Old Soul High Rye Single Barrel Bourbon Review



Old Soul... Meet old floors. I don't know if I've ever found a more relatable label than Old Soul. I've always been assumed to be older than I am... So this handsome label came my way, and I saw it was MGP liquid, sourced from one of my most trusted palates... Here we are!


I had previously tried one of Old Soul's recent blends in brief passing where I was impressed by a nice banana note. It definitely inspired me to pick up this single barrel offering. The Mississippi aging has me intrigued on duration. I wish the bottle gave me more information.


Let's taste this "High Rye" (it's not that high?!) straight bourbon whiskey.


 

Company on Label: Cathead Distillery

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Proof: 109°

Age: NAS, but assumed 4-5 years old by the barrel number, if the "16" in the barrel number represents a barrel entry date

Further identification: This is "aged and bottled by" Cathead Distillery and was distilled in Indiana; it is a 2021 Private Selection for Kappy's Fine Wine & Spirits (@1940BarrelSociety) from barrel number 16B29-1. It went into the barrel at 120 proof.


 

I don't often comment on appearance, but the color of this is impressively rich & dark

Nose: Confectionery sugar and caramel forward. A hint of sweet banana candy. Dusty, sharp vanilla is both potent and inviting. Stewed plums are brewing in the depths as a hint of cherry teases what's to come. Sweet charcoal layers into more of that potent, sugary caramel. The oak and vanilla aromas remind me of a toasted barrel aged product. Dusty newspaper aromas are showing up as this evolves slightly. Now the more floral aromas are beginning to take over which are still incredibly light; 21% isn't crazy high, so don't be fooled by the "High Rye" label. This one stays very mellow and sweet on the early nose. Post-sip a mellow lemon frosting has entered the ring which is a nice addition. Ooh now the herbals are here late in the glass. I get a faint hibiscus, pine, thin molasses and a funky walnut/cacao combination. Still altogether very sweet and creamy forward on the nose. Just a touch of ethanol can be dug up when nosing this heavily, but that doesn't transfer to the palate whatsoever. At times there's something a bit musty to this; it's like a mixture of black cardamom without the citrus, rust and gone-by almonds. There's some kind of cleaner note that I think provides some astringency. Some light, freshly ground espresso is peeking out late in the glass. Now leather and a touch of butterscotch has evolved on the last sip left in my glencairn. Empty glass smells of creamy vanilla & caramel.


Palate: First sip is a gentle introduction of caramel that pops into a cinnamon covered plum. Dark fruit coat my entire mouth after this small sip. The blackberry and apricot are now the highlights where plum and cherry once sat on the nose. A fun one to swish and chew on, there is absolutely no bite to this at 109 proof, yet it still carries plenty of flavor. The candied banana note is also here on the palate, but it is not your typical Brown-Forman banana; it's light, nuanced, and very unique to me given this mash is from MGP. A long chew elicits pepper, allspice and something adjacent to leather. This pour does start to get spicier as things go on, now with a medley of flavors that reminds me somewhat of Swedish Glögg. The finish on this is medium in length, and has actually shortened since the beginning of the pour somewhat. It carries syrupy plum, oak, black peppercorn, and some nice herbals that are a fun departure from the dill base one might expect out of this.


 

Rating: 3/5


Really solid evolution to this pour. My only complaint (if it even is one) is that it evolved backwards to my preference. I would have loved those darker flavors first, where the sweeter fruits peek out later in the glass. All-in-all a great change of pace from some other things I've been sipping!

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