Top 10: Bourbon Wish List 2017
Out of the 10 whiskies on our wish list for 2016, we were only able to sample 3 of them over the course of the last year. The ones we managed to try were; George T Stagg, Angels Envy Port Finished, and Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea (voyage 5). As we had hoped, none of them disappointed.
Last year we chose not to include any Pappy Van Winkle because we honestly thought we would never be able to try them. Well it appears wishes do sometimes come true, because we most certainly did get the opportunity – and you can read all about it here.
So if we've tried Pappy, & sampled a few drams from the previous wish list, does that mean we need to make a new one? Yes, yes it does....
The Bourbon Gents Top 10 Wish List 2017:
1 – Midwinter Night’s Dram Act 4
Not to be confused with the Glenmorangie single malt ‘Midwinter Night’s Dram’, this is the limited edition seasonal release from Utah’s High West Distillery of their Rendezvous Rye. It is a blend of straight rye whiskey finished in port and French Oak barrels and bottled at 49.3% ABV. The percentage of each of the whiskeys in the mash bill is a closely guarded secret but the percentage mash of all 3 has been made known. The first is from MGP - 95% rye, 5% barley malt. The two others are from the Barton Distillery and are - 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley malt and 80% rye, 10% corn, 10% barley malt. We can only imagine what a punch this would pull.
2 – Whistle Pig The Boss Hog 4th Edition – The Black Prince
A 14 year old rye whiskey, barrel strength and finished in French Armagnac barrels. Named in the San Francisco International Spirits Awards as the best whiskey in the world! This is the most expensive of 'The Boss Hog' releases so far at a whopping $500. The 3rd edition of The Boss Hog releases 'The Independent' is still available from The Whiskey Exchange for a far more modest £300. We were blown away by their standard rye whiskey so would absolutely love a crack at any of The Boss Hogs.
3 – Four Roses Al Young 50th Anniversary
2017 limited edition 50th anniversary small batch bourbon released in honour of their Senior Brand Ambassador Al Young who has worked at the Four Roses distillery in a variety of roles for 50 years. A combination of 4 out of the 10 Four Roses recipes, it is a marriage of the 23-year-old OBSV, 15-year-old OBSK, 13-year-old OESV and 12-year-old OBSF. The design of the bottle was taken from the style of bourbon bottles from his starting year of 1967. Only around 10,000 bottles are available. Good luck in sourcing one.
4 – EH Taylor 4 Grain
This one shouldn't be a surprise to anyone reading this list. If a Bourbon gets proclaimed 'the best whiskey in the world' by Jim Murray then who are the Gents to argue. Putting aside Mr Pie's rant about the fact that it doesn't make it the best whiskey in the world, after-all it's just one man's opinion. It does however make it very intriguing to try it and see what all the fuss is about. Jim's quote on this one is quite astonishing - “It was though time stood still in the tasting room; I just knew…”.
5 – Parker’s Heritage Collection - 2017
We have spoken about Parker’s Heritage Collection a number of times on our podcasts and would love to be able to sample a dram of any of the offerings. The Parker’s Heritage Collection was originally conceived to celebrate the work of the Heaven Hill distillery. Named after the now late Heaven Hill Master Distiller Emeritus Parker Beam, this year’s 11th edition is an 11 year old Single Barrel bourbon bottled at 61% ABV and non-chill filtered. A taste profile of heavy spice and oak, with a hint of smoke and raisin, followed by a long and dry finish. This sounds like the perfect combination for both of the Gents.
6 – Four Roses 2017 Limited Edition Small Batch
The marketing blurb from (friend of the Gents) master distiller Brent Elliot, says it all. “The magic happened early on with this Small Batch Bourbon, after only my third test blend, I knew we had hit the target and then some”. He went on to say - “There is a remarkable synergy among the three batches. Once we combined them, it resulted in more depth, richness and warmth than any one of the individual recipes.” If that doesn't leave you wanting to try it then we don't know what will.
7 - Elijah Craig 23-Year Old Single Barrel
Another great offering from Heaven Hill Distilleries and one that should be right up Mav's street. He loves the taste of the dry wood you get from single barrel offerings and if this one has been sitting around in a barrel for 23 years it's going to be a wood bomb! (we might start trademarking that). Add to the age, and the usual quality you get from Elijah Craig drams, this one also comes in a mighty fine stylish bottle. We bet the cork pop is probably good too.
8 - Henry McKenna 10 year old Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
So many people recommend this one. It had to be on list. Similar mash bill to Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Fighting Cock, you can see why it is so attractive. Named after an Irish immigrant who adapted his family’s whiskey recipe to work the grains found in Kentucky. Today this is the oldest aged bottled in bond bourbon available. Inexpensive and readily available in the US, this is proving not so easy to find on this side of the pond.
9 – Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
This one goes against the original idea of this particular Top Ten. The list was conceived as a way to wish for things we had never had never tried before and that hopefully one day we would get to sample, but Mav has tried the 17 year old and loved it. So why is it on this list? Well, because Mav is a rebel, and because he only had the one small dram and it's left him wishing he could have a whole bottle. Surely that's a perfect fit for a wish list?
10 – Old Forester 2017 Birthday Bourbon
The annual limited edition bottling produced to honour founder George Brown’s birthday. Old Forester Master Taster, Jackie Zykan (cool name), said about it that “common denominators in this year’s blend are chocolate and black pepper. The finish is interesting, as it really ignites the perimeters of the palate and cascades off into a soft, dry floral bouquet”. Well if it combines the sweet tastes that Mav favours, and the Speppery© taste Mr Pie seeks out, then this one is definitely one the Gents should try.