It's another Mass Bourbon Alliance pick coming at you hot! It's a blessing and a curse that this one took so long to make its way over to MA from CO that it arrived in close proximity to the NEBCo barrels. This is a brand and a pour that's been slept on for a while until some really good picks have started hitting shelves and groups last year. I think people are finally catching on to just how good this stuff is.
This single barrel select is Mass Bourbon Alliance's third release. Derek Laverriere and I tasted through 3 samples and easily settled on this sweets factory. My notebook from the tasting night was testament to the quality of this sample above the others. We collaborated with Liquor Junction as our retail partner for this pick and are always grateful for their continued support of our barrel dreams! Let me know what you think of the bottle sticker and if you recognize any of the Easter eggs...
Now, let's dive into the bottled product!
Company on Label: Old Elk
Whiskey Type: Wheated Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 51% Corn, 45% Wheat, 4% Malted Barley
Age: 6 years
Further identification: This is the 'Prohibition' barrel pick from Mass Bourbon Alliance in collaboration with Liquor Junction (@LJWhiskeyFamily) out of Reading, MA; the pick can be purchased here (no shipping)
Nose: The first thing that leaps out of the glass is a silky milk chocolate which smells delicious. It's creamy and sweet with cherry skin undertones. Bright vanilla greets me well. A yummy sweet tart aroma pops up early into the glass now. More chocolate shows itself but this time a bit more malt-forward while maintaining a confectionary sweetness. There's something like a bready waffle I really dig on the nose. There's also a nice vanilla forward linen note that flashes up in intense waves while a decent dusty oak shows off this whiskeys age. It smells like a vintage cabinet... and that reminds me of bygone traditions of actually making things by hand for some reason. There's a hint of smoke on the back end of deep inhales. After a brief lull back into sweet sugary vanilla, a big pepper note pops up in the center of the glass. The pre-sip nose finishes up with a splash of white lily florals. Caramel completes the overall aroma experience well. Time for a sip!
After a sip the nose opens up to hints of leather, chocolate-laced oak and creamy stone fruit. Later in the glass the nose opens up wonderfully to a big bouquet of floral tones that feel like sitting next to an open window on a cool Spring day.
Palate: My first sip starts with all candy sweets. The same sweet tarts from the nose transfers well. There's a tart pear, green apple and lovely caramel creaminess. Another sip builds in cherry hots, grape skins, plum pudding, and a soft banana bread. The palate is soft and easy to sip with smarties, lemon frosting, sweet plum, and apricot brandy tea. There's a long linger of smoldering cherry hots. Sipping further produces floral tones all while fruit builds strongly. I get a calm sugar cookie tone that doesn't quite say 'Irish whiskey' but certainly leans in that direction. As the glass weathers on there's more fruit that shows its slight tannic side - it reminds me of crushed grapes a bit. My last sip is very unique with how it presents the silky cherry flavors. The long, smoldering finish is satisfying and sweet! The real highlight of this pour is it's sweet cherry characteristic with a hint of orange peel on the back end; it presents like an old fashioned in all the right ways.
I am definitely a big fan of these wheated bourbons coming out of Old Elk these days... The highlight of this pour is really how easy it is to sip. Much like the Spirit Animal Society Old Elk bourbon single barrel pick, I'd call this one 'supremely crushable'. Savor this one neat or your bottle will disappear before you know it... Cheers MBA!