Un-Gnome Whiskey: A Mystery Blind Review #4
A new blind sample is in the glass tonight. @amongstthefernsco picked me another sample from the ever growing drawer of 2oz goodness; it now contains way too many things for me to have any idea what is in there. A blind guess would be a 1 in 60 chance. Let's see if my nose knows...
Bottle information will be posted after the glass reveal at the end. Scroll slow if you don't want spoilers!
Nose: Citrus caramel funk... This has got to be a high rye or a rye. Leaning towards high rye as the next note is a red berry layered onto fruity oak. Light pepper & allspice. Vanilla & some light cleaning agent aroma. Turning herbal now as everything starts to seep between the cracks into the base layer of a just-old-enough oak. I am thinking around 4 years on this... Maybe MGP. Post sip nose is much more peppery. This is such a recognizable smell, I'm ashamed I don't already know what it is. But if it is MGP, that could be a lot of labels and this guessing game just got a lot harder. Some meaty chocolate notes later in the glass. Definite returning back to that funky caramel. Near the bottom a strong vanilla forms which is nice. A savory smoked meat aroma that really reminds me of Tennessee (sorry Kentucky, I haven't been yet) is present near the bottom of the glass. Empty glass is pure cocoa powder and funky herbal spice.
Palate: Creamy lemon frosting & a caramel so gentle & delicate for a first sip. Along with some light shocks of spice, second sip elicits a rolling wave of younger cherry wood. Almost tastes like a 3-4 year MGP on the palate too with a lot of citrus and spice. An exuberant thin caramel that tries to cover up a faint mint. The mint is only identifiable after the caramel coating quickly passes and the light cooling feeling of air spearmint is felt on the inside of my cheek. Palate reminds me a lot of Smoke Wagon Small Batch. Good creaminess, but on the rise into the nose more of that mint can be found. It gained in intensity through here, but then I realized the pour was almost out. This drank fast and easy. Definitely feels lower in proof. Ohh, some interesting coffee bean creaminess shows up late. Kind of has a feeling similar to Nikka Coffey malt whisky. Pleasant, and certainly an easy drinker, I'm leaning towards something I actually don't think I've tried which makes this guess hard.
Guess: MGP... ~92 Proof... High West Double Rye??
Reveal: New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon - Bourbon Eye Bunker Group Pick
Welp, I can't know what I don't know! I've never actually had any New Riff offerings, so I definitely would not have tried to guess that. I think the confidence got me killed here. I'm really impressed with how well it drank below it's proof though. I really had this pegged at 90 and it actually comes in at 105.5°. I did have a high(er) rye mash bill well identified, for some pity points! I will also say my tasting notes follow the ones they list on their bottle well too. I am thankful to @bruns_bourbon, who swapped samples with me for some Barrell offerings recently and provided this one for review. This was a fun tasting!
Company on Label: New Riff
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 65% Corn, 30% Rye, 5% Barley
Age: 4 years
Further identification: Distilled 10.28.16, Bottled 12.23.20; Barrel number 16-2716; this is a pick for Bourbon Eye Bunker