Blanton’s The Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey


Blanton’s The Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is viewed by many as the gold standard for Bourbon.

The whiskey is typically aged 6-8 years and has about 15% rye in the mash bill.

The dark orange copper color dram is a creamy full bodied effort that comes in smooth at 93 proof and leaves with a nice bite on the finish.

The nose is a collage of big aromas led by orange citrus, caramel, vanilla and spearmint.

The palate kicks off with sizzling orange flavors on the tongue followed by sweet toffee, vanilla and charred oak.

I really enjoyed this Bourbon and I am always amazed at just how crisp and recognizable the citrus flavors are in each pour.

Gold standard or not, the average sticker price across the US of $70 just seems too high for a 6 to 8 YO whiskey, but  savvy shoppers seek out the retailers that sell it for about $55.

Larceny Special Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey


At a cost of $20, Larceny is a solid value selection.

This is a much bigger whiskey than the 92 proof would lead you to expect.

Neat, the dark copper dram immediately hits the palate with a hot smokey oak taste that reminds me of Scotch before quickly yielding to chewy waves of caramel, vanilla and cherry flavors.

The addition of a few drops of water muted the smoked wood flavors while adding sweet toffee favors to the glass, but I must admit I preferred it without water.

This rugged Bourbon should be paired with a full flavor cigar, like the La Gloria Cubana Serie R #7 Maduro, or used in cocktails.

Angel’s Envy – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey


Angel’s Envy is one of the smoothest and flavorful bourbons that I have tasted.

It’s classic vanilla, honey, maple and baking spice flavors are accentuated with subtle fruit flavors imparted by the port casks that the whiskey was finished in.

At an average retail price of about $45, this is an excellent choice for both newbies and aficionados.

Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 YO

The Balvenie Carribean Cask 14 yo is aged for 14 years in new oak casks before it is finished in previously used rum casks.

This Speyside single malt really opens up and begins to sing with 1 drop of water.

The nose is full of toffee and lively vanilla aromas with subtle hints of grass and smoke.

The beautiful dark golden nectar enters the palate with smooth creamy flavors of vanilla and toffee infused fruit with only a trace of alcohol burn on the long tingling finish.

This easy drinking, well rounded whiskey is the ideal single malt for novices to cut there teeth on, but yet it is complex enough to capture the attention of serious scotch drinkers as well.

This is one of my favorite everyday Scotch Whiskies and it’s $65 price tag only increases my appreciation for this dram.

Booker’s Small Batch Straight Bourbon

All good things must come to an end!

Booker’s True Barrel Small Batch Straight Bourbon is a big cask strength 130 proof bourbon, and is one of my favorites.

Tasty vanilla and caramel notes mix nicely with the warming heat of this high octane whiskey.

This bourbon is readily available for about $55-$60, and is not for the faint hearted!

Basil Hayden’s Exclusive Release Rye Whiskey

Basil Hayden’s Exclusive Release Rye Whiskey is a new special offering from Jim Beam, and retails for about $45.

Since Basil Hayden is one of my favorite bourbons, I had to try this new release.

This was a very smooth and balanced easy drinking dark golden whiskey.  The medium body dram was chock full of toffee, vanilla and baking spices.   A couple of drops of water revealed another layer of apricot and citrus flavors.

Knowing that it was only 80 proof, I was pleasantly surprised at just how rich and lively this rye was, and as such I had a hard time keeping the glass full.

I think this is an excellent choice for newbies, but aficionados will enjoy it as well. The only reservation I have is the value proposition associated with the $45 price tag is a bit stretched.

Four Roses Single Batch

Now we’re talking!

The Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon is an impressive whiskey!

The mash bill is composed of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% barley and comes in at solid 100 proof.

Your palate immediately comes alive as cherry, caramel and vanilla flavors explode in your mouth and linger for a couple of minutes before fading into warm soothing spicy notes that glide against the back of the throat and down into your stomach.

This is a big, complex and balanced bourbon, and at $37 it is sure to please even the most discerning bourbon drinker

I. W. Harper 15 YO

I must say I really love this bottle!  The whiskey, not so much.

The I.W. Harper 15 YO Bourbon is surprisingly only 86 proof with a mash of 86% corn, 8% barley and only 6% rye.

I typically drink my bourbons neat and this tasting was no different.  The whiskey is very smooth and balanced.  It is not overly sweet or hot and the low rye content limits the spice flavors.

Cherry and vanilla are captured on the nose followed by caramel, corn and oak flavors on the finish.  The strong oak flavors actually camouflage the low alcohol content and fools you into thinking it is bit bigger than it actually is.

The Bourbon retails for average price of $80, but experienced shoppers will find it at about $60.

In the end this is solid bourbon that I would not mind pairing with a nice cigar, but bourbon drinkers can find comparable drams for so much less.