme influence that wood has on bourbon, but also how distillers are able to manipulate wood to coax out certain flavors.

RC6 stands for Research Center 6. The 6 denotes the specific stave recipe used to finish this bourbon. The stave recipe was developed through a close partnership between Maker’s Mark and the Lebanon, KY-based Independent Stave Company. In this case, Maker’s Mark was looking to bring forward the fruit notes that are present in the distillery’s proprietary yeast strain.

  • AROMA: Fruit and sweetness
  • TASTE: Fruit up front, a wave of baking spice hitting midpalate and the classic Maker’s Mark sweetness coming in at the end
  • FINISH: Vibrant and bright with spice and sweetness perfectly balanced for a lingering, light finish
  • PROOF: Cask Strength (108.2–110.5)

Noah’s Mill

The story of Willett Distilling could be a graduate-level course in Kentucky bourbon history. The sometime distillers, the sometime non-distilling producers operating out of Bardstown, Kentucky, have been credited with helping save Kentucky bourbon during bourbon’s decline. Operating as a non-distilling producer, Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (one of the many operating names of Willett) purchased bourbon from other distilleries, aged it in their warehouses, and bottled it as part of their extensive family of labels.

Out of Willett’s sourced-bourbon brands, Noah’s Mill is a blistering 114.3 proof bourbon. When Willett originally released Noah’s Mill, it carried a 15-year age statement. But in these times of bourbon shortages, the age statement has dropped, and now people believe Noah’s Mill to be a blend of bourbon aged four to 20 years.

 

  • Nose: Sharp notes of cinnamon and allspice jump out of the glass, and subtle notes of vanilla, yeast, and seasoned oak make an appearance underneath.
  • Palate: The front of the palate reflects the nose with warm spice notes of cinnamon, mint, and allspice that blend with barrel notes of seasoned oak, toasted pecan, and burned sugar.
  • Finish: The medium duration and slightly dry finish continues the barrel driven flavor profile with seasoned oak, toasted pecan, and light cream with a touch of rye grain driven flavors such as mint and black currant.

 

 

Old Forester

 

  • Classic 86 Proof
    • Nose: Sharp and sweet, with a strong floral character that swirls with hints of mint, rich tobacco leaf and vanilla. A touch of oak and pine provides a strong underpinning.
    • Palate: Sharp at first, but softens quickly, with hints of oak, sweet corn and rye grain character. Spicy, with soft vanilla and light orange notes.
  • Signature 100 Proof
    • Nose: Strong, sweet coffee laced with chocolate, creamy butterscotch and a hint of licorice.
    • Palate: Ripe apple and other sweet fruit, bakery spice (clove and nutmeg), and toasted oak.
  • 1897 Bottled in Bond
    • Nose: Robust, intense caramel. Rich vanilla with roasted coffee notes, spiced dark fruit and mature oak.
    • Palate: Mouth-filling. Sweet and intense. Deep fruit, spice and oak notes layered over dark caramel and vanilla.

Sagamore Spirit

 Straight Rye

    • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, and baking spices.
    • Palate: Traditional Maryland-Style Rye Whiskey. Candied dried orange peel with notes of clove and nutmeg. Lingering hints of walnut and brown sugar to finish.
  • Cask Strength
    • Nose: Bold cinnamon with lingering aromas of clove and vanilla.
    • Palate: Smooth dark chocolate paired with intense notes of black pepper and brown sugar. A light hit of honey for balance.
  • Double Oak
    • Nose: Baking spices, dried orange peel, and warm cinnamon.
    • Palate: Smooth caramel and rich toasted coconut. Nutty flavors of hazelnut and pecan meld perfectly with vanilla and caramel.

Wathen’s Kentucky Bourbon Single Barrel

The Medley family has a long storied history when it comes to bourbon distillation. They’ve been a family of master distillers going back 8 generations. In fact, they play up that fact front and center on the label of this bourbon with a big number 8, which at first glance can almost be mistaken for an age statement. However don’t let that 8 on the bottle fool you into thinking it’s an age statement, this is most certainly a No Age Statement (NAS) Bourbon.

Wathen’s Single Barrel uses the standard mashbill that all of the Medley bourbons use: 77% corn, 10% rye, and 13% malt and the Medley Family Yeast (“a guarded secret”). While Charles Medley distilled bourbon up until the late 1900’s, the Medley family now sources all their Bourbon. This Wathen’s Single Barrel is a (Non-Distiller Producer) NDP bourbon with research pointing to the fact that the Medley family contracts out their specific mashbill to be distilled. While no distillery is confirmed, most people assume that Heaven Hill is the one filling the contract. That being said, any distillery could theoretically produce this bourbon to the specifications of the Medley Family.

 

  • Nose: Slightest traces of alcohol are mixed with very light traces of new wood, straw, and vanilla.
  • Palate: The palate doesn’t blow you away on this single barrel. Initially, you’re presented with a strong taste of clove and walnuts. Lingering behind that is a light sweet orange citrus taste.
  • Finish:The finish starts off with a mixture of charred wood and lightly spiced pepper and ends on tones of sugary raisins.

Old Weller Antique 107

If you’re a whisky enthusiast with a bourbon collection, you either have Old Weller Antique in your collection or you’re waiting for the next shipment to your local liquor store. Weller bourbons have family ties with Pappy Van Winkle. Back “in the day,” Weller was the bourbon sold by the Van Winkle family that was generally available, and Pappy was the rare stuff. Both products use the same recipe. Contrary to some beliefs, they do not taste the same.

Much like with a food recipe, using an identical whisky recipe doesn’t yield an identical product. Sure, Weller and Pappy are both wheated bourbons made in the same distillery (Buffalo Trace Distillery), but much of the flavor comes from the whisky maturing within the barrels. Where they are matters. That’s like using the same recipe, but changing the temperature and cooking time.

(Aged 7 Years, 107 Proof)

  • Nose: Caramel and vanilla with a bit of ripe apple and pecans. Fine leather and tobacco linger in the back of the nose.
  • Taste: Very nice mouth feel with a little warmth and no burn. The caramel and vanilla are up front but there is that apple and pepper spice following very quickly behind.
  • Finish: Long and dry with some oak and pepper

 

WhistlePig Straight Rye: Aged 10 years

The story of WhistlePig began with the 2007 purchase of a Vermont dairy farm by founder and CEO Raj Peter Bhakta (Raj Peter Bhakta is an entrepreneur, politician, and former reality show contestant on the second season of The Apprentice). He teamed up with former Maker’s Mark Master Distiller David Pickerell (a legend in the whiskey world who passed away in 2018) to develop a rye whiskey that took on the farm’s new name.

The goal was to create a single malt, single estate whiskey using the farm’s organically grown rye. The advantage of this 100 percent rye whiskey is that you get the raw taste of a grain that is more robust and flavorful than corn or any other grain used in whiskeys.

(100 proof)

  • NOSE Allspice, orange peel, anise, oak, char and caramel
  • PALATE Sweet; hints of caramel and vanilla, followed by rye­spice and mint
  • FINISH Long finish; warm butterscotch and caramel.

 

Woodford Reserve

 

  • Straight Bourbon
    • Nose: Heavy with rich dried fruit, hints of mint and oranges covered with a dusting of cocoa. Faint vanilla and tobacco spice.
    • Palate: Rich, chewy, rounded and smooth, with complex citrus, cinnamon and cocoa.
      Toffee, caramel, chocolate and spice notes abound.
    • Finish: Silky smooth, almost creamy at first with a long, warm satisfying tail.
  • Straight Rye
    • Nose: Spicy with distinct notes of rye, black pepper, cedar and cassia bark sweetened with a dusting of marzipan. Hints of pear, apple and almond dance in its depths.
    • Palate: Clove, rye, mint, molasses, sorghum and honey mingle together with hints of apple and malt.
    • Finish: Long and sweetly spiced.
  • Double Oaked
    • Nose: Rich notes of dark fruit, caramel, sharp honey, chocolate, marzipan and toasted oak.
    • Palate: A full-bodied mix of vanilla, dark caramel, hazelnut, apple, fruit and spices.
    • Finish: Long and creamy with lingering hints of honeyed apple.