So after some really quality time with Tony and Chris I had to make up my mind on the purchases.
The first whisky on the list to be removed from the store in my possession was the Hancock’s President’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon. With the balmy 35 degrees Celsius in Florida on a daily basis I was thinking that a nice smooth bourbon on the deck would be a treat. As you have read in my previous blog this was recommended to me by Chris (Total Wine) who did an awesome job and spent a lot of time answering my questions and offering me some fine choices.
44.45% a weird ABV to conjure up so I’m thinking potentially a cask strength barrel.
Deep amber in colour and a decent package with a unique bottle and hefty cork.
Nose: Instantly bourbon with sweet light spices, a touch of cinnamon and traces of the tropics with some papaya lifting through. Despite the overproof ABV the nose is not boozy and is light and fresh. I was instantly happy about this choice as the weather, the vacation and the deck were demanding something along these lines.
I drank this with 2 cubes which I would normally not do for the purposes of writing a tasting note. This time however given the setting and me being on vacation you are going to have to forgive me. Atmosphere is an important part of any whiskey experience and I wanted this to all come together. At the same time I was thirsty and hot and wanted something cooling and refreshing.
I can hear the gnashing of teeth and renting of clothes by many whiskey bloggers and experts. Sometimes though having fun and enjoying the moment can be more important than nailing every nuance.
Palate: Dishes out more sweetness with wild flower honey supported with undertones of rich spice. A touch of cardamom and clove. Very mouth filling and even with some watering from ice melt remained rich and creamy. Balanced.
The finish: Lingers with just an undertone of bitters. I think this would be great in a Manhattan and will have to try just that in the near future.
Thanks Chris for suggesting this. Good choice by the Total Wine buyers to pick this cask as an exclusive. Amazing value for $38.99.
I would recommend this Bourbon for any fan of this genre of whiskey. 89 points in Wine Enthusiast is a good recommendation and the whiskey certainly delivers on the promises made by Chris. Balanced and delicious.
The other bottle that had caught my eye was the Willet Pot Still Reserve Bourbon. I have been a fan of the Willet line for a while but have not had the pleasure of trying this as it is not available in Canada.
90 points malt advocate and only 1 dollar more than the Hancock’s. If I was wandering the store alone this is probably the whiskey that I would have walked out with. I will grab a bottle next time I am in the US and a tasting note will be forthcoming. I like many consumers are also impressed by awesome packaging. The Willet Bourbon is in a bottle shaped like a pot still to denote their pot still range. Very cool marketing and instantly stands out on the shelf.
So next week the last installment and the second whisky purchase. Write in and tell me about your favorite Bourbon.