Thursday I noted on my facebook and on the text message thread on my phone for the Krewe Des Ivrognes d’ Alexandrie (drunk guys from Alexandria; the guys I hang out with on Mardi Gras day in South Louisiana) that it was National Bourbon Day, and that evolved into Tom Spencer, Kemp Wright, and Ken Brown from the Krewe coming over to celebrate. Normally, I would have just settled down with a new bottle to review in my study, but instead I enjoyed good whiskey in the best way possible – with good friends.
I had been having a great week at work, many achievements, so a sampling of Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old was in order. I finished up the old bottle and opened up the “new” one I picked up December last.
The guys really appreciated being able to try it and they spent a great deal of time nosing it. The nose on Pappy 23 really is incredible and complex.
At another point during the evening, we tried one of my newer bottles, Orphan Barrel’s Rhetoric 24. I have previously reviewed Rhetoric 23. By comparison, the 24 year old is just slightly higher in proof, same wonderful amber color, but the oak is better balanced with the sweetness of the bourbon. The finish is way better on the 24. My theory is that they must be working their way down on the ricks of these barrels, and that the 24 was aged at a cooler temperature. If that’s the case, the 25 should really be rock star of a bourbon.
Ken Brown also brought his bottle of Luxco’s Blood Oath Pact 4 which just came out; I hadn’t seen it around here and Ken bought this at a Binny’s out of state. This is a blend of three rye recipe bourbons from Heaven Hill; a 12 year old, a 10 year old, and a 9 year old coming in at a hefty 98.6 proof. The nose was caramel, some fruit, and a little oak and milk chocolate for good measure. On the palate, the same flavors on the nose with some added honey; very desert like, with some nut meat on the finish. Very delightful. Was glad to have gotten to try this one.
My good friends also helped me finish off my bottle of Michter’s 10 year old. All in all, the company made all these great bourbons even better.