Tuesday, August 9, 2011

REVIEW: Eagle's Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Here is my first review and tasting notes on Straight Bourbon.  For this I picked Eagle's Rare 10 year Kentucky Straight Bourbon* which, in my opinion, is an exceptional Straight Bourbon.

Here is a little back-drop info on the history of this bourbon and company: 
This straight bourbon came about as a result of the success of Wild Turkey.  Sanzerac Co located in the heart of Bourbon Country originally started this bourbon out with a 101 proof.  Sound familiar?!  But Sanzerac's "mini-distillery"** (located within the grounds of Sanzerac) started running low on Bourbon stock so, rather than cut into the bourbon bounty at the Parent co (Sanzerac), they decided to cut the proof to 90 (but, fortunately, still kept the 10 year age statement).  How unfortunate as the Eagle's Rare 101 was the essence of Bourbon nonchallance at 101 - little to no burn and a wonderfully effervesent taste profile.

Here are my tasting notes of the Eagle's Rare 10 year and 90 proof:
After waiting 10 minutes to give this puppy room to breathe, I went in for my first sniff; Wow, what a nose on this straight bourbon.  The smell of clove, honey suckle, cranberries and juji fruit dominate the nose with a little bit of alcohol.  Swirling the drink in my Glennkaren glass, I take a sip.  BAM!  Toffee, cherry pie, ginger, corn bread and key lyme pie smack my taste buds like salt on a wound.  And the finish is quite amazing - I went to bed that night and the next morning I could still taste the "essence of Perl" sort to speak.

This is a great bourbon after throwing a fancy party, as an after-dinner drink or as your table bourbon.  It also is cheap enough to be an "everyday pour."***

Food pairing:
  • Wild-caught catfish with corn-flowered/fried asparagus, ginger/tangerine-zest mashed red potatoes, and yellow poached plantaines with kosher salt. 
My rating scale differs quite a bit from the usual score-keeping way since I go with the lowest score being the best (ie., 0 and 1 are the two best scores).

Rating Scale
50+ putrid
40-50 below average
30-40 average
20-30 good
10-20 very good
0-10 excellent


* Kentucky Straight Bourbon differs from Straight Bourbon in that it is distilled, aged and bottled in Kentucky (whereas, Straight Bourbon can be distilled and bottled anywhere but has to be aged in Kentucky.

**"Mini-distillery" is a commonly-used phrase in the bourbon industry referring to small off-shoot distilleries created by large distilleries in order to put a new label on their bourbon.  Now the bourbon could be the same exact bourbon reciped that they offer but want to fancy it up a little bit (please see Henry MacKenna Bottles in Bonded (same stuff as Old Heaven Hill BIB)) or it could be a whole new recipe (different bread yeast, different grains (single malt wheat or single malt rye).  As an example, Sanzerec makes George P Stagg bourbon at a Mini-distillery created on the same grounds as the Sanzerec distillery but it has it's own signage, labeling compound, and rick houses.

*** "Everyday pour" is another commonly used phrase in the bourbon industry and among conniseaurs that means you can drink a certain bourbon everyday since it's affordable and good.

1 comment:

  1. Again... LOL! Please, please continue your brilliant ridicule of all, "commonly used phrases." Especially all good-'ol-boy adjective use of the verb "pour"!