Eagle Rare 17 year old, 45%

Price: $65 Issue: Summer 2008 Reviewer: John Hansell

Dry, spicy, and leathery on the nose, with candied fruit and toffee. Similar on the palate, but the dryness takes a more demonstrable role, especially toward the finish -- leather, dried vanilla, warming cinnamon, and brittle mint, with some candied fruit, toffee, and molasses struggling to prop it all up. Bottom line here: this year's offering has less of the richness, fullness, lush fruitiness, and sweetness that balanced all the dried spice and leather notes the past two years (I rated both a 94). Still a nice bourbon, but a slight setback for Eagle Rare 17 year old.