Tasting Notes: Peerless Single Barrel Bourbon Selection for the New Orleans Bourbon Festival

So, this Tasting Note ought to be a full blog post since Peerless is new to me; I have seen and read about it on the internet, but this is my first bottle and I was able to get it at Hokus solely because it is a New Orleans Bourbon Festival release. Given that the NOBF releases will be going quickly I decided to forego the research and get this tasting out there. This is an eighty dollar bottle of four year old bourbon; without the NOBF seal of approval I very well might not have bought a bottle without a taste first. This is a sweet mash bourbon like Wilderness Trail, which means they use not leftover mash from the previous batch for consistency. This is 108.1 barrel proof with a standard corn rye barley mashbill.

Color is a nice amber; darker than you would expect for this young of a bourbon. Thin film and thing legs. On the nose, there is a big rye spice and herbal note, along with traditional bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla. On the palate, I find vanilla, red hots, and lots of herbal rye and rye spiciness. One of the guys at Hokus described this bourbon as having a Mariachi band in your mouth, and he is not far off. Nice medium mouthfeel. On the finish, the vanilla fades out and the red hots and rye spice dominate, until the only thing left is red hots and bitters, some of which is a little craft bitterness.

I have mixed feelings about this bourbon. It’s good, but the red hots are a tad overdone. At the $80 price point, I am glad I bought this adventurous bottle, but I am not sure I would buy bottle after bottle of this. It is very interesting, and it is very uncommon to have a bourbon be so heavy on cinnamon and rye at the same time. The cinnamon notes I usually find on wheated bourbons are present big time in Peerless, and almost too much at that, but along with heavy rye.

Peerless is a very different bourbon, and it’s good. It’s probably someone’s favorite bourbon. But, I have to confess, it isn’t mine. However, this is a nice bourbon to be a part of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival releases, and I am glad I bought a bottle to try.

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