Early this afternoon I pulled about 50ml from the barrel and took a quick sip; is it my imagination or is this more vibrant than what went in? Unsure of my own analysis, I put it aside and waited until this evening to sit down and do a more logical examination of my project. I've taken two Glencairn glasses and poured about an ounce in each glass. As I hold the glasses side by side and place then up to the light, it is apparent that two weeks in my barrel has changed the color. The reference bourbon wasn't real dark to begin with and had a light straw like color. Week 2 bourbon is slightly darker and has a touch more amber/orange to it so score one for better color.
Nosing the original bourbon I pick up a fruit and banana quality along with some leather and wood notes. At two weeks the nose has changed and the banana is more ripe but not rotten. There's a softness to the nose that didn't exist before that has a cream quality to it.
As I stated, the color has changed. This is one quality I look for in a bourbon. To me, it's a good indicator of proof and age and the fact that the color has deepened slightly is a good sign.
As I taste the original, which is a great bourbon to begin with, I pick up the fruity banana quality to it and something that reminds me of leather chairs. It has bold flavor mid palate with a medium finish. Again, a great value bourbon. Tasting the next bourbon the flavors are more robust and the bold flavor found in the original is even more pronounced. The leather and wood is definitely up front but not unpleasant with a finish that resembles the original.
I'm digging the results so far and am pleased that the bourbon decided to cooperate and get slightly better instead of slightly worse. I'll be pouring off a sample for an upcoming party on December 12th so we'll see what other folks say about the bourbon. It's been unseasonably warm here in Virginia so the bourbon has gone through some exercise I would suspect but the weather is turning colder now so the changes may be more subtle in the coming months. We'll see.
Keep your collective fingers crossed for better results in the future.