I have never bought a bottle of Bib and Tucker until now. Despite the cool shape of the bottle, I have a hard time shelling out cask for a standard proof NDP whiskey. However, Hokus Pokus acquired a barrel from the producer. Well, sort of. When I saw this on the shelf, I asked the folks at Hokus why they didn’t call me when it came in; I am usually in the know on all of their barrel picks and often taste the samples when they are picking the barrels. Well, apparently this was a barrel for a different store; they were promised it for the holiday season, there were delays, and when they finally got their bottles they didn’t want them. So, Hokus snapped it up. But, any time I run into a nine year old or better high proof bourbon for less than $150, I am definitely in.
So, I decided to take a chance on this cask strength 11 year old 135.3 proof bruiser. This is Tennessee bourbon, so we can bet that this is Cascade Hollow/Dickel juice, similar to what Barrell uses as the based of its blends and the sole juice for its single barrel releases. Initially a small NDP start up in Tennessee. Bib and Tucker was then owned by August Sebastiani’s 3 Badge Beverage Corporation; Sebastiani is well known for his wines. Thereafter, Deutsch Family Wine and Sprits acquired the brand; they are most well known for their Yellow Tail and Hob Nob wine brands – at least those are the ones most well known to me. They also own Masterson’s Rye.
In any event, looking at my whiskey collection I think this is the only one in a brown bottle. Brown bottles are good for protecting the integrity of beer and wine; I don’t think that this is generally the practice for whiskey. I’ve seen scotch and Irish whiskey in green and brown bottles; but bourbon?
The nose is a little bit tannic, almost wine like, nice vanilla notes, and a lot less alcohol on the nose than you might expect. Color is a nice dark amber with mahogany, very nice. Nice oily long legs.
The palate is extremely large. Big bourbon flavors – vanilla, caramel, oak, dark fruits, some hazelnuts mixed with dark chocolate, with a hint of cinnamon on the finish. Despite being this high a proof, I think the rich flavors mask the alcohol burn somewhat. That makes this a dangerous whiskey. And I like that.
It is a really nice bourbon. It has a little note on the back end that reminds me this is Dickel juice; otherwise I would put this up there with George T. Stagg, or, at least, Stagg Jr., as far as flavor. Definitely worth picking up one of these for your favorite bourbon drinking Dad as a last minute Father’s Day present.