Old Bourbon is not a common thing anymore. At least, not until you start shelling out thousands of bucks on a bottle. The same goes for Scotch, but to a slightly lesser degree. So when Nils sent me a sample of this 25 year old one I was quite thrilled. It has been ages since I tasted anything this old.
The last time things like this were available in any sort of normal way was when I was travelling the USA with my wife in 2011. More recently I was in Chicago (about half a year ago) and picked up some awesome stuff too, but over 20 years old is not something you encounter on regular store shelves.
Like the other ‘Vintage Bourbon’, the 17 years old, it was released by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. A company that used to distill until 1980, and then started again in 2012. Contrary to that 17 years old, this one could have been made at their own distillery, but I doubt it. Mostly because their Willett distillery used to release whiskies of similar age under their own label. Most likely, this is a whisky they bought, and possibly blended from several different distilleries.
In the end, that doesn’t really matter, since it’s the released product that counts. So, let’s review that!
A bourbon with gravitas. It’s old and rich with leather and oak. There’s not too much sweetness, although it’s not overly dry either. There’s some nuttiness, dark cherries, very classical.
There’s a nutty bitterness with hints of walnut and almond. Dark cherries, old casks and a hint of popcorn. Dry autumn leaves, charcoal and oak.
The finish continues down the same route and brings a bit of a black pepper bite. Quite long with lovely hints of dark cherries, almonds and walnuts. Oak and salty popcorn too.
It’s a lovely and complex bourbon. Lots of flavors and layers to peel back and give time to. The only thing that might make this a bit better is a slightly higher ABV, since it’s a bit too low impact on that front. Real, old fashioned bourbon with lots of oak and cherries. Awesome!