Monday, March 16, 2009
Ezra Brooks 90 Proof
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
My expertise(1) is in Scotch whisky and I have never pretended to know about bourbon or American whiskey. As a result, this blog has seen very few posts featuring the American spirit. Since moving to the USA last June, however, I have been reading, attending tastings, and conducting "field research" in order to increase my knowledge and understanding of American whiskies. I am not there yet, but with the help of some friends, libraries, and distilleries, I hope to gain a wider appreciation for American whiskies and feature more on the Malt Mission. The web provides a pretty flimsy resource for information about the history of the spirit that isn't corporate or commercial, but content is growing every day. In this regard, I ask for your help and guidance. If there are any errors in my coverage of American whiskey, please correct me. Cheers.
It is said that in the 1830s there were over 2000 distilleries in Kentucky, certainly most of them were illegal. In the decade before prohibition there were some 200 distilleries. Today, there are 9 (thank you Sku!). Most of these distilleries produce a wide variety of brands, and this Ezra Brooks is one such example. Owned by Luxco, a company that produces spirit in St. Louis, this whisky is likely sourced from Heaven Hill thus earning the label "kentucky striaght bourbon".
More American whiskey to come in the next few posts.
Spicy with rye and kimmel seeds, maybe some black pepper. Starchy like raw corn. A sweet, smoky note like charred barbecue sauce and a good licking of oak in there, too.
Hot, cinnamon gum, red licorice, then mellows into a nice black licorice lozenge with vanilla cream and raspberries.
Not at all disappointing, and it must be admitted that I came into this with far more pre-judgement than I like to on the mission. Not great, but quite good. Worked well in a Manhattan over the weekend, too.
Have you ever been told or shown the technique of trying a whisky without drinking it whereby you pour some of the spirit into your hands, rub it in until most of the alcohol evaporates, and then take a whiff of your cupped palms? I DO NOT recommend this technique with this drop unless you want to induce vomiting or turn someone off whisk(e)y for life. Sour and rotten smells came of my hands, though that may say more about my hands than the spirit...
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