High West Campfire

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Grade: B

Type: American, Blend

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $57

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

Here we have a blend of bourbon/rye/scotch. The nose is BBQ smoke, roasted beef, LDI rye spice. On the palate there is a really nice balance of sweet corn bourbon VS rye spice. there is some nice pepper here and it starts to get hot, nice earth and wood. The finish is smokey, the type of smoke that really sticks to the roof of your mouth/ long finish.  This is a unique expression but nicely balanced in all that you get. This may be one of the best expressions that High West has to offer.

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Balcones Brimstone

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Texas, Corn

Age: N/A

ABV: 53.00%

Price: $65

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose on this is smoked BBQ and corn. The palate tastes like BBQ ribs, very unique profile here, smoked salmon. The finish is really smokey, much different from what you may think as an Islay scotch, it’s more like a smoked fish or rib meat. I tried this a few times, the first time I really liked it. However, by a second and third dram I had lost my taste for it. It tasted like BBQ that had way to much sauce on it. Meh…. I think that it’s unique and worth trying; however, I’m unlikely to ever purchase a bottle. B-/C+

Stagg Jr.

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Bourbon, Kentucky

Age: 8-9 Yrs

ABV: 67.20%

Price: $50

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

Buffalo Trace has said that this will be a regular expression. However, so far it has been a bit hard to find for customers. The nose on this is wood, spice and lots of oak. The palate is rye, oak, nice candied caramel taste here. The finish is hot, plastic, finger nail polish remover. I think this expression by Stagg is worth trying and owning but it does fall a bit short if you have expectations based on the original Stagg expressions. B-/B

Cyrus Noble

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Bourbon, Kentucky

Age: N/A (5 years)

ABV: 45.00%

Price: $30

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This bourbon is distilled in Kentucky and then barrelled in California and aged for five years in American white oak. The nose is sweet syrup and nuts. The palate is toasted toffee with a touch of caramel. The finish is pretty bland and uninteresting. I do think this stuff is pretty decent but not fantastic… B-/C+

1792 Ridgemont Reserve

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Bourbon, Kentucky

Age: 8 Yrs

ABV: 46.85%

Price: $26

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is fantastic, big rye spice, makes you salivate a bit. The palate has some sweet spice, maple, and apple pie.  It does start to get a little bitter in the finish and is a bit dry and bland in the end. The name stems from the year that Kentucky became the 15th state. Overall this is a very solid bourbon to have in your home collection, Esp. at this price.

Evan Williams Single Barrel

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Grade: C+

Type: American, Bourbon, Kentucky

Age: 9 Yrs

ABV: 43.30

Price: $24

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is wood, oak, polish remover. The palate is sweet and a bit spicy but very dry. The finish is sweet and unremarkable. This is a solid buy but nothing special. Sample was barelled 12/03/02 and bottled 09/06/12 from barrel 813. I have heard that the older bottled expressions were better.

Maker’s 46

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Bourbon, Kentucky

Age: N/A

ABV: 47.00%

Price: $35

Availability: Wide/Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is syrupy, nail polish, maple, The palate is less sweet than the regular Maker’s and a little more complex with corn, light sweetness. The finish is really smooth and it seems lighter than the ABV would suggest. This is a pretty good expression that is definitely worth trying.