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Abraham Bowman Oak Collection French Oak Is the Yr’s Finest Whiskey So Far

Abraham Bowman Oak Collection French Oak Is the Yr’s Finest Whiskey So Far

The crown jewel within the Sazerac empire is clearly Buffalo Hint, the Kentucky distillery the place whiskey manufacturers like Pappy Van Winkle, the Vintage Assortment, Eagle Uncommon, and E.H. Taylor are produced. However journey east to Virginia and also you’ll discover the corporate’s A. Smith Bowman distillery, the oldest operation within the Previous Dominion state that can also be quietly producing some glorious whiskey. I wasn’t positive what to anticipate from the brand new Abraham Bowman Oak Collection launch, however I’ll be damned if it isn’t the perfect whiskey I’ve tasted within the first half of 2024.

Not less than a number of the whiskey produced at A. Smith Bowman is initially distilled in Kentucky at Buffalo Hint (or one other Sazerac distillery) utilizing its mashbills, after which shipped to Virginia for a 3rd distillation on the Fredericksburg facility. That is an uncommon course of that you simply don’t see fairly often, however clearly Sazerac has discovered the right way to make this work. In response to a rep for the distillery, this was the case with French Oak, which was redistilled and barreled at A. Smith Bowman in 2012 and aged for 12 years in each charred and uncharred French oak barrels. They received’t disclose the mashbill, however the purpose that is known as whiskey and never bourbon is as a result of it was not completely aged in new charred oak.

These particulars are of curiosity, however crucial factor is how this whiskey tastes, and it’s scrumptious. The purpose of this sequence, as made clear by the title, is to discover the affect that wooden has on whiskey because it matures, one thing that Buffalo Hint has additionally achieved with its Previous Constitution Oak lineup. The Spanish Oak launch in that assortment was a bit overpowering, however this French Oak expression from Bowman is deep in colour and taste with out going overboard. There are wealthy notes of cherry, grape, and vanilla on the nostril, with a woody, buttery undertone. These berry and fruit flavors proceed onto the palate, together with oak, custard, honey, brown sugar, maple, and black pepper notes. The palate veers in the direction of the sweeter facet of the spectrum, nevertheless it’s vivid and sophisticated and by no means cloying. In response to head distiller David Bock, utilizing various kinds of barrels was the important thing. “As soon as blended collectively, the vanilla from the no-char barrels helps steadiness out the pepper notes from the charred barrels,” he stated in a press release, “making a dynamic and scrumptious mix.” I concur.

Some whiskey makers estimate that as much as 70 p.c of the flavour comes from the barrel, which makes endeavors like this greater than only a advertising and marketing device. However there isn’t any doubt that this whiskey would have tasted very completely different if it was aged in Chinkapin or mizunara oak as a substitute of French oak—and who is aware of, these could possibly be on the A. Smith Bowman docket (however please no amburana, I’m beg of you). The underside line is that this whiskey is incredible and you must go discover a bottle now… which may be a bit of bit tough as a result of the web lottery to get one is now closed. However when you see this whiskey on the secondary market someplace near its $100 asking worth, you must completely purchase it.

Rating: 99

  • 100 Price buying and selling your first born for
  • 95 – 99 Within the Pantheon: A trophy for the cupboard
  • 90 – 94 Nice: An excited nod from buddies once you pour them a dram 
  • 85 – 89 Very Good: Scrumptious sufficient to purchase, however not fairly particular sufficient to chase on the secondary market
  • 80 – 84 Good: Extra of your on a regular basis drinker, stable and dependable
  • Beneath 80 It’s alright: Truthfully, we most likely received’t waste your time and ours with this

Each week Jonah Flicker tastes probably the most buzzworthy and attention-grabbing whiskeys on the planet. Verify again every Friday for his newest overview.

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