Bourbon 2012
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Best Bourbon - 2012

The Fifty Best Bourbon Tasting 2012

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 19 premium bourbons with 16 journalists, bartenders and aficionados. Strict tasting rules were applied. Even the order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the bourbons were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and immediately served at room temperature. Only ice water and unflavored rice crackers were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges.

The tasting notes are summaries of the judges’ opinions. Prices quoted are for 750ml sizes. Prices may vary by state and do not include sales tax.

BOURBON TASTING RESULTS:

 

Hirsch Small Batch Reserve

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

1. Hirsch Small Batch Reserve - (Kentucky) $34

Nose: Butter, vanilla, banana, floral, grassy, sweet, spicy. Palate: Rich fruit, light floral, dried orange rind, molasses, caramel, creamy layers, vanilla, maple, banana, tangerine, ginger, nutmeg, sweet, round, well-balanced, great smoothness, classy, favorite. Finish: Nutty, sugary, malty, some pepper, mellow, clean, soft, short.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



2. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve - (Kentucky) $28

Nose: Caramel, burnt sugar, molasses, vanilla, floral, rose, clean. Palate: Lemon peel, tangerine orange, apricot jam, honey, buttery, pastry, malty, nutmeg, hazelnut, sherry, eucalyptus, allspice, white pepper, medium spice, cedar, woodsy character, sweet, smooth. Finish: Lemon peel, malty, caramel, acidic, spicy, rustic, smooth, mellow, short to medium.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



1792 Ridgemont Reserve


Buffalo Trace



3. Two-Way Tie - Buffalo Trace - (Kentucky) $23

Nose: Honey, molasses, caramel, butterscotch, smoky. Palate: Orange peel, pineapple, lemon citrus, apricot, vanilla, treacle, nutty, cereal, spicy, cinnamon, coffee, smoky, oak, clean, smooth, well-balanced. Finish: Floral, gtrassy, scotch-like, smooth, mellow, short.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Elmer T. Lee - (Kentucky) $30

Nose: Sweet, honey, vanilla, caramel, buttery, floral, fruity, banana leaf. Palate: Caramel, honey, molasses, toffee, banana, creamy, buttery, biscuit, floral notes, fresh, smooth, well-balanced. Finish: Vanilla, maple syrup, sweet, soft, smooth, balanced, long.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Elmer T. Lee


George Dickel



4. George Dickel - (Tennessee) $20

Nose: Spicy, sweet, black currant, grainy, rye, cereal, licorice, sherry, very soft. Palate: Caramel, butterscotch, candy, malty, buttery, toast, almond, clove, sweet, spicy, silky, round, complex, well-balanced. Finish: Buttery, maple, tea leaves, smoke, soft, tart, rich, smooth, medium-long.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



5. Old Pogue Master’s Select - (Kentucky) $46



Nose: Light floral, caramel, nutty. Palate: Caramel, treacle, light cream, malty, cedar, allspice, almond, leather, rich, very smooth, well-balanced. Finish: Nice, smooth.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Old Pogue Master’s Select


Bowman Brothers



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Bowman Brothers - (Virginia) $30

Nose: Sweet, toffee, butterscotch, coconut, tropical fruit, vanilla. Palate: Light honey, caramel, buttery, cream, pralines, marmalade, apricot, citrus, oak, tart, clean, well-balanced. Finish: Buttery, creamy, butterscotch, light spice, astringent, robust, smooth, soft, mellow, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Wild Turkey Rare Breed 101 - (Kentucky) $38

Nose: Fruity, banana, apricot, peach, toffee, creamy, nutty, floral, sweet, rich, pleasant. Palate: Dark cherry, banana, warm butter, rich layers of toffee, treacle, caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, nutty, pecan, walnut, oak, cedar, clove, eucalyptus, woody, floral, herbal notes, spicy, tart, bitter, dry, slight burn, medicinal, sharp, nice. Finish: Smooth, pepper, citrus, sweet, spicy, fiery, bold, harsh, robust, long.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Wild Turkey Rare Breed 101


Wild Turkey 81



Wild Turkey 81 - (Kentucky) $25

Nose: Woody, caramel, sweet molasses, ginger. Palate: Vanilla, banana, apricot, fruity, touch of citrus, lemon peel, honey, toffee, almond, ginger, buttery, creamy layers, slightly spicy, peppery, nutty, oak, mint, licorice. Finish: Smooth, soft, slight burn, peppery, spice, surprising body, balanced, long.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Garrison Brothers Texas Straight- (Texas) $78

Nose: Black tea, toasted brown sugar, buttery, leather, dried fruit, cherry, sugar cane, vanilla, oak, oily, spicy, woodsy, clean. Palate: Orange peel, banana, peach, lemon, coconut, creamy, toffee, ginger, spice, floral notes, light oak, cedar, woody, mahogany rich, smoky, sour, oily, balanced, very elegant. Finish: Soft, peppery, spicy, clove, scotch-like, hot, smooth, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Garrison Brothers Texas Straight


Bulleit



Bulleit - (Kentucky) $27

Nose: Molasses, honey, brown sugar, ginger, sweet, toasty, oak. Palate: Caramel, banana, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, buttery, creamy layers, marzipan, malty, clove, almond, nutmeg, oak, syrupy, smooth, great flavor, delicious. Finish: Corn, toffee, soft, light, spicy, balanced.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ezra Brooks - (Kentucky) $14

Nose: Fruity, floral, corn, banana, orange, tropical fruit, honey, maple, hazelnut. Palate: Orange blossom, molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, creamy, flowery, sweet, pepper, spicy, woodsy, rye, coriander, smooth. Finish: Vanilla, tea leaves, citrus, mint, dried fruit, grainy, malty, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ezra Brooks


Cedar Ridge



Cedar Ridge - (Iowa) $34

Nose: Caramel, honey, jalapeño, citrus, light. Palate: Buttery, caramel, creamy, sweet, rich, lemon rind, single malt flavors, leather, cedar, grainy, grassy, mint, floral. light, smooth, mellow. Finish: Sweet, corn, black currant, cedar, nutty, buttery, soft, smooth, robust, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



E. H. Taylor, Jr. - (Kentucky) $70

Nose: Fruity, caramel, toffee notes, brown sugar, raisin, coconut, grainy. Palate: Sweet, almond, orange peel, some fruit, pepper, spice, nutmeg, peppercorn, ginger, grass, sublime. Finish: Cereal, medicinal, harsh, smooth, long.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



E. H. Taylor, Jr.


Hudson Baby Bourbon



Hudson Baby Bourbon - (New York) $46 (375 ml)

Nose: Spice, cinnamon, walnut, black tea, smoky, herbal, woody. Palate: Sweet orange marmalade, herbal, malty, rye, cedar, new wood, tobacco, leather, sour, tart, sharp, soft, clean. Finish: Medium, cinnamon, nice, great, lovely, smooth, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Rebel Reserve - (Kentucky) $20

Nose: Floral, maple, hazelnut, lemon peel, coke, licorice. Palate: Rich, light banana, caramel, creamy, clove, mint, rye, spicy, marzipan, sherry, sourdough, earthy, wood, medicinal, clean, smooth, gentle, well-rounded, pleasant, premium. Finish: Smooth, sharp, light, tropical fruit, coffee, maple, pepper, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Rebel Reserve


John J. Bowman



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

John J. Bowman - (Virginia) $50

Nose: Rich fruit, orange peel, marmalade, molasses, rich toffee, rum-like, biscuits, soft, woody, floral. Palate: Burnt sugar, butter, creamy, toffee, brown sugar, orange peel, Madeira, grassy, ginger, minty, floral, oak, allspice. Finish: Cereal, vanilla, woodsy, rough, sharp, long.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Abraham Bowman - (Virginia) $70

Nose: Rich, honey, sweet, molasses, butterscotch, burnt sugar, toffee, caramel, citrus, toast. Palate: Creamy, corn, jalapeño, licorice, rich wood, oak, charcoal, leather, medicinal, iodine, strong, pleasant warming, concentrated, unbalanced. Finish: Marzipan, pecan, spicy, orange peel, brown sugar, hot, harsh, lingering wood.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Abraham Bowman


Rebel Yell



Rebel Yell - (Kentucky) $15

Nose: Sweet, honey, caramel, pineapple, cream. Palate: Honey, sugarcane, molasses, creamy, butter, light pepper, floral, grain, lemon-citrus, cedar, oak, leather, smooth, clean, unbalanced. Finish: Oaky, oily, spicy, marzipan, harsh, mellow, short.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

 

 

 

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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Bourbon 2012
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