Well, I think its fair to say that Jon and I have been slacking just a little bit. We’ve missed, well, four months of monthly picks, but I assure you it is not because we haven’t been drinking whiskey. Quite the opposite, actually! But it just so happens that we found the motivation we needed to get back on track with our monthly picks with the arrival of three new single barrels selections at Market Square Liquors. Jon and I have spent plenty of time with each of these since picking the barrels, and while they are all delicious, we could only pick one each. Don’t sleep on these bottles…they will not be around long!
Luke’s Pick – Yellowstone “MSL Porch Pickin’ 2023”
For the second year in a row, the MSL Barrel Team traveled to Kentucky to pick numerous barrels, we spent a lot of time at the Limestone Branch Distillery, and once again we were blown away with the quality of the bourbon being produced by Stephen Beam. The experience at the distillery was exceptional, and this year we unanimously selected a 4 1/2-year-old barrel that was bottled at 119 proof.
The nose on this whiskey is warm and inviting, providing layers of caramel, vanilla, clove, leather, and soft oak. This whiskey is viscous and rich up front, providing aa rich profile of brown butter, dark cherry, stewed applies, and an intensifying peppery spice mid-palate. A light burn is present, but not nearly what you may expect for a 119 proof whiskey. The spice continues to linger on the finish as the whiskey cools slightly, leaving some notes of dark chocolate, dried citrus, and oak, which is slightly tannic.
I may be a little biased with this pick, but I cannot recommend it enough. Limestone Branch is producing some exceptional whiskey and I truly believe we were lucky to find this barrel in Kentucky. Get it while it lasts, folks!
Jon’s Pick – Russell’s Reserve “MSL Aruba Proof 2023”
If you’re looking to fill out your bourbons for the upcoming holidays, you simply must include Wild Turkey. The MSL Barrel Team enjoys a special relationship with the Russell family that has guided this iconic brand for generations. They returned from the Lawrenceburg warehouses with two deliciously unique barrels. The Russell’s Reserve 110 proof, 9+ yr old bottle is outstanding. It hits your palate with a pleasant brightness that dissolves as a classic creamy spicy caramel that Wild Turkey is famous for. It’s no wonder it was a unanimous choice of our team. Add this to your bar and please your most discriminating guests.
Don’t leave the Wild Turkey selections without replenishing your 101 bourbon and ryes. They are basic go-to’s you have to have.
You’ll be hearing from me again soon, but enjoy the holidays!