This sample came to me in a swap with @barrelproofnerd, who has also provided the picture of the bottle for this review. Thanks Ian! Have you seen these Old Carter releases around you? I don't have access to them, but have been interested in trying more of these as I had a small tasting of a batch 6 American release that really impressed me in passing. This will be my only Old Carter available review unless I can secure some more samples... But, no better time like to present to get into more samples from great folks; onto this Old Carter review!
Company on Label: Old Carter Whiskey Co
Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed - a Kentucky bourbon mash bill that went into used barrels
Further identification: Batch 1 (8 barrel blend), Bottle 1183 of 1854; Bottled in Bardstown, KY; release October 2020
Nose: Hmm, nice corn sweetness start to this, with some malty caramel following close behind. Zesty clove and anise with a bit of mellow citrus temperament. This pour makes my nose twitch around the glass, trying to find the real big tones to this, but everything is coming off quite light and in little swirling spurts. Now the heft of 117.5 proof is starting to show: maple, dusty oak and a faint bread aroma are beginning to build. Slightly nutty now with touches of salted pistachios. Wow, now for something completely different... Cherry is hidden behind some kind of smokescreen/fogginess. Green foliage you might find in a marsh or wetland area - it's coming off like reeds I smell sitting in a duck blind next to a river. Time for a sip. Post sip things stay surprisingly mellow with caramel and a light, sweet oak being the mainstay aromas. Earthy tones enter now with more cloves and allspice. The overall feel of this pour is very pungent and earthy for sure. The empty glass smells of molasses.
Palate: Definitely a lot of the citrus and clove from the early nose is present; it punches across my tongue in quick darts, but leaves behind thick maple and brown sugar - more malty than sweet. So incredibly punchy on the palate, I almost want to say this is on the younger side of things, maybe right around 4 years. It's not grainy young per-se, but the oak characteristic on the palate is what makes me believe that. Lemon cake presents now, still carrying a lot of ethanol heat. Vanilla now on a larger chew, a bit of buttery bread, and the main driver of the palate of this pour: more dark earthy herbals with new-growth citrus undertones. The last sip feels like I have my tongue pressed up against a piece of freshly split oak - drying, but with a long linger of molasses.
I really wanted to like this release, but it just doesn't do it for me. I may have had a bit of high expectations coming off of that small pour I mentioned I recently had of the American Whiskey Batch 6, but completely in a vacuum I would not be reaching for a bottle of this.