Blade & Bow 22: Very good whiskey, not good value though.

I apologize for the lack of attention the last couple weeks… life has been very busy, I did some traveling for work and now it is football season again… The highlight of the last couple weeks was finding a bar in London that had pours of George T Stagg for only GBP 16.  Not bad at all!  Anyway, I have a huge backlog of reviews to do and hopefully will be able to bang out a few over the next couple days.  I also took notes from the Stagg and will be posting those as well….

But today I will be reviewing the “new” Diageo product, Blade & Bow 22, and will later on be doing their regular product:

Diageo out of now where comes up with a 22 year old Bourbon, bottled by “Stitzel-Weller Distilling Co.”  Although, not the Stitzel-Weller Distillery… so… if it shut down in 1991, then a release would be 24ish years?  Unless it was bottled or removed from barrel after 22 years and only now coming to market.  Diageo often gets a bad wrap, and I’ve certainly thrown a few punches in their direction when it comes to the Orphan Barrel Series, but I’m going in with an open mind for their newest release.

Color is dark amber, like a black tea you left the bags in for an hour too long.

The nose is dominated by wood and spicy notes: cinnamon sugar, charcoal on the grill, a touch of licorice on the back and caramel in the middle.  There is a lot of wood bark on the front and back of the nose, but there is a lot more going on too, so hopefully it isn’t an oak bomb.

Good mouth feel, nice tannins and oil, enjoyable on the mouth and the burn is moderate.  The spice and wood are there, but so are the sweet notes dripping off the side of the tongue.  There’s a weightiness to the sip that maintains a long finish.  Certainly an enjoyable mouthful, and it keeps going for a couple minutes.  The second day I tried it I enjoyed it even more.  Has a very nice consistency to it, but not one that is a game changer.

It’s better than any of the Orphan Barrel Series I’ve tried so far, but it is very pricey, typically found for $169.99.  It loses points for the high price, but it’s still extremely enjoyable.  Not a must own, or even a must try, but if you do happen to have a friend who has a bottle, be nice to them and ask for a dram… but don’t lose your mind trying to find one, it’s not worth the effort or the cash.  92/100.


Jefferson’s Ocean & Bachelor in Paradise: Both Overhyped Drama

Sunday night at home is Bachelor in Paradise night which means I need to drink a little more than normal to get through the evening….

I decided to open up Jefferson’s Ocean, 2014, Voyage 5. This is a gimmick from our NDP friends at Jefferson, whereby they take an aged whiskey and ship it off around the globe for a few months to speed up the maturation process. Most expedited maturation processes end up producing poor quality and nothing beats time, but this Bourbon has received some good reviews and accolades so I thought it was worth picking up a bottle, even if it was quite pricey at $80 for a low proof whiskey: 90.

Light Amber color.

Medium heat on the nose, candied sweet potatoes, baked pretzel, skittles, brown sugar cookies. Not getting the salinity that everyone says they are getting but still enjoyable nose.  The second day I tried it the nose was a little more enjoyable that the first day.

The palate has a ton of sweetness, the brown sugar cookies are all over the mouthfeel. It’s enjoyable but not overly complex, nor does the finish last incredibly long.  The second day the palate was the same as the first, perhaps a little smoother, but not any more complex.

To be honest I’m not sure exactly what the aging at sea does–I’d be really curious to try the product side by side that doesn’t have the sea aging to tell. That’s the only way I would be able to tell if it’s worth an extra $50. Jefferson’s Ocean is very enjoyable but overpriced for what it is. image1(9) Would be much better as a cask strength. 85/100.