Thursday, February 15, 2024

Review: Old Forester King Ranch

Color (5%): Nice and dark with amber hues. Quite thin. 4/5

Nose (10%): Red fruits come in. Cherries and cranberry notes. Slight nuttiness with toasted marshmallow. alcohol remains quite present despite the filtration 7/10

Palate (20%): Notes of toasted bread. Tobacco, leather, and dark chocolate in the back end. Pretty acrid and almost rusty metal. Not happy flavors. Very little sweetness for a straight bourbon, much more sharp. Raw black pepper, old leather, and lots of charred wood. The wood doesn't mellow out this whiskey, though. Very bitey. 12/20

Finish (10%): There is a slight bit of that marshmallow right after you swallow it, but that heat and char quickly take over. It's a very long finish. Very dry. Not the most alcohol burn, but plenty of wood burn. 6/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): This is pretty intense. I wouldn't call this a regular daily sipper. I can see it pairing with campfires and cigars, but I like something more toned down. I hope a lot will come out when I try this with ice. The pungency of that wood makes any sweetness barely noticeable. The mesquite doesn't do Old Forester any favors. 14/30

Retry on Ice (25%): The sweetness does come out more now that there is some ice in the glass. The finish is still really dry. Again, it could be a more pleasant smooth sipper. Minor improvement, but still not tremendous/ 16/25

Total Ranking: 69% Legendary, AmazingGreatGood, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $44
Actual Price: $70

Conclusion: This is a special edition whiskey that I do not see a need for. When a distillery makes a partnership, they obviously want to give their partner the ability to influence the final product. I'm told that Ford trucks are good products, but this whiskey doesn't deserve any awards. I see people buying this for brand loyalty or as a souvenir, as it is only available in Texas. I love Old Forester, but this could be a better showcase of their abilities in whiskey production. Try a pour if you see it; you don't need to commit to a bottle. 

Fact Sheet:
Filtered through mesquite charcoal
ABV: 52.5%

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Review: Traveller Whiskey Blend No. 40

Color (5%): A nice gradient of color. Deep thinning. Amber honey hues fading out. Looks young and thin. 3/5

Nose (10%): Pretty mild as far as whiskeys go. Certainly some bourbon sweetness, but it's been blended out. Faint sweet cinnamon, vanilla, light maple/pancake syrup vibes. It's like someone ordered French toast two tables away. Very mild and doesn't smell like 90-proof. 6/10

Palate (20%): Very average in every respect. There's no sharp sweetness or pungent spice. There's no smoke. There's a medium plus amount of oak. Blended scotch at least has a few interesting flavors you don't see everywhere. 9/20

Finish (10%): Very short finish. No new developments. There is a bit of alcohol heat that you'd expect from a 90-proof spirit, but it is not unpleasant, though. 7/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): I don't know what this is for. Only people who don't like the taste of whiskey would drink this. This is so mild. There is a bit of oak, implying that it has a bit more age than a usual blend, but there is so little other flavor. 9/30

Retry on Ice (25%): Ice brings more oak. The sweetness seems to fade in comparison. It's easy. A bit grainy at the back end. This could work as a shot like Jameson in a country bar. 17/25

Total Ranking: 51% Legendary, AmazingGreatGood, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $17
Actual Price: $33

Conclusion: It's strange to have a whiskey blend made by a reportedly sober musician and a distiller who gave his name to a vodka. In short, don't buy this. I got suggested it by a clerk at a liquor store. I saw that it was Buffalo Trace and thought I'd give it a shot. I will no longer be accepting recommendations from store clerks. They clearly have their own motivations. There is going to be a limited amount of demand for this product. You're not missing anything. Save your money and buy something that warms your soul because it is empty inside. It's inoffensive, but that's also saying it blends into the wallpaper. Pass. 

Fact Sheet:
An interesting collaboration between Musician Chris Stapleton and Master Distiller Harlen Wheatly
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
ABV: 45%