Its been a while since i journeyed over the pond for a little American liquid..
Bourbon has long been a liquid i have stayed away from after finding it far too sweet for my palate but as time has gone by then i have learnt to appreciate it. I might even go as far as saying i now hunt out the odd expression and certainly welcome trying more variations in order to broaden my understanding.
Ezra Brooks 99 is from all accounts a Bourbon made from a mashbill comprising of 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley. This is something that makes the bourbon sector rather interesting as so many variations of the mashbill can be used and still come under the Bourbon name, unlike single malt whisky which must be 100% malted barley.
The other interesting fact is just how many companies source stocks, this seems far more common and has caused plenty of confusion over the years.
This Ezra Brooks 99 was announced as an addition to the range in early 2021 and aimed to enter the 100% sector of Bourbon market, yes i know this falls slightly short of that mark but why else get so close if not to try compete?
It is unclear if this Bourbon is sourced but the fact the Lux Row Distillers built their distillery which came on line in 2018 that either makes this Bourbon young or it comes under the sourced Bourbon label… What is clear is that this Bourbon has been charcoal filtered… Hmmmm
The distillery is now the home to Rebel Bourbon, Ezra Brooks, David Nicholson, Daviess County and Blood Oath and produces 3 million us gallons of spirit each year.
Ezra Brooks 99
Distillery.. Lux Row
Abv.. 99 Proof ( 49.5% )
Cask.. American Virgin Oak
Nose.. The sweetness is noticeable first with vanilla, caramel and butterscotch hitting the senses before some barrel charring smoke rises on the back of some spice and a little chocolate. Peanut brittle hits eventually with a little caramel coated popcorn towards the end.
Palate.. The palate certainly offers more than the nose suggested. Some rye spiciness bursts into action before allowing the vanilla, caramel and toffee notes to bring that expected sweetness. There is a nice roasted coffee bean bitterness towards the end along with some soft herbal notes.
Finish.. Spices and burnt oak.
Thoughts.. There is part of me that want to say this feels a little lacking in depth, it just feels a little thin in parts.
Then you look at the price point and have to re evaluate the thought process. This has to be put down as a great way to explore the bourbon scene at what is a pocket friendly price ( $25 in us ) The flavours are certainly not offensive and for those who want to sit down and just enjoy a Bourbon for what it actually is then this shouldn’t be overlooked.
This sample was provided in order to review from Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire on behalf of Luw Row.