Backbone Prime Blended Bourbon (batch 3), 52%

Price: $35 Issue: Winter 2016 Reviewer: Fred Minnick

Up front it is extremely off-putting, with overwhelming medicinal, musk, and anise notes, but herbs, candied fruit, and shrubs offer a semblance of hope. Finally, caramel and vanilla appear, though short, overtaken by raw sweet corn and oats. Grain doesn't go away; it almost masks specks of brown sugar and citrus before a short finish with an unrelenting bitterness.