Food & Drink

Review: Kentucky Owl Bourbons – Confiscated and Takumi Edition

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Stoli retains meddling with its Kentucky Owl model — releasing each The Wiseman releases (for the lots) in addition to a rising variety of “Innovation Sequence” bottlings which nod solely to that sub-brand with a tagline studying, “The Clever Man’s Bourbon.”

At the moment we have a look at two releases from its restricted editions, Confiscated and Takumi Version, which we’ll element of their respective writeups beneath. Each are sourced from someplace in Kentucky and carry no formal age statements. Let’s dive in.

Kentucky Owl Confiscated Bourbon – This bottling dropped in 2019, so we’re late to the get together. There’s not loads of details about what’s inside, solely that it “pays tribute to the barrels seized from the Kentucky Owl distillery earlier than Prohibition.” What which means I couldn’t presumably inform you, besides that Kentucky Owl is aiming for a Prohibition-style bourbon — so be happy to interrupt out these dusties to check and distinction. Thriller or no, it’s strong stuff: Vivid and fruity on the nostril, it evokes mint and citrus peel, plus extra pure, anticipated cocoa powder and vanilla components. The palate is delicate and balanced — actually fairly mild. Extra mint up entrance, then chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, vanilla sauce. Numerous sauce — in one of the best ways. Right here and there: Notes of Maraska cherry, a pinch of spice. A touch of barrel char solely serves to stability issues out on the again finish, lending a lightweight contact of savoriness to an in any other case silky, cocoa-heavy end. I enormously loved this whiskey from begin to end — and need I’d tasted it again on launch in 2019. As for the Prohibition half, I’m fairly sure these hepcats didn’t have it practically this good. 96.4 proof. A / $135 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Kentucky Owl Takumi Version Bourbon – This whiskey is a collaboration between Grasp Blenders John Rhea of Kentucky Owl and Yusuke Yahisa from Nagahama Distillery in Japan. Nagahama is Japan’s smallest distillery; I’ve tried their best-known product, The Shin, precisely as soon as. Takumi (“grasp” in Japanese) is a four-grain mix of 4-, 5-, 6- and 13-year-old Kentucky straight bourbons blended by Yahisa to emulate a Japanese whisky fashion (shades of Legent). I hoped for a bit extra with this collab — a minimum of just a little Mizunara oak — however finally that is extra of a collaboration about mixing fashion, not product substance. First up, with all respect to Yahisa, this doesn’t actually style like several Japanese whisky I’ve had — which is to be anticipated, as a result of most Japanese whisky is malt-based, not corn-based like this. Takumi Version actually hits extra like a harder, burlier, cornier model of Confiscated — which is maybe unfair to make use of as a comparator — when what I used to be anticipating was one thing on the softer aspect. The nostril is heavy with char, plus a stunning punch of toasted grains that mood any fruit lingering within the combine. More and more corny however nonetheless a bit scorching because it develops in glass, one will get the impression that the proportion of whiskeys within the mix is closely weighted towards the 4s and 5s. The palate is ok, however innocent, evoking brown butter and a contact of spice, plus a ton of extra corn-heavy components. Like, very corny — corn truffles and caramel corn oddly combined collectively, neither of which I’ve ever encountered whereas in Japan. There’s a obscure, lingering barrel char factor within the combine right here, evident on a end that rapidly shifts again to extra raw-tasting base elements. I don’t need to say this launch is a misfire, as a result of it’s OK total, however I’ll say that Japanese whisky followers intrigued by the kanji on the label might be extraordinarily disillusioned with what they’re getting at this value degree. 100 proof. B / $140

Kentucky Owl Takumi Version Bourbon




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