The Bourbon Society of Baton Rouge reached out to me to do an advance review of their “Screw Cancer” Sugarfield Spirits Barrel Select Pick, which is a bottling of MGP 5 year old rye finished in both used Napa Valley Port Casks and used rum casks. It is bottled at cask strength at a healthy 107 proof. While pricey at $268.50, $100 of the purchase price goes to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Mississippi & Louisiana. It comes in a cool collectors box that was sourced locally. If you click the link to order a bottle, you will also realize this is not the regular BSoBR website, but the website for the new Louisiana Bourbon Festival to be held in Baton Rouge this October 9, 2021.
The “Screw Cancer” bottling can be purchased online and picked up at Sugarfield Spirits starting this Friday night, May 14, 2021 during BSoBR’s Screw Cancer party at 7 pm. Oh, and you get five raffle tickets for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Ultimate Whiskey Raffle that will be held virtually on May 26th, which will include over 20 bottles including George T. Stagg, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Van Winkle Family Reserve Lot B, and others.
I am honored to be able to do this pre-release review, not just because I get to review a great whiskey and support my friends at Sugarfield Spirits, but because my beautiful wife Catherine is a lymphoma survivor and the true honor is I get to play a small part in promoting this great fundraiser benefiting a worthy cause.
They also sent me a sample of another 5 year old MGP rye that BSoBR will have bottled later on, that is the same whiskey in Screw Cancer, but unfinished, for comparison.
The Sugarfield Rye BSoBR Pick: On the swirl, nice thick legs and good film. I am told this is 109 proof. On the nose is nice herbal rye, caramel, light vanilla. On the palate, this has a wonderful mouthfeel, with notes of spice cake and coffee cake, cinnamon, honeyed herbal tea, and notes of citrus (lemon tart comes to mind). Really long amazing finish where the honeyed herbal tea and lemon tart just linger. A really complex delightful whiskey.
The Sugarfield Rye BSoBR “Screw Cancer” Pick: The swirl has the same nice thick legs and film. Color is slightly darker. On the nose is herbal rye, caramel, raw mayhaw berry, and burnt sugar/creme brulee. On the palate, creme brulee but really torched well so there is not just the crust but the underlying creme is warm, jammy mayhaw berries, vanilla bean, unrefined honey, peach cobbler, wonderful cinnamon notes. The finish is fruity and spicy at the same time and really lingers.
Final thoughts on the “Screw Cancer” Pick: The Saltau brothers aren’t just showing off here. They are spiking the ball. The barrel finishes they have put on this five year old MGP rye frankly put it on the level of the Old Carter American Whiskey I tried recently. The mayhaw berry notes are very unique and scream Louisiana to me.
As a value proposition, given that you get a $100 charitable donation you can arguably deduct on your taxes, is this a $149 bottle of whiskey? Yes, given that the flavor profile. Definitely top drawer whiskey.