Oops...I did it again. This time though I didn't travel to KY. A smaller contingent of our group traveled to KY in October to again pick barrels from Four Roses and Buffalo Trace.
Right around Christmas, all that bourbon flowed in at one time. The timing could have been better...say, a month or two after the holidays. Along with the fall barrel picks were three selections of Willett. These bottles were actually from the Spring 2012 KY barrel picks but KBD took some time getting everything bottled up so they didn't actually make it into my bunker until December.
Old Weller Antique 7.8 yrs 107 pf (#14) - Profile of fruit, cream with a mild dose of oak mixed in. Virtually no heat with a flavor pop about mid palate and then a long soothing finish. This selection is not as sweet as some of the OWA picks and has a noticeable oakiness producing a nicely balanced bourbon.
Old Weller Antique 7.8 yrs 107 pf (#15) - This one is sweet right up front then transitions to a baking spice profile accented with caramel and a mild presence of cinnamon red hots. Finish is moderate with a sweetness still noticeable on the palate for a couple minutes after.
Four Roses (OBSF) 10.3 yrs 124.5 pf - Tons of flavor on this one with fudge right up front, very sweet (think brown sugar, cinnamon, butter), maple with a finish that includes some nice barrel notes. This one is dynamite and quickly topping my list of favorite Four Roses.
Four Roses (OESQ) 8.6 yrs 119.6 pf - This one was described by one member as "buttered popcorn" which I think nails the unique flavor in this bourbon. Not as sweet as the OBSF but it has a nice viscosity coating the mouth and palate make the finish long and lingering. The nose on this isn't overly pronounced but first sip puts a smile on your face. Delicious.
Willett 9 yr 125.4 pf -No heat on the nose and superb entry that's sweet and then transition to some nice barrel notes of dark chocolate, honey and vanilla. The finish is outstanding leaving a nice zing on the touch as it slowly fades away.
Willett 9 yr 128.4 pf - Zap...this one has some forward spice right out of the gate. This one is sweet also but more like fudge and toffee sweet, not spun sugar. Candied fruit and nut appears mid palate as the initial spice and heat takes a back seat. There's a nice oak undernote that plays all the way through the finish which is moderate to long.
Willett 8 yr 130.5 pf - Caramel, caramel, caramel! This wheat bourbon is a flavor bomb (which is why we picked it). Very creamy entry, lots of rich caramel, dark brown sugar, some bitter chocolate and slight wood. I could sip this all night long....a stunning wheater. Finish is fantastic with just a slight amount of heat popping up toward the end. Nice transition in this bourbon.
Already the gang is gearing up for April. I have my flight booked and we're finalizing schedules with the distillery reps for another round of barrel picks. This next round, we're adding a couple new labels, Elmer T. Lee and Jefferson Rye. Hope to find some nice barrels with these two new additions.