Kentucky Owl is a non-distiller producer whiskey run by a descendant of the family that used to distill the original Kentucky Owl pre-prohibition. When Kentucky Owl got its reboot, it become a very desired bottle of cask strength bourbon that was generally only available in Kentucky and became as much of a unicorn as Pappy Van Winkle. I reviewed the batch 8 cask strength bourbon last year. Stoli has bought the brand, and is seeking to cash in on its investment by expanding the releases of bourbon. The batch 8 bourbon, the first Stoli release, more than quadrupled the size of the typical bourbon release. Now, they have come out with Confiscated, a non-cask strength bourbon at $125 MSRP. Non age stated and 96.4 proof, it is quite pricey for what it is on the surface. The question is whether Dixon Dedman can blend a mass produced bottled worth this price tag. Based on my research, this is a blend of 6, 9, 10 and 12 year old bourbons. My best guess is that KO sourced barrels from Heaven Hill, Barton, and maybe Four Roses.
Color is a nice deep amber. Thick, long, oily legs on the swirl. Nose is a delightful bourbon nose with some oak, rye spice, vanilla. Quite complex. The mouthfeel is quite luscious and on the palate is vanilla, dark corn syrup, baking spices which crescendo to cinnamon on the finish, which lingers and lingers just like KO’s cask strength bourbon. There is a slight medicinal taste on the finish; ever so slight, it betrays the six year old bourbon in the mix. Otherwise though, this is a solid pour and I continued to be wowed at how long the finish lingers. I have a little batch 8 cask strength left and I decided to pour a little for comparison. I will say that despite the different whiskies blended, Kentucky Owl is attaining a consistent flavor profile, and that profile is definitely good.
Dixon Dedman knows how to pick and blend barrels, that is for sure. And Stoli knows how to charge too much for them, but, then again, some folks are selling this bourbon on the secondary market for $300. I am not disappointed to have this on my bar, despite being overpriced.