Examine Unique Expressions of Pioneering Whiskies
Some of the world’s best whiskies have been made the exact same way for decades, with their own unique character, and there seemed no reason to change them. Increasingly, however, the modern aficionado is looking to taste new and unique expressions. So, while everyone still loves, say, Old Overholt, many have wondered for years what it might taste like at a slightly higher proof: enter Old Overholt Bonded Rye. Or what about Basil Hayden’s bourbon? Delicious in its original form, upping the aging time to 10 years gives it more big oak aroma. Maker’s Mark went over 50 years selling only one product until introducing Maker’s Mark 46 in 2010, a whisky that re-created and re-defined a classic, while still remaining inherently “Maker’s.” A tasting of these five standouts will help you develop an appreciation for all the category has to offer.
Maker’s Mark® 46 Bourbon
The flagship Maker’s Mark kicked up a notch, this is finished with bespoke seared French oak staves (a unique innovation by the brand). During an additional 9 weeks of aging in a limestone cellar, the staves impart baking spice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, as well as some herbal and dried fruit qualities.
Basil Hayden’s® 10 Year Old Bourbon
The result of the extra aging is a distinct whiskey with a big oak aroma that leads into a more balanced palate of caramel sweetness and rye spice, with just a hint of smoke, vanilla, and char. Perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks.
Knob Creek® 12 Year Old Bourbon
Longer maturation means more Kentucky summers, creating a dark and deep amber whiskey. The taste is surprisingly sweet and nutty, with a deep, full vanilla richness. This is meant for long, enjoyable sipping.
Old Overholt® Bonded Rye
A recent extension to the famed Old Overholt line, this higher-proof rye offers a harmonious blend of char, spice, and fresh oak, leading into a fruity, lingering finish.
Old Tub ® Bourbon
Before Jim Beam bourbon, the Beam family made Old Tub. This unfiltered, bonded bourbon is oaky and grainy on the nose, though the palate leads to warming caramel. The full-bodied finish leaves a lingering warmth. Once primarily available at the distillery gift shop, it will become nationally available later this year.