Company on Label: Old Forester
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 70% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Barley
Further identification: Warehouse K, Floor 6, Barrel 6618. This is a collaboration pick that Mass Bourbon Alliance was invited to taste alongside the Liquor Junction team. I was joined by Derek Laverriere and Justin Fillip for this pick; it will be releasing at all the LJ stores in the coming months under the name of "LJ/MBA Strawberry Krunch" through the punch program
Nose: Bubbly, bright, and fruit forward on first raising the glass to my nose. Definitely some heat as I went in a bit too overconfident. Lovely brown sugar, molasses and walnut. Roasted pecans. A decently large oak note comes through with a floral sweet back end. Wow... The creamy vanilla and toffee is suddenly quite potent and lovely. Really great nose-feel. This reminds me of everything that got me hooked on bourbon in the first place. Deeper inhales show off pepper, baking spice and a darker earthiness that feels so rich. Strands of oily leather are ever present. Time for a sip.
Coming back to the nose, the strawberry fruit is very apparent. There's more floral tones and a rich honey note jumps out at me. The leather, oak and bright Spring bloom notes are really hitting the spot for me on this 80 degree New England day. Later in the glass you can be a little more brash with the depth of your nosing as I find lemon peel, shortbread cookie, and Nilla wafers. The empty glass smells of butter cream, pear and light florals.
Palate: Whew! First sip of the day and it is a good one! Cherry and cinnamon hots lead the way on my first sip. The sizzle on the palate is not overpowering and it quickly evolves into a silky strawberry sweetness. There's a rice or cornflake cereal background note that ties this together nicely. I am reminded of why we landed on the name 'Strawberry Krunch' on this one almost immediately. Another sip shows off the honey sweetness as well as a supremely crushable, floral-laced caramel cream. The mouth feel is buttery with a touch of tart lemon effervescence that sticks in the gums. Nearing the bottom of the glass I swear this could be finished in a honey barrel; it's so sweet and enjoyable. Touches of grenadine, faint Aperol and fig really take the glass full circle if you are patient. My last sip is a larger sip and swish. It brings a potent lemon frosting forward while producing a slightly drying molasses pop on the center of my tongue. The linger is medium in length and carries lovely creamy vanilla notes all throughout.
Rating: Two Thumbs Way Up
I really didn't expect to like this as much as I did, as I haven't historically been a big Old Forester fan. It very well may become one of my favorites once the bottles come in, but I have to leave it at today's assessment. Yes, I had a hand in selecting it... but I'm giving this one a fair shake today. This is a re-review of the liquid several days after we selected the barrel already. I truly believe this is a special barrel that not many will get to experience. I am definitely going to want a few of these for myself, but I'm also glad to share it with all of you in the MA whiskey community. Cheers!