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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sipp’n Corn Book Review – The Bourbon Tasting Notebook (2nd Edition) by Susan Reigler and Mike Veach.

Susan Reigler and Mike Veach, two of the most knowledgeable bourbon writers, collaborated a few years ago for The Bourbon Tasting Notebook which gave us honest reviews without debate-inducing rankings or “bourbon of the year” proclamations.

Mike and Susan provide their respective tasting notes—which are often different comparatively—to embrace the reality that we all experience bourbon uniquely.  I would have expected more similarities, so it was fascinating to see their themes and preferences play out through the nearly 350 (!) reviews of bourbon from major producers, craft distillers, and merchant bottlers.

The Bourbon Tasting Notebook begins with a primer on what it takes to qualify as bourbon, along with a summary of the different sources of bourbon’s varied, rich flavor profiles.  But the rightful focus is on tasting notes.  The genius of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook is in resisting the temptation to provide rankings or scores and instead allowing readers to decide personally which bourbons are their favorites. 

At the same time, the book avoids being drearily neutral.  Each bourbon includes a “Notes” section used primarily to give additional information about provenance, food pairing or cocktail suggestions, or batch specifics.  Occasionally those notes veer to singing high praise—“Worth every penny of the sticker price.  Beautifully complex and balanced.” (Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve).  And less frequently, the notes issue a polite warning to avoid the bourbon—“Contents not unpleasant, but should be much better for the money.” (Calumet Farm).  Even with those assessments, the form and lack of rankings foster personal exploration and enjoyment.  And of course, each page has space for the reader’s own thoughts and impressions.

I don’t think that I’ve ever commented on a book’s index before, but the indices in The Bourbon Tasting Notebook are helpfully prepared not just in the standard alphabetical format, but also separately by proof, style, and price, which combined with the book’s sensible organization, makes finding specific brands a breeze.

Given the rapidly-changing landscape of bourbon, we should be hoping for a new edition of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook every few years.  Another 50 bourbons will probably be on the market by 2020, existing brands will have undergone changes in flavor profiles, and brands that have lost their age statements (like Elijah Craig and Very Old Barton) can be updated.  I hope that Susan and Mike continue to be the duo to memorialize the vast library of bourbon.

In the meantime, the second edition of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook is timed perfectly for summer and the new bourbon season.  Plus, Acclaim Press kept the price at $19.95 despite 50% growth from the first edition.  Here’s the Amazon link, enjoy!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – 1792 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 225th Anniversary

The bourbon formerly known as “Ridgewood Reserve”—until a federal court in Louisville made Barton change the name because it infringed on Woodford Reserve—has ramped up special and private releases in recent years.  The standard 1792 brand seems to be plentiful, while releases of wheated, high rye, port-finished, bottled-in-bond, and “full proof” (not barrel proof) limited editions alongside store selections appear with some regularity.


To commemorate Kentucky’s 225th Anniversary of statehood, last year Barton released a Kentucky-only limited edition that is aged longer than the standard 1792, but still not really age-stated.  Instead, the label states that it is aged “nearly a decade,” which doesn’t exactly seem to comply with 27 CFR 5.40(a)(1) (providing the standard “___ years old” format) or TTB’s guidance in Chapter 8 of The Beverage Alcohol Manual.  But there’s also 27 CFR 5.40(e)(2), which for whiskey aged over four years allows a “general inconspicuous age [statement]” without using an actual age statement.  “Nearly a decade” probably fits under this vague regulation.

The 225th edition is bottled at the oddly-specific 92.15 proof, which presumably is an attempted nod to the year of Kentucky’s admission into the union (the source of the brand’s name, 1792) and Kentucky’s status as the 15th state. 

I wasn’t planning on buying this 225th limited edition, but a friend bought it assuming that I would want a bottle because it was a limited edition.  Let’s see if it was worth her while.


Bourbon:
1792 225th Anniversary Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distillery:
Barton 1792, Bardstown, Kentucky

Age:
“nearly a decade”

ABV:
46.075% (92.15 proof)

Cost:
$35.00

Tasting Notes

Appearance:
Medium amber that looks a little darker in the bottle than it is because of the dark back label.

Nose:
The aromas were subtle but warm, like oak, vanilla, black pepper, and cinnamon bread.

Taste:
Rye, black pepper, graham cracker, tobacco leaf and leather.  The 225th Edition leans hard to the dry and spicy side, without much sweetness, and was a little prickly.  Overall the flavors are an enjoyable example of this side of potential bourbon profiles and a nice counter-balance to overly-sweet bourbons.  It fell apart with a splash of water, so I recommend trying it neat.

Finish:
The finish is on the shorter side of medium.  It’s dry and wood-driven, warm, comforting and non-aggressive. It lacks the depth and balance of a finish that I expect from 10 years or from a bourbon that is designated as a limited edition.

Bottom Line

When a brand releases a limited edition—even when moderately-priced—I expect it to be special; otherwise it’s just a gimmick.  While 1792 225th Anniversary is a solid easy sipper, it’s nowhere near a must-have bourbon.  But it’s priced right and I enjoyed it well enough.  Just don’t expect a hidden gem and don’t add water.


Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale:  3.0

The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill.  I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings.  Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon.  Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws.  I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection.  I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sipp’n Corn Festival Preview – Bourbon & Beyond 2018.

Bourbon & Beyond returns to Louisville this fall with an amazing musical lineup, incredible food, and bourbon galore.  Fred Minnick really puts the bourbon into Bourbon & Beyond because he curated a bourbon lineup to equal the musical and culinary lineups.  The festival will offer a unique series of over 30 bourbon and food-focused seminars, including the first-ever discussion between Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett and Jim Beam’s master distiller Fred Noe—called the “Jack and Jim seminar.” This will be historical, and something only Fred could put together.

Plus, this year I’ll be in the mix as I moderate two all-star panels.  I’ll be discussing barrel finishes with Angel Envy’s Wes Henderson, Woodford Reserve’s Elizabeth McCall, Jefferson’s Trey Zoeller, and Bardstown Bourbon Company’s John Hargrove, and then the art of fermentation with New Riff’s Jay Erisman, Castle & Key’s Marianne Barnes, and Wilderness Trail’s Pat Heist.

Just as exciting, we have two other members of the Bourbon Community Roundtable moderating panels—Kenny and Ryan from Bourbon Pursuit and Blake from Bourbonr.  The last time we got together in person we came away with two barrels of bourbon, so you’ll want to be sure to catch up with us at Bourbon & Beyond.  Other local bourbon personalities like Maggie Kimbrel and Susan Reigler, along with rock star master distillers and brand ambassadors, will make this an unforgettable event.

Here are more details from the press release and links.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 20, so don’t delay!

April 20, 2018 update:  Use this link to purchase tickets: https://goo.gl/Pqbhqu
It tracks purchases to know that Sipp'n Corn fans are buying but don't worry, I don't get anything out of it (other than the pride of beating @Bourbonrcom and @BourbonPursuit).


The second annual Bourbon & Beyond festival makes its much-anticipated return to Champions Park in Louisville, KY, Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 with the perfect blend of bourbon, food & music not found anywhere else in the world. Festival producers Danny Wimmer Presents, culinary curator Edward Lee (The Mind of A Chef) and bourbon curator Fred Minnick have put together another incredible bourbon, music, and culinary lineup for the weekend. World-renowned musicians including Sting and Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, as well as superstars John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz, Counting Crows and David Byrne, lead the music lineup of more than 30 artists. Tom Colicchio, Stephanie Izard, Aarón Sánchez and Ray Garcia lead the culinary lineup of more than 20 chefs.

See the official bourbon announcement video here: http://bit.ly/BBBVideo18

The world’s largest bourbon festival, Bourbon & Beyond is an annual celebration of the craftsmanship behind award-winning bourbons, master distillers, legendary musicians, world-class chefs, and an unforgettable showcase of the soul and spirit of Louisville, held during Bourbon Heritage Month. In its inaugural year in 2017, the festival attracted 50,000 people from all over the country, offering a series of onsite experiences, including bourbon and culinary workshops.

The festival’s centerpiece, the Big Bourbon Bar presented by Louisville Courier Journal, will feature more than two dozen bourbons selected by best-selling author and renowned bourbon authority Fred Minnick, Bourbon & Beyond’s official bourbon curator. Acclaimed Louisville whiskey bar The Silver Dollar will operate The Hunter’s Club, where attendees can find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles -- which last year included more than 50 rarities. The festival also announces the return of Fred Minnick’s Mini Bar presented by The Bourbon Women Association, which will showcase this year’s craft bourbon selections: Hartfield & Co., MB Roland, Old Pogue, Wadelyn Ranch and Wilderness Trail. 

The current music lineup includes: Sting, John Mayer, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, Lenny Kravitz, Counting Crows, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot!, Kaleo, Gov’t Mule, Keb’ Mo’, Blackberry Smoke, JJ Grey & Mofro, Don Felder, The Record Company, Del McCoury Band, Joseph, Magpie Salute, Mindi Abair And The Boneshakers, Larkin Poe, The Last Bandoleros and Swimming With Bears.
  
Facebook: @bourbonandbeyond
Instagram: @bourbonandbeyond
Twitter: @bourbonNbeyond

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Lux Row Distillers Crosses The Finish Line in Style.

I’ve followed family-owned Luxco, Inc. closely from the groundbreaking of its Bardstown, Kentucky distillery in 2016, through a hard-hat tour once their 43-foot Vendome column still was installed along with most other equipment and guts (see The Finish Line is in Sight for Lux Row Distillers), through yesterday’s Grand Opening Celebration.  Lux Row is a state-of-the-art distillery that provides the capacity needed for Ezra Brooks, Rebel Yell, and Luxco’s other whiskey brands while blending perfectly into the 90 acres of classically-picturesque Kentucky grounds thanks to the architects at Joseph & Joseph.  It is a must-stop destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail beginning today with its opening to the general public.


The April 11 ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off with a bagpipe processional and heartfelt comments from Creative Director Michele Lux, wife of Chairman and CEO Donn Lux, who drove the design and style elements at the distillery.  Luxco President and COO, David Bratcher, and Mr. Lux also spoke about their excitement for this first-ever distillery for Luxco, with sincere thanks to the support from Bardstown, Heaven Hill, and Steve and Paul Beam of Limestone Branch Distillery (in which the company owns a 50 percent stake).

Distillery Operations Manager Tony Kamer was working the still room where Lux Row was pumping out their distillate using rye as the secondary grain.  Soon he will switch to their wheated mash bill as they push toward an annual production of 20,000 barrels.  Since beginning distillation on January 10, Lux Row has already filled nearly 2,500 barrels.

Modern distilleries aren’t complete without gift shops, and Lux Row was open for business there too.  Thankfully Luxco stocked the gift shop with one of my favorite bourbons since its 2016 release—Rebel Yell 10-year Single Barrel—which I snapped up.

Throughout the afternoon of celebration, Bratcher and Lux could hardly contain their excitement.  But at the same time, they’re also looking forward to Luxco’s new tequila distillery project.  As Mr. Lux said, “we get sh*t done.”  He speaks the truth, and they’ve done it in style.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Banking on Bourbon – Blind Tasting and Finding “Value”

Bankers know value, right?  Whether it’s getting the right collateral, predicting trends, identifying the best investments, or knowing when to buy and sell, value is the key for banks because that’s what drives earnings.  But can bankers identify value in bourbon?

I decided to explore this with a group of Louisville bankers in a blind bourbon tasting.  First up was Rebel Yell 10-year, a bourbon that is moderately-priced but highly-acclaimed among enthusiasts; then Al Young’s 50th Anniversary, a highly-anticipated limited release that sold out immediately, then had some notable detractors, but lately has been skyrocketing on the secondary market; and finally the bourbon flipper’s ROI dream—a single barrel gift shop release from Willett.  All three bottles were freshly opened and poured about 20 minutes before we started.

Ten of us tried all three blind (I was the eleventh) and ranked them.  Then—before revealing the brands—I revealed the original cost and the current secondary price to see what those did to “value.”  Lastly, I revealed the brands to see how much the brand added to value.

The Contenders (in order of tasting):

Bourbon:
Rebel Yell 10-year Single Barrel (2016)

Barrel No.:
4744375

Distillery:
Undisclosed, but popularly believed to be Heaven Hill

Age:
10 years

ABV:
50% (100 proof)

Cost:
$49.99 (current secondary:  not much higher)

Appearance:
Medium amber, and noticeably lighter than the other two.

Nose:
“Mild” and “subtle” dominated the discussion and the written tasting notes.  Caramel, toffee, vanilla, dark cherry, and leather—for overall sweet aromas—had everyone expecting a sweet taste profile.

Taste:
Right away tasters where guessing that this was a wheated bourbon, and I agree that it’s pretty obvious.  There was sweetness galore—brown sugar, dark cherry, caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit—but the very first remark about it was the noticeable cinnamon kick.  The tasters found a balance between the sweet flavors and just enough cinnamon spice with deeper leather and oak flavors.

Finish:
The finish continued with sweet flavors and was characterized as medium at first, but short when compared to the other two bourbons.


Bourbon:
Four Roses 2017 Al Young 50th Anniversary Small Batch Limited Edition (2017)

Distillery:
Four Roses Distillery, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Warehouses, Cox’s Creek, Kentucky

Age:
23-year OBSV – 5%
15-year OBSK – 25%
13-year OESV – 50%
12-year OBSF – 20%

ABV:
54.49% (about 109 proof)

Cost:
$150.00 (current secondary: just under $500.00)

Appearance:
Amber brown; darker than the first glass, and barely lighter than the third glass.

Nose:
Especially compared to the first glass, the aromas were intense with pronounced oak and leather, but also with complexity of caramel, rye spice, black pepper, menthol, and floral notes.  It struck me that the aromas surprised some of the tasters after the subtle nose of the first glass.

Taste:
Everyone agreed that this glass had the most complexity with caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, tobacco, cinnamon, pepper, clove, and oak.  Many of the tasters commented that they suspected this bourbon was the highest proof.

Finish:
L-O-N-G.  One taster wrote that minutes later the warmth was still swelling.  The sweetness faded first and the spices continued to linger.


Bourbon:
Willett Family Estate Single Barrel (2014 gift shop release)

Barrel No.:
380

Distillery:
Undisclosed

Age:
13 years

ABV:
61.5% (123 proof)

Cost:
$130.00 (current secondary: about $350.00)

Appearance:
Deepest brown of the three.

Nose:
The aromas started with a blast of rich caramel, along with cocoa, cinnamon, and charred oak.  As the only person who knew about the high proof, I was concerned about the consequences of vigorous sniffing, but while some heat was evident, there was no guessing that it was over 60% ABV.

Taste:
Candy bar sweetness heavy on the nougat, which was a totally different sweetness from the first glass, adding baked cinnamon apples along with robust oak, leather, and espresso.  While this bourbon was already a crowd favorite neat, a splash of water had the tasters raving.  The tasters were shocked when I told them that this was 123 proof.

Finish:
Long and warm without being overly hot.

The Results:

The first glass (Rebel Yell) was notably sweeter and “smoother” than the other two, which had several people guessing that it was a wheated bourbon.  Many of the tasters thought that the middle bourbon (Four Roses) was the hottest, and eight out of ten picked it as their second-favorite.  I expected Four Roses to be the favorite, but in hindsight, I suspect that the high rye and robust oak held it back in the comparison.  The third sample (Willett) was an immediate crowd favorite.  It completely hid its high proof, had a wallop of flavor, and took a splash of water the best.  Based only upon the blind tasting, Willett Family Estate had a slight lead, with Rebel Yell 10-year close behind, but zero first-place votes from the blind tasters for Four Roses Al Young 50th Anniversary. 

The order shifted after revealing the original cost and current secondary pricing.  The group concluded unanimously and decisively that they would prefer “the $50 bourbon” at retail and especially at secondary market pricing.  Learning that the “nearly $500 bourbon” wasn’t anyone’s favorite got some chuckles and revisiting of glass number two to see what they were missing.  Revisiting the third glass—especially with a splash of water—got some of the tasters to ponder whether they might still rank it the highest if it were available at retail.

Finally, after revealing the brands, most of the tasters had associated Rebel Yell with lower-value bourbon, whereas they knew that Willett Family Estate and Four Roses Limited Editions had incredible brand value.  Perhaps in the spirit of investors who are supposed to find hidden gems and buy low, the tasters unanimously agreed that Rebel Yell 10-year was the best value, and they would rather have bought three of those at retail instead of one Willett Family Estate or Al Young 50th.  There’s something to be said for a banker’s logic.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kentucky Vintage Spirts Sales Start Slow.

Even outside of Kentucky, bourbon enthusiasts know that last year Kentucky passed House Bill 100, which was then signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin, permitting private sales of “vintage distilled spirits” to specially-licensed retailers.  This was a much-welcomed exception to the general rule in Kentucky and elsewhere that secondary market sales are illegal.

Despite the exemption for sales of vintage spirits, regulations have not been implemented yet to define vintage spirits.  The only definition in the new statute is that to qualify as a “vintage distilled spirit” the spirit must be in the original, unopened container, it cannot be owned by a distillery, and it cannot be “otherwise available for purchase from a licensed wholesaler within the Commonwealth.”  KRS 241.010(66).


Certainly bourbon like pre-Prohibition T.W. Samuels makes the cut, but what about last year’s highly-acclaimed Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch or other limited editions that sold out immediately?  And what about standard mid-shelf brands that lose age statements, like Elijah Craig 12-year, or that simply get a label redesign, like the former Four Roses “Yellow Label” this year?  Do those become “vintage” when the last Kentucky wholesaler sells the last bottle?  What’s it really take to be “vintage?”

Without regulations in place, but with a January 1, 2018 effective date for the statute on the horizon, Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) Board issued informal guidance requiring reporting on vintage sales:

Vintage Spirits

Effective January 1, 2018, a retail licensee selling vintage distilled spirits purchased from a non-licensed person must give the Department prior written notice of the proposed retail drink or package sale, which includes the following information:  (1) name and address of seller; (2) the quantity and name of the alcohol product being sold; (3) the date of the sale; and (4) name and license number of retail licensee. 
This notice shall be provided via electronic mail to the following email address:  abc.info@ky.gov.

The results are now in for the first month of vintage spirits sales in Kentucky, and, disappointingly, there was no Very Very Old Fitzgerald from Stitzel-Weller, no pre-Prohibition Old Crow or Old Taylor, and not even any 16-year A.H. Hirsch.  Maybe sellers are waiting for the regulations, or maybe they’re being patient by testing the waters slowly.  Or maybe they’re testing the limits of what might be considered “vintage” by selling more recent bottles first.

The most legitimately-vintage sales were to Feast BBQ in Louisville, which landed bottles of Anderson Club 10-year and 15-year, a bottle of Kentucky Prince, and a bottle of Very Old St. Nick Ancient Cask 12-year.  Another Louisville restaurant with common management, bar Vetti, purchased far less exciting bottles, like three Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection editions (1838 Sweet Mash, Four Wood, and Maple Wood Finish), along with a Blanton’s bottled in 1992.

The only other reported proposed purchase was in northern Kentucky, by Braxton Brewing Co., which listed recent BTACs, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength, Elijah Craig 18-year and 12-year Barrel Proof, Four Roses Al Young 50th Anniversary Limited Edition and the fall release 2017 Limited Edition Small Batch, Elliott’s Select, last year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection and Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, a few Van Winkle brands, Wild Turkey Master’s Keep, and many, many others.  Braxton Brewing also listed perfectly good but completely non-vintage bourbon like Elmer T. Lee and Rock Hill Farms, and never-in-a-million-years-should-it-be-considered-vintage bourbon like Weller Special Reserve.

Prices are not part of what the ABC requires in its email report, so we can’t compare these sales to the secondary market, but anyone interested in selling bottles might want to check with their favorite restaurants and retailers to see if we’re in a seller’s market.  Regardless, Kentucky’s new Vintage Spirits Law is bound to increase the availability of vintage and rare bourbon for thirsty Kentuckians and visitors to the Bourbon Trail.  And with Feast, bar Vetti, and Braxton Brewing on the leading edge, you might want to start there.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – Blade & Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Blade and Bow is a Diageo brand that comes in a standard non-age-stated variety or with a 22-year age statement.  Both rely heavily on a tie-in to the famed Stitzel-Weller distillery in Shively, Kentucky.  I’ve never seen the 22-year version (containing bourbon distilled at the Old Bernheim Distillery and the George T. Stagg Distillery, but aged at Stitzel-Weller) for sale in Louisville, but the non-age-stated version is readily available.

Diageo uses the “Solera System” for this non-age-stated Blade & Bow, which essentially never quite empties the old surviving Stitzel-Weller stocks that are part of the blend.  This is a process where a series of five tanks are used each with progressively older bourbon at the bottom, in this case, bourbon distilled at Stitzel-Weller.  Only a fraction of the bottom / oldest tank is used for the blend, and then that tank is refilled from the next oldest stock, which is repeated through the succession of tanks, with the youngest bourbon used to fill the top tank.  The procedure is repeated for each new batch and while the percentage of Stitzel-Weller bourbon will diminish, there will be at least trace amounts for the foreseeable future.

Put in a lot less complicated terms, Blade & Bow has a tiny bit of Stitzel-Weller 20-something year-old bourbon blended in with bourbon distilled at an undisclosed distillery or distilleries.  Many critics call it a gimmick or decry Diageo’s use of its old stocks, but if I called the shots, I’d probably use the Stitzel-Weller name even more.  It’s legendary property that suffered the harshest consequences of the nation’s turn away from whiskey, and during the 25 years since its closure, thousands and thousands of barrels continued to age.  Why not tout that?

Bourbon:
Blade & Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distillery:
Undisclosed.

Age:
Unstated.

ABV:
45.5% (91 proof)

Cost:
$50.00

Tasting Notes

Appearance:
Medium amber.

Nose:
The aromas are subtle but very pleasant.  There is slight oak, but more of the polished-wood variety, and other aromas that are light and refreshing, like fresh citrus, spring grass, and a little mint.

Taste:
The taste isn’t as subtle as the aromas and it has some heat higher than its proof, but it’s consistent in its refreshing lightness, with light fruit (apple, pear), vanilla, and caramel sweetness.  A little pepper and baking spice round it out, but it’s missing a true spicy or oaky backbone.  Still, it is an elegant sipping whiskey.

Finish:
Blade & Bow finishes fast with lingering warmth and flavors of grain and char.  It’s pleasant again, but not a $50 finish.

Bottom Line

Some bourbon is contemplative, some is robust, and some is easy sipping.  That’s where Blade & Bow fits in; it’s an enjoyable, easy-sipping bourbon.  That’s what makes it an approachable bourbon and a great gift, especially when the Blade & Bow bottle adds its great presentation, which is why it made my 2017 Bourbon Gift Guide for a host/hostess gift.


Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale:  3.0

The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill.  I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings.  Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon.  Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws.  I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection.  I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.