Well, its a new year and we are already nearly two weeks behind with our first monthly pick! Lets hope this is not an indication of how this year is going to progress! We may be a little late, but Jon and I have some great recommendations to help you get through the winter doldrums. Make sure you stop by Market Square Liquors to check these out…
Luke’s Pick – Ezra Brooks Cask Strength Single Barrel (MSL Barrel Team)
In mid-May last year, members of the MSL Barrel Team had an opportunity to fly up to Kentucky for a few barrel pick opportunities, and we were particularly excited to spend a day with the fine folks at Lux Row Distillers. During our visit, we tasted a lot of great whiskey, but we were all enamored with one particular barrel that we just could not leave behind. It took a little longer than expected to make the trip down to Tallahassee, but in December MSL finally received its Ezra Brooks Cask Strength Single Barrel!
From nose to finish, this is a big, bold whiskey. The nose is full of rich vanilla, burnt caramel, intensifying spice, and a dark oak presence. Some sweetness carries over from the palate, but the rye spice really picks up and delivers a powerful punch of spice and proof, along with some dark fruit notes and cereal grain. The spice and grain notes linger on the finish and a more prominent oak note takes center stage. The finish is long and provides a slight astringency that entices you to reach for your glass to keep the experience going!
I continue to be impressed with the whiskey coming from Lux Row, particularly at the 4-6 year range. These releases also come in at a very favorable price point, so you don’t need to feel guilty walking out with a bottle or two. I encourage you to try this whiskey neat, and then come in with a few drops of water or a big cube. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the experience!
Jon’s Pick – Maker’s Mark 101
Maker’s Mark is the iconic wheated bourbon. It’s been around forever at 90 proof and collectors have squirreled away special editions where only the label (or wax) may have changed. Of late, they have been releasing a few with tweaks to the proof and aging we are all used to. Thank you Maker’s Mark!
The newly released Maker’s 101 proof is a home run. It greets you on the nose with all of the soft, wheater bourbon notes with the rich baritone cello notes of Yo-Yo Ma vs. a concert flautist. The proof makes way for a cacophony of vanillas, rich dates, a bit of citrus, and rich caramel crème. The taste is bold and it delivers everything the nose promised. Neat, and yes with a Luxardo Cherry, it’s a long, pleasing sipper. The added proof is well worth the few extra bucks.
This may well be my favorite wheater. Stock up, folks!
You know the routine. Grab these bottles, enjoy a pour, and come have a chat with us on the porch! Cheers y’all!