If you live in Tallahassee, or anywhere near Tallahassee, you should know about Market Square Liquors. This is the store that has the best bourbon selection in the Capital City. Indeed, I would argue that they have one of the best bourbon selections in the entire Big Bend area! Come on, look at this selection in the lounge:
Their wall of bourbon is always stocked and they have an amazing, knowledgeable staff that is always willing to make a recommendation or take the time to really discuss bourbon. If you can’t decide on something, walk over to the lounge next door and give it a try before you buy. You won’t be disappointed with their knowledgeable bartenders either. What also sets them apart from any other liquor store in Tallahassee is their dedication to bringing a truly unique bourbon selection to the Tallahassee area. Not only do they stock bourbons that other liquor store just don’t get, they also regularly visit distilleries to make custom barrel selections. I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of their selections from Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Old Forester, and Smooth Ambler, to name a few, and I have never been disappointed. Chances are, if you walk in and ask, you will find that Market Square has a custom barrel selection available!
Today, Market Square was offering a flight of their 2017 Buffalo Trace, 2018 Buffalo Trace, and 2018 Blanton’s barrel selection. For me this is a dream flight of bourbon, so obviously I was there as soon as I could slip out of the office.
This is an amazing flight!
Buffalo Trace Herd III
The gentlemen at Market Square selected this bourbon in September 2017. Per usual, this bourbon comes in at 90 proof (45% abv).
Appearance – light amber.
Nose – traditional vanilla, brown sugar, and oak.
Palate – this is a very soft, warm bourbon that leaves a decent coating in your mouth. There is a mild barrel spice up front that is balanced by a soft, cereal sweetness, light oak, and leather.
Finish – the finish is medium-long, warm, and smooth. There is just the right amount of burn with light barrel spice, caramel, and oak. The are also light notes of dark chocolate.
Overall – I have tasted the Herd III several times and it never gets old. You know this is a Buffalo Trace bourbon but there is enough here to really set it apart. The addition of the extra spice really stands out to me.
Buffalo Trace Herd IV
The gentlemen at Market Square selected this bourbon in April 2018. Per usual, this bourbon comes in at 90 proof (45% abv).
Appearance – light amber.
Nose – the nose of this bourbon is softer than Herd III. There are notes of sweet vanilla, caramel, and light oak. A little water brought out more oak and notes of toasted orange peel.
Palate – this is also a thicker bourbon that leaves a decent coating in your mouth. There are stronger notes of spice up front with some bitterness, mild sweetness of dark cherry, corn, and very mild floral notes. I added a little water and the spice was balanced nicely by the additional sweetness.
Finish – the finish is medium-long and smooth, with notes of vanilla, leather, and spice that lingers for just the right amount of time.
Overall – the Herd III and IV are both exceptional picks, but I think I preferred IV. It had that extra “bite” up front but it faded nicely and had a finish that I truly enjoyed. Yet another great pick from the good folks at Market Square Liquors!
Blanton’s Single Barrel
The gentlemen at Market Square selected this bourbon in July 2018. The juice came from barrel 54 and comes in at 93 proof (46.5% abv).
Appearance – golden amber.
Nose – per usual for Blanton’s, the nose is fresh and crisp. There are notes of vanilla and brown sugar, with additional notes of tobacco leaf and oak. Add a little water to bring out additional oak and butterscotch.
Palate – this bourbon is warm and mildly spicy on the palate. The spice is accented by some sweetness, reminiscent of dark cherry, with additional notes of vanilla and caramel. There is also a slight bitterness that really works for this bourbon.
Finish – this is a thick bourbon that leaves a nice coating in your mouth. The finish is long and smooth, with mild spice and notes of vanilla, brown sugar, and oak. The finish fades to a bitter dark chocolate.
Overall – I love Blanton’s. I always have and I always will. I think it is a classic bourbon deserving of a spot on the top shelf of my liquor cabinet. This Blanton’s single barrel selection is no exception. It has the classic Blanton’s flavor but I thought this pick had additional spice, oak, and floral notes that really made it stand out from my other bottles.
If you’re reading this, get to Market Square and try these barrel selections. You will not be disappointed!