When I mentioned I had acquired a 17, a 16, and a 15 year old bourbon in the same time frame while reviewing Wild Turkey 17 year old, I was slightly incorrect. Resilient, a Bourbon bottled by BC Merchants in Pembroke, KY with offices in Chicago, has offerings that are 15 and 14 years old, but no 16 year olds. I erroneously thought my bottle was 16 years old when I was writing the Wild Turkey review, when in fact it is 15 and a half years old. BC offers three lines, Tennessee Bourbon (from Dickel/Cascade Hollow), Indiana Bourbon (MGP), and Rye (MGP). My particular bottle is Tennessee Bourbon, single barrel, barrel proof at 119.4 proof.
I do have to say I appreciate the disclosure of information on this bourbon – the mashbill, the char of the barrel, the date the barrel was filled and the date of the bottling.
This is the 96th bottle of 110, and the website catalogues each bottling, which is pretty cool.
As bourbon demand has skyrocketed, it is next to impossible to source long aged bourbon from Kentucky distilleries, which once was plentiful. Many bourbons have lost their age statements, some temporarily others permanently. First, many non-distiller producers looked to MGP in Indiana for older bourbon, like Smooth Ambler Old Scout. But, now, even those stocks have been exhausted. So now, many NDP’s are looking to a distillery that apparently has a good supply of older bourbon, that being Diageo’s Cascade Hollow distillery, where they make Dickel Tennessee whiskey. Barrell has released many Cascade Hollow older bourbons nationwide, on its own and in connection with store picks. Resilient is also releasing this whiskey in very individualized releases. This bottle is barrel strength and non-chill filtered.
Cascade Hollow uses an extremely low rye high corn mashbill. At higher ages, this bourbon really becomes very mellow and flavorful and loses the funkiness you find on regular Dickel. I attribute the lack of funkiness to not only the age but the non-chill filtering. The main reason distillers chill filter their whiskey is so that it won’t become hazy or cloudy when you add ice. However, chill filtering changes the flavor of the whiskey, and typically not for the better.
The color on this is a very deep amber with some mahogany, reflecting its age. On the swirl is a very oily film with think legs. On the nose is heavy vanilla bean, some floral and fruity notes, green apple mostly, and caramel. On the palate, the vanilla and apple notes come to the fore, along with cherry cordial, followed by caramel, milk chocolate, cinnamon and oak. Dynamite flavors. Mouthfeel is luscious – medium full bodied. Cinnamon and cherry cordial dominate the long finish.
This is an extremely barrel assertive bourbon, almost devoid of any rye influences, but lacking the softness of a long aged wheat recipe bourbon. But aside from that criticism, this is a wonderful bourbon and a welcome addition to my bar given how difficult it is to find older bourbons at cask strength, much less with these wonderful flavors. It is a fine example of what time in a barrel can do for a whiskey, and in tasting it, it reminds me of what flavors the barrel adds to bourbon versus the mashbill. I am definitely going to bug Hokus about sourcing a barrel of this wonderful bourbon, particularly since it is a little older than most Barrell single barrel releases, and the flavors at least on this particular barrel are right on.