Bourbon 2013
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Best Bourbon - 2013

 

The Fifty Best Bourbon Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 19 premium bourbons from 9 states with 17 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the bourbons were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at room temperature. Only ice water and unflavored rice crackers and bar snacks were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through two flights of 7 bourbons and one flight of 5 bourbons.

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 scoring in this tasting was so uncommonly close that 9 bourbons tied for third place with the same exact total scores. (The third place gold medal winners are listed alphabetically.)

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions. The states of origin are identified for each brand.

 

BOURBON TASTING RESULTS:

 

Angel's Envy

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Angel's Envy - (Kentucky)

Nose: Vanilla, crème brûlée, coconut, cotton candy, herbal, floral, light. Palate: Honey, butterscotch, brown sugar, fruity, dried fruits, walnut, hints of sherry, spicy, peppermint, oak, velvety, well balanced. Finish: Sherry, clean, soft, spicy, smooth, velvety, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Neversweat - (Montana)

Nose: Light vanilla, nougat, subtle cola notes, maple, herbal, spice. Palate: Toffee, vanilla, hazelnut, walnut, prunes, raisins, apricot, rose, mint, sherry, pepper, spice, tobacco, soft, smooth, well balanced, very nice. Finish: Pepper, clean, soft, light, gentle, mellow, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Neversweat Bourbon


1792 Ridgemont Reserve


GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

1792 Ridgemont Reserve - (Kentucky)

Nose: Fruity, strawberry, honey, spicy, nutty, very light. Palate: Chocolate chip cookie dough, dried dark fruit, marmalade, coffee, almond, clove, spicy, intense oak, robust, dry, well balanced, well rounded, delicious. Finish: Smooth, spicy, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal




Big Bottom
Zin Finish
- (Oregon)

Nose: Honey, fudge, toffee, subtle cola, light pistachio, coconut, oaky, spicy. Palate: Sweet milk chocolate up front, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, molasses, honey, maple, cola, hazelnut, coffee followed by mint, clove, oak, balanced. Finish: Buttery, maple, woody, soft, sweet, slightly spicy, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Big Bottom Zin Finish


Blanton's



Blanton's - (Kentucky)

Nose: Cotton candy, taffy, salty caramel, vanilla cream, toffee, dried fruit, bubble gum, sweet cherry blossom. Palate: Caramel, molasses, buttery, rich, fruity, banana, sherry, nutty, eucalyptus, ginger, mint, creamy, chewy, spicy, intense, balanced. Finish: Rich, sherry cask, hint of ginger, smooth, gentle, easy, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal




Breckenridge - (Colorado)

Nose: Fruity, floral, golden blossom, very light. Palate: Malty character, burnt dark chocolate, coffee bean, pepper, spice, spearmint, sherry, leather, nutty, oak, balanced. Finish: Dried fruits, spicy, gentle, mild, very nice, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Breckenridge


Buffalo Trace




Buffalo Trace - (Kentucky)

Nose: Sugar cane, caramelized sugar, toffee, light melon, cashew, grain, biscuits. Palate: Intense oak up front, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, chocolate, fudge, banana, tropical fruit, sherry, peppery. Finish: Toffee notes, nutmeg, nutty, spicy, crisp, gentle, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bulleit - (Kentucky)

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, maple, apricot, apple, citrus, oak. Palate: Vanilla, caramel, toffee, molasses, maple, milk chocolate, Honeynut Cheerios, Graham crackers, coconut, dates, raisin, corn, walnut, oak. Finish: Toast, soft, smooth, rounded, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bulleit


Cody Road



Cody Road - (Iowa)

Nose: Herbal, agave-esque, lemon-lime, floral, pine, grassy. Palate: Almonds, cashew, rum raisin, chocolate, green apple, pear, pineapple, citrus, eucalyptus, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, biscuit, very nice. Finish: Toasty, soft, gentle, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



McCormick -(Missouri)

Nose: Fruity, strawberry, honey, spicy, nutty, very light. Palate: Chocolate chip cookie dough, dried dark fruit, marmalade, coffee, almond, clove, spicy, intense oak, robust, dry, well balanced, well rounded, delicious. Finish: Smooth, spicy, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



McCormick


McKenzie



McKenzie- (New York)

Nose: Loads of sweet passionfruit, tropical fruit, melon, mango, pineapple, pear, caramel, vanilla, cream, marzipan, biscuits, toast, hay. Palate: Mango, apricot, pineapple, banana, toffee, light butterscotch, caramel, anise, clove, tea leaves, nutmeg, sandalwood, oak. Finish: Oaky, citrus, creamy, spicy, sweet, nice, soft, delicate, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal





Most Righteous- (New York)

Nose: Caramel, honey, molasses, vanilla, cream, fudge, citrus fruit, dried fruits, coconut, toast, hay. Palate: Butterscotch, dark chocolate, toffee, honey, molasses, cola, vanilla, orange, dried fruit, cinnamon, ginger, roasted peanuts, almond, touch of spice. Finish: Fresh, clean, soft, light, smooth, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Most Righteous Bourbon


Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barrel



Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barrel - (Tennessee)

Nose: Subtle raisin, fruity, maple, floral. Palate: Mint chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate, rum cake, spicy caramel, butterscotch, sherry, coffee bean, lemony, floral, peppermint, peppery, oak, cherry wood, rich, well balanced, excellent. Finish: Fruity, soft, gentle, smooth, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Old Forester - (Kentucky)

Nose: Caramel custard, vanilla, orange, coconut, raisin, cashew, banana, fruity, floral. Palate: Butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, honey, demerara, treacle, dark fudge, chocolate, banana, dried green apple, floral, hibiscus, spicy, clove, tea, nice balance. Finish: Vanilla, ginger, soft, gentle, smooth, mellow, long, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Old Forester


Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon



Garrison Brothers Texas Straight - (Texas)

Nose: Smoked cherry/apple wood, pineapple, honeysuckle, grain, buttery, butterscotch, caramel, malty, maple, oak, walnut. Palate: Cherry, rhubarb pie, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, creamy, buttery, maple, grain, almond, hazelnut, spicy, mint, leather, rich, bold, velvety, nice. Finish: Nutmeg, chocolate, wood, light, spicy, smooth, clean, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Hudson Baby Bourbon - (New York)

Nose: Cherrywood, oak, floral, hay, biscuit, cereal, sweet cane sugar, pie. Palate: Walnut, honey, nutmeg, sugarcane, maple, floral, herbal, grassy, pepper, tobacco, clove, oak, leather, creamy, chewy, rich, well rounded. Finish: Soft, delicate, gentle, clean, sweet, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Hudson Baby Bourbon


C.W. Irwin Bourbon



C.W. Irwin- (Oregon)

Nose: Butterscotch, molasses, vanilla, chocolate, faint caramel, fruity, blossom, peppery, sherry, oak. Palate: Marmalade, molasses, fruity, hazelnut, herbal, peppermint, vegetal, spice, deep charred oak, sherry notes. Finish: Fresh, floral, spice, clean, gentle, soft, dry, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Woodford Reserve - (Kentucky)

Nose: Vanilla, honey, molasses, sugar cane, hint of mint, light pineapple, sherry cask, peppery, spicy. Palate: Mint up front, milk chocolate, fudge, toffee, vanilla notes, buttery, banana, dates, sherry, cashew, spices, cloves, subtle. Finish: Fruity, caramel, butterscotch, eucalyptus, light, dry, toasty, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Woodford Reserve


Dancing Pines Bourbon




SILVER MEDAL WINNER:

Dancing Pines - (Colorado)

Nose: Pear, apple, dried apricot, honey, caramel, butter, tea, oatmeal. Palate: Milk chocolate, maple, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, almond, nutmeg, coconut, malt, floral, rose petals, spicy, subtle oak. Finish: Caramel, pine, smooth, light spice, lingering.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

 

 

 

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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Bourbon 2013
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