Well folks, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so now we can look forward to six more weeks of winter! That may not matter to us down here in Florida (usually), but lets take this as a sign that we all will need a little more whiskey in our lives to get us through the idea of an extended winter. With that in mind, check our our newest picks for the month of February!
Luke’s Pick – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (2022 MSL Pick)
Last year, the MSL Barrel Team had an opportunity to taste through a selection of one of our favorite releases from Heaven Hill, and there was a consensus among the team regarding one particular barrel. Last month, the barrel finally arrived in Tallahassee and we now have access to this delicious 8-year-old, 130.1 proof (65.05% abv) whiskey, aptly named “Big Boy Pour.”
Despite the high proof, the ethanol is actually quite tame, and the nose opens up to plenty of dark cherry, cocoa powder, caramel, and oak. On the palate, there is a pleasant viscosity and dark cherry licorice jumps out along with some dark chocolate, but there is a sudden punch of spice mid-palate with some heat from the high proof. You really know this is a big boy pour! The spice lingers on the finish with an emphasis on cinnamon, along with more dark cherry, chocolate, a slightly musty oak, and a slight astringency.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is one of my favorite releases and I continued to be impressed with the single barrel offerings Heaven Hill is making available. These barrels may be a little younger than what we are used to for this brand, but they still pack tons of flavor at that high proof point that always catches my eye. This particular release is flying off the shelf at MSL, so make sure you get there quick to grab yourself a bottle or two!
Jon’s Pick – Michter’s Mysterious Duo (American Whiskey & Sour Mash)
I’m going to recommend either, or both, of these two bottles as they will bring joy to those who are looking for an easy sipper that’s not going to curl the hair on the back of your neck. In a sit down many years ago with then Master Distiller, Willie Pratt, his eyes lit up when it came to these two. He reveled in the fact that, not being labeled bourbon or rye, he had no constraints when it came to grains and percentages. He made the whiskey he wanted to make and there is no question that he knew how to make it tasty.
There are similarities between the two. For starters, they’re sweet and tasty. Each is less than 90 proof. Each offers that signature butterscotch/caramel goodness with a bright fruitiness. I think the Sour Mash offers a bit more rye while the American Whiskey seems a mellow blend of softer grains.
Honestly, I think each deserves a place on your bar. It’s the perfect pour for those who are not looking for a blow torch, high octane experience. Try them side-by-side and enjoy the cruise!
As always, give these bottles a try and then come find us on the porch! Cheers y’all!