Booker’s Bourbon 2019-2: Shiny Barrel Batch

It has been a couple of weeks since I have written a review; we started a kitchen plus some other stuff renovation at home and so I really haven’t had the time or energy to drink and write at the same time. This is most unfortunate because the latest batch of Booker’s has been sitting in my study untouched for weeks!

The latest batch, Shiny Barrel, gets its name from barrels that have been heavily sampled by distillery employees, thereby knocking the dust off and making the barrels “Shiny” in comparison to the surrounding barrels. Aged six years and five months and weighs in at a healthy 124 proof.

Nice oily legs; color is a very plain amber given its relatively young age. On the nose is a healthy dose of vanilla, baking spice, brown sugar. My mouth is watering just nosing this. On the palate, the vanilla, baking spices, and sugars are followed by a hint of leather, oak, and a honey roasted peanut note. While this is a very traditional Booker’s, in comparison to other releases I really think this one has more complexity and depth of flavor. There is just so much going on without the palate being too busy.

But, I do have to confess that my standard after dinner bourbon, given that Stagg Jr. is not regularly available anymore locally, is the Knob Creek Single Barrel 120 proof nine year old bourbon. Not store picks, just the standard stuff. It costs $40 LESS than Booker’s. The Booker’s releases are always interesting in that the flavors are unique, but as far as recommending a solid high proof after dinner bourbon for a non-collector’s bar, I would have to go with the Knob Creek Single Barrel. But if you want to nose and taste a truly complex bourbon, this Booker’s release fits the bill.

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