This is the Old Ezra 7-Year Barrel Strength Bourbon brought to us by the fine people over at Luxco, a long-time non-distiller producer. Luxco has a lot to be proud of (Blood Oath, Yellowstone, and Rebel Yell, just to name a few) and this bourbon is a welcomed-addition to their lineup of quality bourbon. Luxco is not currently selling its own distilled bourbon, although they will be very soon. If you’ve been on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in the past few years, you may have noticed their beautiful new distillery just outside of Bardstown, Kentucky.
Since Luxco is not selling its distilled product just yet, the juice in this bottle was sourced, allegedly from Heaven Hill. I am not 100% certain about the mashbill, but it is very clear that there is a fair amount of rye here. Some sources have reported that the mashbill consists of 78% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye, although that is not confirmed. The bourbon is aged for 7 years and is bottled without water at 117 proof (58.5% abv).
Appearance – dark orange amber. You can see that this is a barrel proof bourbon!
Nose – light alcohol comes through, along with typical notes of vanilla, caramel, and very light cinnamon. There is also heavy rye spice and charred oak.
Palate – this is a strong, bold bourbon. There is heavy spice up front along with some black pepper, and a slight burn from the high-alcohol content, although it is not overpowering. There is a mild sweetness that continues to develop along with notes of dark cherry, vanilla, and oak. A few drops of water really softens this bourbon and brings out more sweetness of dark cherry.
Finish – this is a fairly thick bourbon that leaves a nice mouthfeel and the finish is medium-long with plenty of flavor. The rye spice remains throughout the sip but it fades enough to allow more dark cherry, vanilla, and oak to come through. Towards the very end I also started to get notes of cinnamon apple.
Overall – this is an exceptional bourbon at an exceptional price. I struggled to think of any other age-statement, barrel proof bourbon that comes in around $40. This is a strong, bold bourbon but it is also very easy to drink. The flavors are subtle but they develop nicely over time, culminating in a very pleasant sip. There is just the right amount of complexity here, so be prepared to put in some work to enjoy all that this bourbon has to offer.
I have had a lot of difficulty finding this bottle in Tallahassee and in the Big Bend area of Florida in general, so if you are lucky enough to find a bottle be sure to pick it up. You will not be disappointed with this pour!