WhistlePig Bottled in Barn Farmstock Rye Whiskey (Crop No. 001)

  • 86 Proof
  • Blend of young estate whiskeys, 5 & 6 year estate Ryes, and MGP 12 year Whiskey Stock
  • MSRP: $90

WhistlePig Farmstock

Firstly, since this is a blend lets look at what makes up this bottle of Farmstock in Whistlepig’s attempt to work towards a 100% localized distillery  and product. This bottle contains a blend of ryes from various age brackets.

  •  1 to 2-year-old rye distilled on the farm, which makes up 20% of the total
  •  49%, is made of 5 to 6-year-old rye from Canada
  • 31% is made from the same 12-year-old rye that is part of WhistlePig’s “Old World” series.

At first whiff you will smell the oak, hints of vanilla, and caramel, all the best flavors, in my opinion at least, to find in a good bourbon or rye. When Farmstock hits my tongue I find tastings of caramel, cinnamon, spices both sweet and peppery and a touch of a tanginess at the end. This is definitely a complex rye with those lovely hints of tobacco mixed in with the oak, the flavors that keep me coming back to good ryes. I have read others thoughts on Farmstock who have mentioned hints of chocolate and butterscotch, I don’t personally find those sweet flavors in this rye but one of the beauties of drinking a bourbon or rye is everyones palate is different and even mine differs on different days so you never really know what you are going to taste until that first sip hits your lips and tongue, I suggest you find some Farmstock and give it a try for yourself!

  • Bourbon
  • 101 Proof
  • No Age Statement
  • No Grain Bill Statement
  • MSRP: $45

First off before you dismiss Johnny Drum due to having not heard of it or the low price, don’t, this offering comes from Willett!

Willett Johnny Drum

Secondly, there is no arguing that this Bourbon priced under $50 is a true value for the money! at least to my palate. I have to admit I was introduced to this by a certain knowledgeable person over at Healthy Spirits, he hasn’t steered me wrong yet & this was no exception. I took this bargain bottle home and after uncorking it and taking my first sip it immediately became one of my favorite bourbons to enjoy regularly after work. I disclose this ahead of time so you will be aware of some bias in favor of this bourbon.

Drum has an exceptional nose with caramel and lovely woody smells, its definitely a drink you will pause with the glass at your lips just to partake the nose just a little bit longer. When it hits your tongue you will find that Drum is a nice medium bodied bourbon, you will taste the wood, the caramel, spices on the back of your tongue as you swallow. Sometimes I get hints of cinnamon other times I find myself puzzling over the other notes, this is a complex bourbon as one might expect from a distillery such as Willett’s. Although this is a strong bourbon at 101 proof I prefer to drink this neat to savor the full flavor explosion.

I should add I hesitate to even review Drum, this is so good, it puts more expensive bourbons to shame and frankly this is the sort of bottle that will bring more people into tasting and loving bourbon in my opinion.

 

Wild Turkey Masters Keep – 17 years old

  • Bourbon
  • 86.8 Proof
  • Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
  • MSRP: $150

Let me preface this review by saying if you are expecting a 17 year old aged bourbon to knock you off of your feet with strong tastes then this is not the bourbon for you, this bourbon despite its age for some reason is all about subtle flavors. I am not making a value judgement whether that is good or bad, that is for each individual palate to decide, what I will say is that I was very surprised when I took my first sips of this bourbon, wasn’t what I was expecting.

I would say it has a traditional nose, mixtures of wood, caramel, slight hints of cherry, caramel and vanilla.

As for the palate, its dry, sweet, caramel to start with but some spice and pepper in the finish and a touch of fruit at the very end. This is such a light tasting bourbon that in my opinion this bourbon should be drunk straight no ice or water to dilute the flavors. This is not, sadly in my palates opinion, a complex bourbon, so any dilution really takes away greatly from the drink.

Considering the price point on this, you may very well want to find a friend or a local tavern that has this to pour before investing into a bottle for $150, I am not saying that the Masters Keep is bad but I think it has a lot of stiff competition at the $80 and above price point.

 

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