The classic Old Kirk... Rumored to be Willett barrels. I've always loved this bottle shape and topper style. I previously reviewed a sample of Old Kirk that did not stand up against my current favorite possible incognito: Hirsch. I'm looking forward to trying another here and giving this one a fair shake in a standalone review as that Hirsch pick is a really high bar to get to when you put them side by side.
Company on Label: Hotaling & Co
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 72% Corn, 13% Rye and 15% Barley
Age: 6 years (6 months)
Further identification: This is single barrel number 8196; bottle 130 of 236
Nose: Lovely candied cherry wafts off the glass. Faint nutmeg and level oak jump out first at me on what is a surprisingly light and airy nose. Bright white pepper and leather tingle my left nostril while orange rind and grapefruit dance on the right. Overall this glass feels incredibly oak forward for a 6 year bourbon. I'm going in for an early sip.
Yum, a lovely barrel funk got unlocked by the sip. It's delectable, creamy oak now with toffee, butterscotch and deep caramel. Strawberry vanilla smoothie sweetness builds well. There's a bright balance between floral and spice. Cinnamon coffee cake smells lovely. Molasses hangs heavy in the dank, moist air atop the glass. When the silky vanilla notes seep into the other aromas is when this glass really shines. Fresh fruits bubble up best near the bottom of the glass. The empty glass smells of soft German bread.
Palate: Whew! Those cherry hots certainly make themselves known right away. It reminds me of the Barrell bourbon "Kappy Endings" pick I reviewed. A larger sip and swish produces huge waves of marjoram, nutmeg and parsley. The overall mouth feel is thick and the flavor is a funky wave of oak, spice and thick molasses. Plum, blackcurrant and fig come across heavy and tart. The finish is long and smoldering with a slightly drying cherry skin and tart grape jam. My last sip is sweet with blackberry cobbler, raisin, sawdust, and cranberry bread flavors all throughout.
This one is solid. Overall I am still not completely enamoured with the Old Kirk releases so far. I think the Hirsch picks are leagues better from my limited experiences with both. Let me know if you've had one that has sounded better than this - I'd love to try it! Definitely solid whiskey that certainly has a Willett profile.