This is a 12 year expression from Abraham Bowman that was finished in port barrels for around 4 months before being bottled at 50% ABV.
Nose: Rich, brown sugar with wet oak and the port manifesting as a grape juice note. Custard and molasses round out this sweet nose.
Palate: Port much more evident here as grape notes intensify – sawdust and sweet corn.
Finish: Port lingers with saturated oak and a bit of heat and vanilla.
Rating: 90/100 – port influence is very noticeable but balanced nicely so the bourbon stand out on its own. I’ve had spotted luck with wine finished bourbons, but this one is pretty great.
Value for the money: Retail was around $70 originally which is a good price – I believe secondary is around double that which is really pushing it.
This is a giftshop release from a couple years back that was aged for 18 years and bottled at a hefty 69.3% ABV.
Nose: Big, bold nose with fresh oak, brown sugar, vanilla, and red delicious apples
Palate: Heat is fairly staggering at first, but plenty of sweet vanilla/caramel backing it up. Strong tobacco influence – reminds of me of a George T. Stagg profile.
Finish: Heat fades to a degree allowing some creamed corn, barrel char and pepper to surface
Rating: 91/100 – Very similar to a George T. Stagg if you like that sort of profile.
Value for the money: These sell for $500+, but I’d be a consumer at $100-$120 for this bottle.
This expression was aged for around 9 years and finished in a barrel which was previously used by a local coffee roaster to hold coffee beans. It was bottled at 67.3% ABV.
Nose: Totally different nose – takes you by surprise. Layers of dark chocolate wrapped around a sweet underlying grain – very young oak with charcoal followed by overwhelming coffee notes. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve been around it enough to be amazed at the strength of it in this bottle.
Palate: Heat is intense off the bat, but once you get past that the strong dark coffee notes take over alongside bitter greens and dark chocolate. This is definitely in a category of its own for better or worse.
Finish: Bitter coffee and toasted oak linger for some time.
Rating: 82/100 – a very fascinating pour, but maybe a bit too intense for me. If you’re a big coffee drinker, you might find this one a tad more enjoyable.
Value for the money: I haven’t seen these sold in awhile, but would guess they’re around $150-$200 as the limited AB releases go quickly. I don’t see this being worth paying over $70-80 for.