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Bourbon Geeks  Geeky about bourbon. Reviews and #geekfacts on Thursday! Geeks of all spirits welcome. 📸 are original. Enjoy responsibly! 21+ Twitter: BourbonGeeks

Bourbon: Very Old Barton – Bottled in Bond (Sazerac)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 100.0 (50.0% ABV)
Distilled at: Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, KY
Nose: Bright notes of orange, cherries, caramel and oak with a fair amount of vanilla.
Palate: Caramel and vanilla are much stronger on the palate. Decent amount of oak. No green flavors in sight. The cherry flavor is more of a maraschino than a dark cherry. Much brighter.
Finish: Little hot on a long finish with caramel and oak.
Geek Fact: It’s not it’s 6-year old predecessor but it’s still pretty tasty. VOB is sold in several different proof offerings including 80, 86, 90 and 100. The origins of the Barton name come from renowned liquor merchant, Oscar Getz, who purchased the old Tom Moore Distillery in 1944 and said the name was “picked from a hat.” During that time, the distillery produced two bourbons, Tom Moore and Kentucky Gentleman. The distillery location in Bardstown is known for being the first distillery to open after Prohibition and also the first Kentucky distillery to offer public tours. #Cheers!

#bourbonheritagemonth #bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #sazerac #barton #veryoldbarton #vob #vobbib

Bourbon: Old Heaven Hill - Gold Label - Bottled in Bond (Heaven Hill Brands)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 100.0 Proof (50.0% ABV)
Distilled by: Heaven Hill Distillery
Nose: Fairly faint nose notes of oak, honey, vanilla, and caramel are present.
Palate: All and all, tastes older than four years and is worth more than the price point. Sugary caramel and maple syrup with some rye pepper.
Finish: Medium length finish that starts sweet and ends in a bit of tanic, peppery oak.
Geek Fact: Heaven Hill is the largest family owned distillery in the U.S. Owned by the Shapira family, who have operated the distillery since 1934 shortly after Prohibition. This BiB mash bill consists of 75% corn / 13% rye / 12% malted barley and is charcoal filtered and is aged for four years. Heaven Hill has the distinction of producing the most bottled-in-bond offerings than any other distiller. HH BiB Gold Label price point fools many but it's a solid pour for such a low cost. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #heavenhill #bottledinbond #heavenhilldistillery #kybourbonfestival #nationalbourbonheritagemonth

Bourbon: Yellowstone 2016 Limited Edition (Limestone Branch / Luxco)
Type: Blend of 2 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskies
Proof: 101.0 (50.5% ABV)
Distillery: Not Disclosed (Limestone has started making bourbon but this was sourced by Luxco & Limestone Branch)
Nose: The toasted barrels are really prevalent here with warm notes of vanilla bean, oak and caramel candy.
Palate: The palate, upfront, is that of a solid, rye-forward bourbon mash bill. There’s plenty of spicy black pepper and oak notes but it’s later that the toasted barrel finish shines with more vanilla and maple syrup. For fans of a spicier, more peppery bourbon, this is a good choice.
Finish: Long finish continuing with that rye, peppery spice, a little bit of smoke, cinnamon and charred oak.
Geek Fact: Similar in blend to the 2015 offering, the 2016 Yellowstone Limited Edition release is a blend of a 12-year and 7-year rye bourbon mash bill that were finished for “several months” in 28 new, toasted, wine barrels with varying degrees of toast. The toasting process of a barrel is not as intensive as charring, usually incorporating lower heat at longer temperatures to enhance vanilla notes and spicy characteristics. Approximately 7,000 bottles were produced of the 2016 limited edition. This is bottle 5,961.#Cheers!

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Bourbon: PennyPacker Bourbon (Borco-Marken-Import)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 80.0 (40.0% ABV)
Distilled at: Heaven Hill in Bardstown, KY
Nose: Light caramel notes, fresh oak and some apple with hint of mint.
Palate: At 80 proof, there’s a little more flavor than expected but certainly short of most 90 proof bourbons. Most prominent flavors are green apples with a caramel coating and oak. Some brown sugar notes develop over time. Easy to sip neat, or with a couple of ice cubes, for newcomers to bourbon.
Finish: Fairly quick finish with brown sugar and pepper notes.
Geek Fact: PennyPacker bourbon is an American whiskey, originally made to export to Germany. The PennyPacker trademark was originally applied for in 1967 by the American Distilling Company and sold to Borco (German importer) in 1972 to exclusively be imported and sold in Germany and Europe. The brand became very popular in the ‘70s in Germany and in 2013, U.S. company Niche Wine & Spirits started exporting it back to the U.S. Distilled and aged at Heaven Hill, PennyPacker is made from a mash bill of 70% corn (the remainder being undisclosed amounts of rye and barley) and is aged for 3 years. One year more than required for the “straight” designation. In the U.S., Penny Packer has a price point in the low $20s. #Cheers
#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #pennypacker #pennypackerbourbon #heavenhill

Bourbon: 2bar Straight Bourbon Whiskey (2 BAR, LLC)
Type: Washington Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 100.0 (50.0% ABV)
Distilled by: 2bar Spirits in Seattle, Washington
Nose: Almost a dessert level of sweetness. Fig, caramelized sugars, and molasses. Think dark fruits that are dried or turned into jams.
Palate: Proof shows up just a bit on the palate but has a lot of flavor for two years. There's no "green" or young notes in the bourbon. Instead it's surprisingly sweet, with notes of fig spread, raisins, and molasses with grain notes. The grain flavors are unique and I would suspect are the result of 2bar using 4 different types of barley in their mash bill.
Finish: On the longer side of medium with some heat starting in the back of the palate and moving forward. Notes of caramel, oak, and hint of licorice.
Geek Fact: Located in the SoDo neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, 2bar is doing it's part to bring a quality bourbon product to the Northwest made exclusively of Northwest grains. 2bar Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a six grain mash bill that utilizes four different types of barley, soft winter wheat, and corn that is aged in 30 gallon barrels for at least 2 years. Started in 2010 and opened to the public in 2012, Nathan Kaiser started 2bar paying homage to his Texas ranch roots. Nathan Kaiser founded 2bar in October 2012 and enlisted the assistance of Head Distiller Maddie Kelly. This year, 2bar has started filling full size barrels for maturation. #Cheers! *This bottle was sent to BourbonGeeks as an unsolicited sample. No consideration was provided and the thoughts and tasting notes are those of BourbonGeeks.
#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #2bar #2barspirits #seattle #seattlewhiskey #wheater #craftwhiskey #craftbourbon

Bourbon: Virgil Kaine High-Rye Bourbon (Virgil Kaine, LLC)
Type: Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 90.0 (45.0% ABV)
Distilled at: Undisclosed.
Nose: Fruity bubblegum and sweet corn on the nose, caramel cake with young bourbon notes (think alcohol but not stinging).
Palate: While it is a younger product, VK manages to taste as if it's aged a bit longer. My bet would be it's because of the larger barrel aging instead of smaller casks. Light caramel, oak and pepper juxtapose the sweet corn notes.
Finish: Peppery and spicy finish, short in length with notes of tobacco.
Geek Fact: Started by restaurant chefs David Szlam and Ryan Meany along with Jake Johnson in 2012, South Carolina based Virgil Kaine sought to break into the spirits industry with unique flavors and offerings. Their high-rye bourbon, now called "Rip Track", is a mash bill of 60% corn / 36% rye / 4% barley that is non-chill filtered. The label states that the product is produced and bottled in South Carolina but earlier bottlings consisted of product sourced from Lawrenceburg, although it's unclear if that's Indiana or Kentucky or some combination of the two. Not a straight bourbon, a notable characteristic of Virgil Kaine bourbon is the tongue in cheek reference to being "aged at least one day." Earlier bottle labels note at least 4 months of aging with later interviews with the owners stating no longer than 2 years. This pour came from Bottle 855 of Batch 26. The higher rye content provides a spicier profile while still retaining that bourbon feel. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #virgilkaine #virgilkainehighrye #lowcountry

Bourbon: Jefferson's Very Small Batch (Castle Brands)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 82.3 Proof (41.15% ABV)
Distilled by: Located in Kentucky, but not disclosed (See below)
Nose: Light nose with aromas of fruit and spices, especially cinnamon and vanilla.
Palate: Well balanced, equal part palate of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and spiced, peppery oak.
Finish: Warming without being astringent. Spice notes are more prevalent with cinnamon being the strongest.
Geek Fact: Jefferson's was founded in 1997 by Trey Zoeller and his father, Chet. The Zoeller tradition goes back to Trey's eighth generation grandmother who was arrested in 1799 for "the production and sales of spirituous liquors." Embodying the curiosity and experimental nature of it's namesake, Thomas Jefferson, Trey Zoeller has more than made his mark in the bourbon industry. Originally, Jefferson's was batched and bottled from product exclusively made by other distilleries, but in 2015, owner Castle Brands acquired a 20% interest in Copperhead Distillery Company which owns and operates Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood, Kentucky (about 14 miles outside of Louisville). VSB is the entry level Jefferson's product batched from 4 different bourbons, of 4 different ages, and 4 different recipes. In order to achieve consistency, Trey has 1 recipe comprise 55% of the batch. That recipe helps create the primary flavor and the other 3 bourbons help achieve the desired secondary flavors. This is Bottle 08556 from Batch 518. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #jeffersons #jeffersonsbourbon #verysmallbatch

Bourbon: Wild Turkey - Forgiven - Batch 303 (Gruppo Campari)
Type: Blend of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Kentucky Straight Rye
Proof: 91.0 (45.5% ABV)
Distillery: Austin Nichols / Wild Turkey Distilling Company
Nose: Fruity vanilla nose with floral rye notes. Hints of mint and ginger are also present.
Palate: Caramel, vanilla, nutmeg, nice charred oak, and allspice. Interesting flavor, in that it has a good bourbon base but the rye is more present in the secondary flavors. It's just enough rye to start to bring out those floral, fruity flavors of rye but keeps stays balanced. Wild Turkey is already a higher rye bourbon and the extra bit of rye here helps make those notes more pronounced.
Finish: Just shy of a full medium in length. Vanilla with small amount of spiciness.
Geek Fact: Have you ever messed up on the job so bad that you end up creating a new product and winning awards? Me neither. But according to Wild Turkey, it did happen to one employee who started dumping a four year old, high proof rye, into a vat full of six-year old bourbon. Normally, that batch would have to be dumped since it no longer would meet any existing product standards and the person responsible would be updating their resume. Instead, Master Distiller Eddie Russell sampled the product and was so pleased with the result the employee was... wait for it... allowed to keep his job (I don't have to go for the low-handing fruit every time 😉). The blend is actually 78 percent 6 year-old bourbon and 22 percent 4 year-old rye. The initial batch (#302) was so successful (Winning the Chairman's Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2014) that Eddie Russell decided to recreate the mistake and release Batch #303. Unfortunately for us, rye's popularity has resulted in a bit of a shortage, and Wild Turkey's rye supplies are being allocated for their 100% rye product so Forgiven has been discontinued for the foreseeable future. That said, there are still some bottles floating around with a MSRP of $49.99. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #wildturkey #jimmyrussell #eddierussell #wildturkeyforgiven #forgiven

Bourbon: Evan Williams - Black Label (Heaven Hill Brands)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 86.0 Proof (43.0% ABV)
Distilled by: Heaven Hill Distillery
Nose: Sweet corn, oak, and caramelized sugar notes. The oak is prominent on the nose.
Palate: Caramel is a bit heavier, with vanilla and peppery oak. Some slight citrus notes and and just a bit of alcohol burn.
Finish: Medium length finish that emphasizes the vanilla, oak and pepper.
Geek Fact: Heaven Hill states that Evan Williams, a Welsh immigrant, started Kentucky's first commercial distillery in 1783 in what is now, Louisville, Kentucky. Heaven Hill introduced the Evan Williams brand in 1957 with a mash bill of 75% corn / 13% rye / 12% malted barley and is the second largest selling Kentucky Straight Bourbon in the world (second to Jim Beam White label). Heaven Hill produces several iterations of Evan Williams including the green label (80 proof); black label (86 proof); white label (100 proof) and an export only, red label (12 years old and was available in the Heaven Hill distillery around 2016). Historically, black label was 7 years old until 2005 when Heaven Hill changed the label to a non-age stated bourbon. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #heavenhill #heavenhilldistillery #evanwilliams #evanwilliamsblacklabel

Bourbon: Wild Turkey - Longbranch (Gruppo Campari)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey filtered through white oak and mesquite wood
Proof: 86.0 (43.0% ABV)
Distillery: Austin Nichols / Wild Turkey Distilling Company
Nose: Sweet corn, vanilla, and toasted grains. Light but not weak.
Palate: Smooth with very little bite. Good mixture of honey, oak, and caramel. Nice spicy, peppery heat towards the end with just a splash of smokiness. Seems like a good gate-way bourbon.
Finish: Medium length, sweet with a bit of smoke.
Geek Fact: Few celebrity partnerships have garnered the same amount of buzz and anticipation as the one between Wild Turkey and Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey became WT's Creative Director in 2016. The job includes being the "chief storyteller" and let's face it... the man can spin a yarn. But so can Eddie and Jimmy Russell. The two year collaboration has resulted in Wild Turkey Longbranch. Longbranch follows the standard WT mash bill of 75% corn / 13% rye / 10% malted barley and is aged for 8 years, though not stated explicitly on the bottle, and is charcoal filtered twice. Once through American white oak and a second time through Texas mesquite wood. McConaughey, a Texas native, wanted to introduce a "smoky sweetness" to WT's Kentucky bourbon and chose to do so through a wood grown in his home state. Charcoal filtering is nothing new to bourbon but the experimentation with different woods is. (See also, Peg Leg Porker filtering with hickory.) Longbranch marks the first time a name that is not Eddie or Jimmy Russell has appeared on a bottle of Wild Turkey. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #wildturkey #jimmyrussell #eddierussell #wildturkeylongbranch #longbranch #alrightalrightalright

Bourbon: James E. Pepper 1776 (Strong Spirits, Inc. / Jas. E. Pepper, Co.)
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 100.0 (50.0% ABV)
Distillery: MGP Ingredients of Indiana
Nose: Light caramel, vanilla, honey and a bit of clove.
Palate: Caramel, oak and a cinnamon red hot candy note. Not in the sweetness as much as the hardened sugar flavor. It's more spicy than the nose would have you think
Finish: Finish is medium to long, with a dry end. Very spicy with pepper and oak.
Geek Fact: James E. Pepper bourbon's namesake was the son of Oscar Pepper. Oscar built the distillery situated on the land that is now Woodford Reserve in Versailes, KY. When Oscar died, James (15 years old) inherited the distillery and the infamous Col. E. H. Taylor became his guardian. James came into financial trouble in 1877 and eventually the distillery was sold to the Labrot & Graham Co. This prompted James to move to New York and later to Lexington, KY where he opened the Jas. E. Pepper & Co. Distillers. During this time, James helped get legislation passed allowing distillers to sell bottles of their own product, instead of the previous barrels only policy. And added the strip stamp that was later used by the U.S. government in bottled in bond products. He's also touted as the individual that introduced the "Old Fashioned" cocktail. The site stopped distilling in 1958, but has recently resumed distilling in 2017. The website claims this offering is a 38% rye mash bill which would leave 60% corn / 2% for malted barley or 62% corn if no barley was used. They also state that it is non-chill filtered. #Cheers

#bourbongeeks #bourbon #geekfact #jamesepepper #1776 #happy4thofjuly🇺🇸

Bourbon: Early Times Bottled-in-Bond (Brown-Forman)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Proof: 100.0 (50.0% ABV)
Distillery: Brown-Forman Distillery in Shively/Louisville, KY
Nose: Caramel, baking spices, and banana bread. There's a baked bread note that I don't normally find in Brown-Forman products, like Old Forrester, but it does seem to be right in BF's wheelhouse.
Palate: Baking spices (think nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger), caramel, and a small amount of oak. Towards the end, there's a gingersnap cookie note.
Finish: The finish is on the longer side emphasizing the baking spice heavy nature of the palate. There's some mint/menthol along with oak.
Geek Fact: Early Times was created by Jack Beam (Jim Beam's uncle) in 1860 when he was 21 years old. It was run by himself and his son, Ed, until they both passed, within months of each other, in 1915. The business went to individuals outside of the family and in 1923, the remaining aging whiskey stock was bought by Brown-Forman for "medicinal purposes only." Brown-Forman was one of the handful of distillers allowed to make and sell whiskey during Prohibition. The Early Times mash bill consisted (and still consists) of 79% corn / 11% rye / 10% malted barley. The higher corn recipe resulted in two things: 1) a sweeter bourbon and 2) a cheaper product to make. The first "bonded" Early Times was produced in the 1940s. The brand name later discontinued it's "bourbon" label in the U.S. choosing to age it in used barrels and becoming "Old Style Kentucky Whisky." Overseas, the brand remained bourbon. Brown-Forman reintroduced this BiB offering in 2017.


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