In late 2019 Baker’s changed from a Small Batch Bourbon to a seven year minimum age Single Barrel Bourbon. I was quite excited to find a bottle of the new Single Barrel while NCABC was having a sale on Baker’s ($55) and before they increased the price. The neck label declares the Bourbon was barreled in 01-2011 and was 8 years 6 month in age. The serial number was 000027306 from warehouse CL-D and the proof was 107. After purchasing I raced home to pull the cork on the new fancy schmancy bottle which was ultra cool looking. Imagine my surprise when I found a Single Barrel Bourbon which didn’t blow my socks off. Thinking back I recall liking the Small Batch better. Anyway, the nose was filled with oak, brown sugar, leather, pepper, cherries/dark fruits, and alcohol. The flavor was pleasant brown sugar, oak, leather, light pepper, more light dark fruits, and alcohol. Had I only had a single glass and stopped my impression would have been the bottled lacked complexity. Over time as the bottle drained it grew on me. The alcohol was present, yet restrained, and the oak lets you know this is a Single Barrel Bourbon. I’m still struggling to determine if the complexity is high enough to command the price point. Would I suggest you rush out and snag a bottle? Only if the price point is less than what I paid, $55. Anything more and you must make a conscious decision to purchase. Of course if it is less I’ll snag more as it is quite drinkable. I do realize other bottles might have better complexity so I shouldn’t count this one out quite so quickly, but I want any bottle which costs more than $50 to be worth the price of admission.

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