Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

Four bourbons - two from Kentucky and two from Tennessee

 28 Jun 2012  

Four Roses:
Fragrant, fruity nose with vanilla, marzipan and rye. Not bad (but a little vulgar). The palate is light and sweet at first but grows more power­ful and de­velops notes of rye, spices and oak. A little too sweet and not quite bal­anced. Like the nose it's a bit vulgar. Oaky, spicy, warming finish. (80 p)

Rebel Yell:
Vanilla, marzipan and apricot on the nose. Also a dusty cereal note (signifies rye in the mash bill). Restrained but nice. The palate is fairly light and mild, sweet and fruity with apricot and orange, also a little oaky. Nice but short finish with notes of vanilla and oak. Also spicy with a note of marzipan at the end. All in all mild and bal­anced. An uncomplicated, easy-drinking bourbon. Distilled at Heaven Hill. (82 p)

Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack:
Fragrant, rather nice nose with vanilla, marzipan, apricot and oak shavings. Also a cereal note. Light, sweet, fruity palate with a note of pepper­mint. Drying, de­velops oak and a little heat. Rather nice. Fruits, oak and vanilla on the finish. Also a little peppery. All in all smooth, nicely bal­anced and very drinkable. (Much milder and decidedly nicer than the standard Jack Daniel's.) (85 p)

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel, 45%:
Big, fragrant nose with marzipan and apricot. Also spicy oak and white pepper (from the rye, I presume). Very nice and well aged. The palate is clean but hot without water. With water it's light, sweet and very nice with notes of orange and lemon. Nice finish with spicy oak and vanilla. All in all impressive and very nicely bal­anced. Needs a drop of water to soften the heat. (86 p)

Now that I've tasted the three standard ex­pres­sions of Jack Daniel's I've realized that they are very dif­fer­ent, both in style and in quality. The standard Jack Daniel's is simple but power­ful (very rock'n'roll) but the other two really surprised me: Gentleman Jack is mild and smooth (a very nice session bourbon) and the Single Barrel is a fine, complex sipping bourbon.

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