Western Spirits most popular brand is Bird Dog, but they have gotten quite good at picking barrels from 1792 Barton Distillery and bottling them under the Calumet Farms and now Sam Houston brands. This particular bottling, batch LA-2, was especially for Louisiana from their seventh release, made from a batch of only three barrels. The stated mashbill matches up with 1792 Barton and the label states it was distilled and aged in Bardstown. The label all but states the distillery, so you have fifteen year old Sazerac produced bourbon. These barrels were filled in April of 2006 and were pulled at 15 years and 6 months. Sam Houston is bottled at 103 proof, which is a nice proof for long aged bourbon.
Color is a very deep amber with some reddish hue, reflecting its long aging. On the swirl is a big thick film and legs. Very nice. Very traditional bourbon nose highlighting vanilla, raw honey, and oak tannin. On the palate the vanilla is met with dark fruits including cherries, some pipe tobacco and leather notes, with a hint of baking spice in the background. On the finish, the baking spice mingles with oak tannin which lingers. Really nice mouthfeel.
This is a really delicious ultra aged high end bourbon. Yes, it meets the expectation of the $120 price tag. This is a little more limited in release than Calumet Farms 14 and 15 year old, so you probably won’t find this on the shelf; you will have to ask for it. But asking for it is definitely worthwhile.
However I remain stupefied that Sazerac is selling such great bourbon to a company in Bowling Green that is now partnering with Bardstown Bourbon Company for future distillations. Sazerac really should be bottling this whiskey and marketing it themselves. I am sure there are reasons for this, but they are certainly not apparent to me.