Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bourbon Review: Abraham Bowman Double Barrel Bourbon

The Sazerac-owned A. Smith Bowman Distillery has released a number of finished whiskies, which have ranged from mediocre to very good. I really enjoyed the port finished bourbon they did a while back, though I did not much care for the gingerbread stout beer cask finish they did last fall. The latest "limited edition" release (and doesn't it feel like everything is a limited edition these days?) is a "Double Barrel" bourbon. For this one, they took six year old bourbon and re-barrelled in in more new charred oak barrels for an additional 11 months. Although the total barrel time is just over seven years, you would expect the re-barreling to impart a lot more wood. Let's see.

Price: $79 (which is a bit over MSRP)
Proof: 50% ABV (100 proof)
Age: 7 years, 2 months
Mashbill: Reportedly Buffalo Trace Mashbill No. 2 (high rye)
Color:  Sweet Tea

Nose: Pronounced wood but balanced by toasted marshmallow, maple syrup, and 'Nilla wafers. There is a lot of alcohol on the nose, even after considerable air time.
Palate:  Dry and oak forward, but there is some sweetness to help keep the wood in check. The toasted marshmallow is in the background along with clove and white pepper. 
Finish: Medium length, dry finish that leaves the clove and pepper on the tongue.

Overall:  B

This is a nice enough bourbon, though a bit dry for my taste. It is not an oak bomb, to be sure, but there are several bourbons for half the price that I would prefer. I suppose that in today's market, all you have to do is call something a "limited edition" or "special release" and you can charge $70+ for it. Oh well, I guess I can't blame them when people like me buy these whiskies before they even hit the shelves.

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