Monthly Archives: June 2010

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon, 45% abv(90 Proof), $33-38/bottle

This one is a big bruiser of a bourbon opening up with a lot of barrel char, oak, vanilla, caramel, and some moderate spice on the nose. Not a whole lot of finesse here, and really gives you some “pop”. It drinks a good bit stronger than it’s 45% alcohol or 90 proof might indicate. The first sip (or chew) yields a lot of burned sugar & caramel, along with maple syrup, light mint, dry spice notes, and some resiny grip (tannin) and char. The mouth feel is thick and coats well leading to a long finish of vanilla, oaky dryness, and some light tingle on the tongue. Perhaps a bit “loose” around the edges but I respect it’s rough and tumble ways and recommend this bourbon.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.4 (Excellent)

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon, 45% abv (90 proof), $28-35/bottle

Old familiar as I call it. Elmer T. Lee is quite possibly one of the most comforting Bourbons or Whiskey’s of any kind made today. The first whiff floods the nose with Maple, Caramel, gentle spice, and the wonderful bright notes of citrus and orange peel. The sip echoes the nose beautifully with caramel, maple, honey, vanilla, bitter orange, and light oak. The finish is moderately long with gentle spice coating the tongue. Just a brilliantly crafted bourbon of balance – deep and rich, yet so easily drinkable. A perfect bourbon for the novice and the connoisseur alike. And to think a Bourbon icon like Elmer T. Lee still selects the barrels to this day. Makes it all the more special. Highly recommended. Note: Bottled expressly for Brinkmann’s Wine and Spirits, Franklin, TN.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.2 (Superb/Outstanding)

Willett Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel, (aka Buttered Popcorn) Bottle 145/Barrel 4799

Willett Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel, Bottle 145/Barrel 4799, 47% Abv/94 Proof, $38-45

This is a very interesting bourbon and somewhat unique. First sniff opens up tightly and takes time to evolve and deepen. It offers whiffs of vanilla, lightly toasted oak, and very faint spice notes. Some maple and burned sugar peeks through as well. All very restrained and light, this is not a “flooding” nose and requires a bit more patience to fully open up. On the sip this bourbon shines a lot more with flavors of maple and caramel, light spice, and a fairly intense blast of salted, buttered popcorn – a very nice arrangement. The finish is moderate in length with some oaky dryness, vanilla, and corn. Well done.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.5 (Excellent)