Ok, anybody who knows me knows I love Jack Daniels. Whiskey snobs will turn their noses up, but I stand by it. It resides in that perfect middle ground between taste and affordability. So that is my benchmark for all whiskeys. I've had shots of whiskey that the cost per bottle would equate to a small mortgage, and not to discount good craftsmanship, but there is diminishing returns of taste to price the higher up you go. At some point you're drinking prestige, not booze.
Unfortunately, (for my whiskey choice, at least) I reside in Kentucky. And this state takes pride in its well crafted bourbon, of which there are plenty. So not only is Tennessee whiskey a faux pas, but it's also more expensive.
With that in mind, this evening I went to the liquor store for something to drink. Tonight I would try something different.
Now, I am a cheapskate. However, I have a certain level of taste that I will not lower myself to. I absolutely will not buy a "well" whiskey. I drink my booze straight up. None of that !@#$% coke mix. Not that I don't enjoy a good <soda> and <booze> combo, but if I'm buying for myself, I buy something I don't have to mix. Just like my coffee, I like to enjoy the natural flavor. If it can't stand on its own, I don't want it. Thus the never ending quest to find the best "cheap" booze.
I think I found it with the Very Old Barton's.
Now usually when ever I've had anything that started with Very Old, I've already been incredibility !@#$faced to begin with and couldn't remember the next day what it was. Very Old anything is something I certainly wouldn't have picked on my own if it wasn't recommend by the bartender or shoved into my hand. Something about the titling suggests... something I'm not sure I would like. I can't put my finger on it. Sort of like a used car salesman named "Honest" Eddy.
So browsing the shelves, I see this nice round 750mil bottle.
That in itself made me pause. That much booze for so little price? Surely it's crap. But I looked it over, respectable label printing, counted my money, looked it over, 80 proof, and counted my money again. If it was a poor choice, I didn't have the funds to buy something else and my night would be ruined (just ruined ).... $%&@ it, I took the plunge.
With a nice 22 oz. Stella Artois to put the taste of alcohol in my mouth (I like to drink beer and booze at the same time), I gave it a pour.
Ok, actually I drank it out of the bottle first. But as of this writing it's now in a booze appropriate glass.
It has a light amber color and the smell isn't overpowering. It's been aged 6 years.
The taste is very smokey and woody.
Dryish aftertaste, and a good medium burn in the stomach but not the throat. No tang or sharpness at all. It's so smokey that I would accuse it of being charcoal filtered except I'm fairly certain that would invalidate its claim to bourbon, that and it is not sweet, as is often a characteristic of charcoal filtering. But it's definitely got a nice light wood smoke linger.
I highly recommend it, and it might be my new favorite.