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Review: Booker’s Bourbon “Kentucky Tea Batch” 2022-03

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Booker's Bourbon "Kentucky Tea Batch"

After “Ronnie’s Batch” and “The Lumberyard Batch” dropped earlier this 12 months, Booker’s Bourbon is again with 2022’s third expression: Kentucky Tea. As with all up to date Booker’s releases, this one is known as for an individual, place, or idea close to and expensive to the Noe household, eighth technology descendants of Jim Beam and Grasp Distillers at his namesake model.

However what precisely is “Kentucky Tea” imagined to be? It’s a little bit of an off-the-wall idea, even to a very long time bourbon drinker, so maybe it’s finest to cite the official press launch.

“This batch is known as after Booker Noe’s signature drink, which he fondly known as Kentucky Tea. As one might think about, Booker beloved the flavour of bourbon, particularly his namesake model, Booker’s Bourbon. For the reason that taste nonetheless pulls by when blended with water, Booker would add one half bourbon to 4 elements water and luxuriate in his Kentucky Tea with dinner.”

Some individuals like including a couple of drops of water to their cask energy whiskey. Apparently Booker often took it a couple of steps additional. Whilst a local Kentuckian, I need to admit “Kentucky Tea” is a novel idea to me. Maybe one thing to attempt for the vacations…

However let’s get again to the whiskey at hand. This 126.5 proof batch was aged 7 years, 4 months, and 14 days, making it each the very best proof and oldest batch to this point this 12 months. Many Booker’s followers may also be completely satisfied to see the age statements proceed to progress past seven years, as with 2022-02.

Let’s dive in.

Instantly on the nostril, I get some traditional Booker’s notes, a bit like “Ronnie’s Batch” from earlier this 12 months. The nostril carries complexity one may count on with a Booker’s aged over seven years: vanilla and caramel, with daring leather-based and campfire smokiness. Taking a second whiff brings brown sugar and that conventional nutty scent that’s so frequent with Beam distillate. Regardless of the title, I’m not getting a lot in the best way of tea right here.

Total, it doesn’t nostril as candy as “The Lumberyard Batch” (which nosed a bit off-profile to me, however not in a foul means), and this latest expression has a little bit of the vegetal element we typically see from Booker’s. (I in contrast this to stewed tomatoes for “Ronnie’s Batch,” although it’s extra subdued right here.) It’s fairly straight down the center, with its  scents in a stunning steadiness. No less than on the nostril, that steadiness provides “Kentucky Tea” a bit of extra depth and character than the 12 months’s first two expressions. Up to now, so good.

That is the very best proof batch of the 12 months, but it surely positive doesn’t really feel like that on first sip. Tasting blind, I wouldn’t have pegged this at 126.5 proof. That first style is thick with vanilla and bread pudding; there’s a attribute monkey bread word I’m selecting up in a giant means. The second sip provides off roasted nuts. Since I reside in New York Metropolis, I can’t assist however consider road carts the place solely the bravest vacationers purchase luggage of seasoned peanuts and cashews.

However then a shock: There’s ample fruitiness right here within the type of baked apples with cinnamon and raisins. The bourbon sits surprisingly gentle on the tongue for a Booker’s expression, so the mouth finally leans a bit extra fruity than syrupy/caramel on subsequent sips.

The end is the place an apple pie word actually ratchets up, and it’s lighter than I anticipated; it doesn’t linger fairly so long as different latest releases. There’s a barely bitter espresso word right here as properly, although that’s largely outweighed by the fruit. After some time, inexperienced apple peel is what’s left on the palate, together with a little bit of baking spice.

Total, it’s one other high quality launch from Beam. The fruitiness and inexperienced apple notes have been a pleasing shock, and that lends some welcome steadiness. The end is a contact shorter than earlier batches, which simply barely holds this again from elevating into superlative territory. The nostril is an enchancment, and the flavour profile is complicated and charming. It’s simply not large sufficient after the sip to be markedly higher 2022-01 and 2022-02, although I used to be initially hopeful it is perhaps.

Nonetheless, it is a fittingly pleasing pour, hitting on some traditional Booker’s notes whereas exploring a little bit of candy/bitter/fruity territory we haven’t seen in a pair years. The latest run of those releases is one thing to have fun, and so they’re a reliable providing that proves each various in taste and constant in high quality.

126.5 proof.

A- / $90 /

Booker’s Bourbon “Kentucky Tea Batch” 2022-03




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