Look at this thing! Another awesome bottle from the legendary Eric @ra1nmannn collection. I was given a 2oz sample of this in the big 'Bourbon Night' party sample swap. I will be reviewing it here for my own enjoyment, but I also had a glass of it while visiting his bar which was a really nice experience.
Company on Label: Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD/Willett)
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Further identification: This bourbon was curated by Julian Van Winkle for KBD in the early 2000s for the Japan market which was enjoying much more of the older bourbon market than the US was at the time; the back of the label for this is all listed in Japanese. This was released in incredibly low numbers in 2016.
Nose: I could smell some of the aromas of this glass from across my desk; they were sweet and inviting as I prepped this review. First nosing is rich caramel forward. Layers of toffee and vanilla build a base for pepper and light green herbal notes to shine. Creamy notes part after a short while and a copper metallic undertone can be found waiting below. Most of the aromas part away and leave a dusty old oak aroma in the glass. A nice introduction that appears to be over - it's time for a sip. After a sip the glass is rejuvenated with slightly nutty aromas and a warm horse-barn hay. Honeysuckle and both a sharp and a smooth textured vanilla notes are nice layers here. The vanilla notes just keep evolving on this. They get better and better if you can let it breath and sit with it a while. This one is silky smooth on the nose. Light florals are hiding deep in the back, but can be dug up with deep inhales. The empty glass smells of copper, molasses, pine boards, and slightly minty caramel.
Palate: Citrus forward with a sour blood orange appearing most prominently. This is followed by rich dark tannins and then a surprising 'sneaker wave' of dark plum. This has some really funky characteristics to it. Now that the glass has opened up some it is much lighter. It has returned to a very citrus forward profile, but now with a lighter orange peel zest. This drinks a little hotter than the proof, but that's fine by me given the 90 proof statement google helped me translate. A tiny bit of dark bread. Very light and enjoyable pour. Chewing on the last sip is still deliciously light with caramel and citrus still being the dominating flavors. The finish is short but it stays in the mouth and doesn't really give you any of the chest hug of higher proof pours.