|Me watching election coverage these days|
I used to have a much stronger stomach for political craziness. I eagerly followed the craziness of the 2000 election, hanging chads and all. I watched in amazement at the "Yes, we can" victory of 2008. Gods, I was strong then ! The 2020 U.S. election promised to be one for the ages but it was just too wild and unpredictable, so on election night, I sampled some big, bold American whiskeys to calm my nerves. I got to choose what I wanted though, no electoral colleges needed, thank The Father.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition (57.5% abv)
Old Forester is a Brown-Forman brand. The bourbon is distilled at the Brown-Forman Shively Distillery. No age statement is given and the mashbill consists of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley. It was available for a brief period at the LCBO for about $75 per bottle. I didn't buy a bottle, but was fortunate enough to get a sample from a friend.
Neat from a Glencairn
- Nose: vanilla, caramel, barrel char, cherries, brown sugar, a bit of wood varnish
- Palate: rich arrival, a bit hot, barrel char, black pepper, brown sugar, some banana, a touch of cherries
- Finish: long, lingering, creamy, but not overly sweet, caramel corn, vanilla, a touch of smoke
- Thoughts: interesting stuff. I don’t often get smoke from bourbons, but there’s definitely a little smoke on the finish here. I'm not sure if I'd pay $75 for a full bottle of this, but I wouldn't rule it out altogether.
- Score: 6/10
Jack Daniel's Barrel Proof Single Barrel (67.95% abv)
- Nose: classic JD banana and toffee, a bit of wood varnish, walnuts, vanilla, brown sugar
- Palate: big bold arrival, walnut oil, banana, oaky, vanilla
- Finish: long and lingering, slightly pulling oak tannins, more walnut and banana
- Thoughts: this is JD on steroids and I’m really digging it. It’s not the most complex whiskey I’ve ever had but I really enjoy it. Adding water actually tones down the banana a bit and allows the walnut and vanilla to come forward. This is much nuttier than most other JD offerings and I really like that about this whiskey.
- Score: 7/10
WhistlePig 10 Year Straight Rye (50% abv)
- Nose: surprisingly soft, vanilla, gentle baking spices (cloves, allspice, cinnamon), oak, a bit of ginger, caramel. With time in the glass, the floral vanilla notes dominate.
- Palate: slightly hot arrival, green and vegetal initially, with some black pepper, cinnamon, and a bit of caramel
- Finish: medium length, the green and vegetal note refuses to go away, there's some cinnamon and black pepper with a bit more oak and vanilla.
- Thoughts: a decent whiskey to be sure, but nothing that moves my spirit. The “green” notes are a bit odd. To be completely honest I find them a little off-putting. I'm glad I waited for a sample before dropping $100 on a full bottle. I might grab a bottle if it were $50, you know, to keep around as an oddity but at $100 it's a hard no from me. I can see how this bottle might appeal to some, but it's not really my preferred style of rye whiskey. I like my ryes to be spicy with a little bit of toffee sweetness.
- Score: 5/10
- 1/10 – Really bad. "Drain pour" bad. I've only tasted two whiskies this bad.
- 2/10 – I hope to avoid ever drinking this again. I'd use this for shots if I had to drink it.
- 3/10 – This is either not great or astonishingly dull. Either way, I won't buy a bottle. I might accept a free glass if you offered me one. Maybe.
- 4/10 – Sub-par. Not awful, but more bad (or disappointing) than good.
- 5/10 – Average. Certainly not a bad whisky, but not one I want to stock all the time.
- 6/10 – Above average. Worth a glass now and then, maybe worth buying if the price is right.
- 7/10 – Very good. Worth stocking regularly if the price is below $100
- 8/10 – Excellent. Something I never want to be without. If it’s under $100 you shouldn’t think twice.
- 9/10 – Exceptional stuff. The missing mark is probably because I'm shallow and pedantic.
- 10/10 – Mind-bending, life-changing stuff. Whisky has no business being this good. An absolute must-taste. To expect more would be soulless and churlish.