After trying the Blue Run 13 Year Bourbon in a sample from @SaxyBourbon, I couldn't wait to get my hands on their next release. If you have never tried a Blue Run product before, I hope this review can help you decide if you want to pick one up!
Company on Label: Blue Run Spirits
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Age: 14 years
Further identification: On the neck of the bottle there are markings for batch (Summer), date (5/26/21), bottle (R-0525) and R-1100
Nose: Rich caramel and pepper punch forward on first smell. Wow, so much rye spice popping out of this; reminds me of one of my first high rye experiences. Reminds me a little bit of a good Booker's batch aroma. Super chocolatey and that lovely earthy funk, layered over well oiled leather. You can definitely tell this one is getting up there in age. I thought the 13 year was complex, this is powerful and potent. There are all the great oak barrel characteristics, without that saturation point where it actually turns into the wood. Crème brûlée vanilla, but airing on the side of something more bready. Buttery and dark, almost like a mincemeat pie. More of that high rising baking spice that dances on the nose. Post sip the nose really turns kind of meaty and spicy which is very interesting. It's similar to the experience many find later on in a Booker's Country Ham where things take on that salted, oily roast meat character. I know there have already been a lot of comparisons, but this just has so many fun layers to it it's hard not to draw parallels. With a bit of air blown over the glass and a swirl to elicit some new whiskey vapor under my nose I start to find more of a smooth vanilla and dry paper on the right nose. Left nose continues to be very caramel forward. Chocolate and cloves balance each other out very well. I almost get a beef jerky vibe to this. Some slight smokiness is forming late in the glass; as if you left something in the pan a little too long and it formed a light crust.
Palate: First sip is all a rich cherry mouth coating, melting into a cinnamon hot candy. Rich, syrupy wave of sweetness. That rich spiced cherry really reminds me of a great Weller Full Proof pick. The thick caramel and pepper also layer into another part of the mouth coating that is slightly drying. Oh, some new fruit are here to play now. I get a plum and some light apricot. A little more proof now than previous sips, this is definitely one that builds with you as you keep sipping. The sweetness lingers long. Almost none of the intense spice I found early on the nose is present on the palate, except for the pang of a spicy peppercorn on the tip of the tongue. The cherry and caramel feel like they fall over each other in waves on subsequent sips; lovely undulations that give fairly straightforward flavors a unique character. Intense but also fleeting - I feel like this is a butterfly you could chase for quite some time. The last sip of the glass feels so complete, and easily the longest linger of the pour. The front half of my mouth is tingling with flashes and pops of the last of that pepper laced caramel. Fading slowly ever farther away, but never quite gone; this feels like a great pour to enjoy as dusk turns to dark.
The nose on this was incredibly complex and fun. I have to appreciate the craftsmanship on this one; It stood up incredibly well as a first pour of the day. I am glad to have shared a few pours of this already with some friends. I'm afraid this one won't last long on my shelf now!