Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel (45 proof): This unblended bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery made its way into my possession recently. It has a bald eagle on the bottle and eagles are rare, so they can not be sent up for false advertising. Curiously, the text on the back of the bottle reads in excerpt, “… best served neat, or over ice.” Perhaps the makers are relying upon an interpretations of the word best that permits for multiple #1s but that aside, my best is neat so that is how I drank it. Before that, however, I must say that the stopper made a solid “thock” sound that was immediately satisfying. A fluid bronze-and-amber, the rare bird was a pretty thing caged in my glass, as it was. An aroma of sweets, spice, and a clean heat were apparent. Oak and rye and a certain candied orange aspect rounded out the full-but-not-muddied nose. I thought it a bit reserved, actually. Thick and lush, a pleasing mouthfeel kicked of the tour-de-palate. Spicy, crisp, dark, and surprisingly savory. Oak for sure, and a subtle-but-sturdy char. The sweet nose had definitely passed the baton to a dry palate that show-cased a darker, spicier muse. The flavors took their time exiting the palate, not really tailing off but lingering in the distance in a mildly numbing, pleasantly oily wake. And then I took another sip and the process repeated. And repeated. Enjoyable, particularly the spice, dryness, and thick mouthfeel. (And to think I was able to write all this and not attempt to slip in a single Steve Miller “Fly Like an Eagle” reference.) –Nate
Category Archives: American Whiskey Impressions
I am still fairly new to bourbon/whiskey and fumbling my way through it. I have figured out that I do like rye’s though. Old Potrero = yum. If you can get your hands on a bottle. However, for some time I have heard about the phenomenal flavor of the Black Maple Hill 23 from one friend and from another friend how he really wants to try it but just cannot locate a bottle of it. He had all but given up on ever finding a bottle. But as fortune would have it, I got word that K and L Wines had found a couple of bottles stashed away that a customer never picked up. Without hesitation I jumped on picking up a couple of bottles – one for each of the aforementioned friends. I finally was able to try some of this mythical whiskey last week.
Black Maple Hill is not an actual distillery – it is a product from Kentucky Bourbon Distiller’s, Ltd. which is more of a bottler than anything. They purchase whiskey from other distillers, usually Heaven Hill.
Single Barrel Rye Aged for 23 years
Color: Dark amber – orange
Nose: Tobacco leaves, orange peels, strong dark spices.
Palate: Surprisingly smooth entry but then the spiciness of the rye comes marching through, malty on the back end, a little dry and bitter, oak, the dark spices start to come through and some molasses?
Finish: long and spicy.
Comments: There was definitely a lot more going on in this whiskey – I just wasn’t able to associate things I picked up with any one particular thing. Quite frustrating! I was expecting it to be a lot bolder and was really surprised at how smooth it was. Not to say that it is boring in anyway! A great whiskey and one that is pushing me to try even more.
Nose: Sweet, brown sugar, leather, orange zest
Palate: Middle tongue weight, sweet, surprisingly malty, alcohol is tame, orange.
Nice easy drinking bourbon. Nothing spectacular but nothing bad