I've had one other really amazing experience with this bottle prior to today. This bottle completely held it's own and even stood out amongst giants during the last "Bourbon Night" that @ra1nmannn hosted. After reading this was Tennessee sourced on the bottle for the first time I was quite surprised that I was not repulsed the time that I tried it. I know I am not personally a fan of that vitamin flavor some Dickel releases can bring, but this one certainly didn't have that the first time I tried it. I'm hoping I continue to be impressed by this bottle, but I'll be going in with no expectations to todays tasting. Let's see what The Prisoner is all about!
Company on Label: Bardstown Bourbon (distilled in TN)
Whiskey Type: Finished Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 84% Corn, 8% Rye, and 8% Malted Barley
Age: 10 years (plus 18 months of finishing!)
Further identification: Release 2; The Prisoner is a collaborative series release that partnered with The Prisoner Wine Co; it spent 18 months in The Prisoner's red wine French oak barrels
Nose: Yum, on first blush a rich sweetness floats up alongside a rich butterscotch. Toasted oak and cereal are next to reach my nose. There's a lovely honey sweetness that comes across alongside some Spring florals. There's a lot of soft red fruit coming off the glass almost lazily. I find traces of raisin, black cherry, and fig. This glass is incredibly soft on the nose early on; it feels like I'm being taunted into going for a sip with this. Oh, I'll bite.
Yup, this evolved gracefully into a sweets factory with a crème brûlée crust. Candied cherry, dusty oak and the ever prevalent vanilla tone that rocks the senses. Wow, some funky brown sugar and molasses has built well in the glass over time after coming back to it after a long rest. There's a lovely lightness like flaxseed oil, or maybe some paper, here too. The empty glass smells of wonderful honey sweetness, milk chocolate and vanilla pudding.
Palate: My first sip starts delicate and then a rush of plum and blackberry come rushing over my tongue. The immediate flavor that follows is an incredible vanilla that really coats the mouth well. It rings sweet and true for a long time in a rich and creamy profile like Madagascar vanilla. A funky molasses now jumps into the glass with plenty of baking spices as well. The whole experience feels like a big tidal wave at first that crashes in but never recedes. The linger is impeccably long and never seems to change in intensity or depth of flavor. The chocolate and vanilla just seem to hang on until you completely lose track of time. There is a slight tingle as a sweet strawberry pop rocks feel hits the tongue. This definitely isn't as sweet as I remember it being, but I'm also on a fresh palate and not on my 6th pour of the day. I also am not following this up after a pour of Pappy 23 like I did the last time! This was leagues better than the Pappy 23, for the record. This does everything it should for a wine finished bourbon and does so incredibly well for how long of a finish was used. My last sip is finally bringing all the sweets with cherry, raisin and red grape varietals. The linger continues to impress with honey, blackcurrant, and a light & easy cinnamon.
Perhaps I let my expectations get the best of me here, but I definitely wasn't as amazed by this pour as the last time I tried it. I still thoroughly enjoyed it & will continue to share and enjoy the rest of the bottle I have. I've been hearing about all the new releases that Bardstown is coming out with so I think I will spend some time exploring those new releases before chasing down another bottle of this. Cheers to great experiments!