Saturday, August 21, 2021

Bourbon/Rye Assortment 7, Yellowstone, Old Elk, Balcones

Some more samples of American whiskeys (?)… Let’s GO!

Old Elk Sour Mash Reserve, Batch 1, 52.5%
According to the info out there the mash bill is 51% corn, 34% malted barley, and 15% rye and it was distilled in New York state somewhere and aged 6 years. Quite corn-and-grain-forward nose with solid alcohol component and unmistakable ‘funk’. Blindly this reminds me of some of the Heaven Hill bottles but that’s blindly. The palate is very pleasant with sweet silky texture and well-integrated wood notes, some cinnamon and plenty of vanilla caramel. Because of high malted barley content, this is quite malty in the undercurrents of flavor. Is pleasant but drops off reasonably quickly though leaves nice woody/spicy/malty residual notes on the back of the tongue. Overall this is quite tasty on the ‘outside’ flavors and somewhat lacking on the subtle, as is the case with a lot of bourbons. I’m still enjoying my sample so it’s certainly is drinkable. Well worth a bar pour, perhaps not quite everyday bottle drink. Very oddly this reminds me of a thinner and slightly weaker Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, but without the underlying complexity that 12 years in a cask can bring.
Score: B-

Yellowstone Straight Bourbon, Total Wine SP, Single Cask, 54.5%
A total wine store picked single cask… This is so peanutty, that if I didn’t read the label that it’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon I’d swear this is Dickel sourced. But more likely this is Barton and I’m likely smelling Barton’s roasted corn situation. This is a Luxco brand and product as Yellowstone itself doesn’t distill to the market but sources and blends. Anywho, peanuts aside… Nose is more raw peanuts vs roasted (Dickel peanuts). Palate is corn, some peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla creme, reasonably sweet overall. Aftertaste is light wood, more vanilla peanut brittle. Frankly this isn’t my thing. Considering my experience with another Yellowstone over here: https://www.aerin.org/?x=entry:entry201212-193013 … I think I’ll do a hard pass on any Yellowstone products for a few years.
Score: D

Balcones Rumble, Spec’s SP, 69.4%
And now for something different.

Balcones says Rumble is “crafted from fermented Texas wildflower honey, Mission figs and turbinado sugar, it is twice distilled in traditional copper pots then artfully matured in premium oak casks.” So definitely not bourbon or malt but closer to a Rhum Barbancourt with figs and honey in the distillate and aged in Texas.-https://www.reddit.c … _22_balcones_rumble/

Let’s dig in… Ruuuuuubbbeery fig taste for me, quite interesting and almost up sherried rum/brandy (which is basically what it is) way but there’s a note in there I cannot get over and it’s spoiling everything for me. This is a 3rd bottle that I ran into with overwhelming rubber note for me. You get a sample and somehow don’t taste that… all the power to you, as this is quite drinkable and very unique and interesting but for my palate that’s a bust. There rubber does fade slightly occasionally and then it’s quite a tasty drink… but only occasionally.
Score: N/A (Not a whiskey)

Cat’s Eye Obtainium Tennessee Rye 5 years old, 61.1%
Cat’s Eye distillery bottles Obtainium brand which mostly bottles some solid MGP Light Whiskeys and few other things, as well as an occasional sourced rye. This bottle happens to be a 5 year old cask proof Tennessee Rye, suggesting that this is either Jack or Dickel rye with my finger falling towards Dickel based on some external information, even though Dickel produces a fairly low amounts of rye and I’m no aware of any cask proof editions of it. The interesting thing here is that bottle says “Distilled in Tennessee” which is at odds with Dickel’s regular rye famously is distilled at MGP and aged in Tennessee. Nutty but not overly so nose with no real peanuts going on. Quite highly octane from the proof though still decently balanced vs rye spices. Some dark fruits with lots and lots of mint with dill and some eucalyptus on the palate. Very anise-driven palate and aftertaste that lasts for quite a while. Contrary to the nose, this drinks quite well once past the first moment of initial burn. Overall quite nutty, dilly, and minty experience in the glass. Very different from most rye whiskeys I’ve had. Overall I’ll say I quite enjoy it though not for everyday drink, I can see myself pouring myself some and sharing this unique bottle occasionally. I would heavily suggest getting a sample or a pour from a bar. Value: This was circa-$60 so flavor to price ratio for days here. If you like dill and mint in your drink this probably pushes up to B+ grade or so.
Update: Confirmed to be a Dickel-sourced.
Score: B

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown