Black Maple Hill Small Batch Bourbon, 47.5% abv (95 Proof), $35/bottle
Color: Light Amber
Nose: Very prominent corny twang, sourdough, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut, and barrell char/oak. There’s a funky quality to it – somewhat different. Reminiscent of the pungent corny nose of George Dickel No. 12, but without the anchoring dried fruit and spice aromas/depth.
Palate: Again, a heavy corn quality – almost a sour corn flavor too. Caramel and candy corn sweetness emerges with honey, vanilla fudge, maple candy, and even a malty quality. Some spice (rye?) and oak asserts itself reasonably well from mid palate on through to the finish. I would love a little more spice to cut through some of the corny quality. Overall it tastes a little younger than I would have expected.
Finish: A medium length finish with candy corn that is lifted by smoky toasted oak.
Overall: This was a curve ball for me. There’s some great qualities to this whiskey, some really nice things going on. I enjoy the cornyness, but the fact that it tasted a little raw knocked it a few points for me. But overall it is very solid whiskey pushing towards very good. While in this price range there are better bourbons to be had, this has a high interest level.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 7.9 (Good/Solid)