Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Review: Early Times Bottled in Bond

Color (5%):  Very dark brown. Little crimson. Thin edges. 5/5

Nose (10%): Big orange peel note immediately. That decently big booze kick. Honey sugars. It requires a heavy draw to get much more subtle. I like orange, but nothing too complex or nuanced. 5/10

Palate (20%): A bit of pepperiness from the rye. It still has some sweet orange character. Nice round, creamy texture. Pretty nice. It's not too wild and complex again, but it's hard to dislike. Nothing unpleasant at all. 16/20

Finish (10%): Nice and creamy at the back. Medium-light finish. Very short. The pepper is there at first but only for a short time. 7/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%):  22/30

Retry on Ice (25%): The creaminess is still there, which often fades out with dilution. It's alright, but it doesn't improve or eliminate shortcomings. It is fine, again, not legendary status, but fine. 20/25 

Total Ranking: 65% Legendary, Amazing, Great, Good, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $26
Actual Price: $21 per Liter

Conclusion: This is wonderful in a whiskey sour, especially in a New York or Stone Sour. This is an excellent well whiskey at many bars. It's not something I'd hunt for if I were looking for a Manhattan or an old fashioned. There are more fun options. This is fine for a whiskey coke. It won't be anyone's top ten, but it is good enough to do its function. This is still good for the money. It can find a home in many houses, but it isn't going on my display of great and legendary bottles for friends to experience. This is a well rail bottle at a pretty nice bar that can slot into most roles and not disappoint. 

Fact Sheet:
Distillery Location: Louisville, KY
ABV: 50% 
Age Statement: at least 4 years
Ingredients: 79% Corn, 11% Rye, 10% Malted Barley

Monday, October 3, 2022

Review: Wild Turkey Rye 101

Color (5%):  Dark golden amber, thin edges, rich, well-aged. 5/5

Nose (10%): high alcohol evaporation for sure. I'm diving in deep to warm myself up. HHonestly bland flavor notes at a first impression. Lightly roasted apple pie notes. Honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, pie crust, light brown sugar, butterscotch, but not so sweet, fairly middle of the road. Nothing intense other than the initial booze buzz, vin du table. 6/10

Palate (20%): That's pretty good for the heat. Mild numbing heat, a big hit in the back of the throat, hard to do a session with but not bad as a slow sipper kissing the tongue. Not for glugging. Certainly suitable for mixing. It is a potent spike but rather monotone. 14/20

Finish (10%): The heat is long. There's a great flavor at the start, but the heat lingers too long on the first sip. 6/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): Not something I'll be waiting for and savoring as a treat. That said, it does serve a function. It's a mixer, and certain notes can hold up in a highball or boulevardier / black Manhattan. I don't imagine any awards coming for it, but it has a home as a mid-tier spirit at the right price. 19/30

Retry on Ice (25%): This does ease the painful heat of the first impression. As ice always does. Oddly, the burning finish lingers longer. Something about polyphenols, I'm sure. It's still an excellent mixer, but it lacks any nuance that I look for in a sipping whiskey or even a highball with soda. 16/25

Total Ranking: 66% Legendary, Amazing, Great, Good, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $29
Actual Price: $21

Conclusion: It's still above average for some higher-proof stuff I've had. Definitely worth it for the money. But this is a mixing whiskey. It will not break out of that tier. Get the soda water and the Mountain Dew. It's also good in cocktails, as previously mentioned. It could be better, but it's good enough for bulk batches. It's a budget choice but a good one.

Fact Sheet: Straight rye
Distillery Location: Kentucky
ABV: 50.5%
Age Statement: aged in New Oak