For the month of June we had a smaller group and the budget was a little tight, so we spent most of the budget on 2 bottles. With the remaining cash, bought a bottle of Bird Dog knowing that the blended bottle wouldn’t be as good as their green-label small batch whiskey that we tried previously and thought was a great value. Also, one of our club members used to be a chef and made us a crazy bourbon cake. Even with some outstanding bourbons, that cake was still the star of the show.
Overall – 6.6/10 – burn – 7.2/10
(Specs) Age N/A| 46.5% or 90 proof | 750 ML $39.95
(Distiller) Limestone Branch Distillery, Lebanon, KY
(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $32.50
(Flavors) Sweet, earthy, grass, apple, cherry
(Notes) We drank a bottle of Yellowstone 101 (2017 bottle) and it was scored as the highest ranked bottle our club has ever tasted. This bottle costs $60 less, so we weren’t expecting it to be quite the same level of whiskey but we went into it being pretty optimistic.
Overall, we liked this whiskey and felt it was a solid choice for the price, especially if it’s on sale and you can get it for a few bucks less. It’s not the most complex whiskey we’ve had, and the simplicity of it brought down the score a little. It’s good, but it needs a little more of something.
Overall – 8.25/10 – burn – 5.5/10
(Specs) Age N/A| 45.5% or 91 proof | 750 ML $39.95
(Distiller) Stitzel-Weller, Lebanon, KY
(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $39.25
(Flavors) Cherry, floral, cinammon, bubblegum, sweet oak*, spicy, deep char, almond, cocoa nibs
(Notes) This bourbon brought as much wow-factor as the first time we tried Blanton’s. The unanimous decision is that everyone should try this whiskey. It was complex, delicious, and is what most whiskeys should aspire to be.
Overall – 4.2/10 – burn – 5/10
(Specs) Age N/A| 40% or 80 proof | 750 ML $15.95
(Distiller) Western Spirits, Bowling Green, KY
(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $18.00
(Flavors) Sweet, maple, brown sugar*, butterscotch, pecans, honey, tastes cheap, bread pudding, apple, cinnamon
(Notes) This is what you should buy if you’re inviting college kids over to do shots. Maybe, they’ll be impressed that you have something other than Jack Daniel’s and they’ll probably think you know something about whiskey since you got something way easier to shoot. What’s more, you’ll probably save a dollar or two if you get this instead of Jack. However, nobody in our club would recommend this to anyone even for mixing a cocktail. It’s just not very good.
From the chef:
“It was a bourbon soaked sorghum cake, with bourbon buttercream, pecans, and roasted cherries. It was a bit of a riff off of a German Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Sorghum syrup used to be immensely popular in the south in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. After the first world war, refined sugar became much more readily available and cheaper. So sorghum syrup was replaced with sugar and molasses (since molasses is a by product of the sugar refining process). So I wanted to make a cake that was a “southern” take on a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. The sorghum is a real old school southern cooking ingredient, the pecans since the south is south is famous for them (and they just complemented the flavors), the bourbon buttercream because buttercream is strong enough to actually be able to infuse bourbon into, and the cherries because I had a lot of them on hand at the time (I was going to do peaches, but I didn’t have time to get some good ones). Since schwarzwälder kirschtorte is typically soaked in kirchwasser, I soaked the cake in bourbon. So the cake is alternating layers of the cake, bourbon buttercream, pecans, and roasted cherries (picked them myself from an orchard in the gorge) “