When Bulleit Bourbon Single Barrel Hand crafted for NC hit the shelves to rave reviews I knew I needed to find a bottle. It didn’t take much to come home with a bottle from ABC, but it didn’t exactly come cheap. The price in NC was $60 for the 52% ABV (104 proof) single barrel Bourbon. The neck tag has a place for the Barrel Number, but nothing was on it other than being signified as Hand crafted for NC. There is a rumor, and incorrect rumor, but nonetheless a rumor that this is actually Four Roses juice. I’ll speak about that in a minute, but in the meantime I’ll discuss my impression of the bottle. The aroma was filled with floral and citrus notes, namely orange peel. Immediately the nasal passages perceive brown sugar sweetness, leather, oak, and a restrained presence of alcohol. The flavor presented very similar with orange, brown sugar, leather, oak, hints of black pepper, and more retained alcohol. The finish was extremely pleasant with brown sugar, oak, and black pepper lasting and fading into the finish. The alcohol was notable with the warming post consumption, but was retrained from start to finish. This is a darn tasty bottle of Bourbon. My impression is this is quite similar. I’ve not created a detailed review of Four Roses so I need to revisit. Bulleit says this is not Four Roses distillate and barrels, but my palate says it might be 4R. No matter what, Four Roses Single Barrel is less expensive than this Bulleit Single Barrel, so I’d suggest you grab a 4RSiB instead, unless money is burning a hole in your pocket. The bottom line is this bottle is delicious.
Recently Yellowstone Select Bourbon went on sale at NCABC for $37, so I figured why not take it out for a spin. Some of the reviews online had been mixed, but after picking up an excellent bottle of Yellowstone Hand Picked it was time to find out for myself. At 93 proof this bottle lands just under my preferred alcohol level of 100 proof, but again, I did not let that deter me in my quest to make up my own mind. I’ll bottom line it for you, this bottle is definitely worth the price of admission. The aroma begins with a very nice cedar spice note, leather, light citrus, cherries, and hints of sherry. The flavor has a wonderful brown sugar backbone, more cherries, rye and cedar spice, oranges, and a bit of black pepper. The finish is spicy rye and black pepper with lingering brown sugar and alcohol into the finality of the aftertaste. The alcohol was present, yet restrained, throughout the flavor, and really only played a part in the post consumption warming. Anyway, if you spot this for a similar price point I’d suggest you give it a try. I know I’ll try to snag another bottle the next time I see it at a great price point. Thumbs up!