The nose on this is beautiful. It's sweet, it's caramel with bits of oak, like walking in an enchanted candy forest. The aroma is lush and complex. Flavor - they nailed this one. Sweet yields to savory with that chewy, aged Zinfandel mouthfeel. Waves of flavor wash over you, gone before you can name them. Trying to pin it all down I get big wood, wine and some citrus; at the end of the palate you get the sweet corn. Water brings out sweeter notes, but as with most whiskeys, I prefer Old Rip neat. A/A-
Oh my God, this nose is beautiful. Awesome. Bourbon-candy heaven. Probably the best-smelling bourbon I've come across.
The palate, though, is a little too dry for me. And it doesn't live up to the promise of the nose -- damn! It's good whiskey for certain, but it just needed to come out of the lab a little sooner (too much time in the barrel and/or too much heat). Mostly I get dry, unsweetened cinnamon from this, with graham crackers, and muted caramel-vanilla stuff. Nice long fade in the finish. Almost a B/B+, but not quite.
[Hey, that's cool that my description of the nose is so close to Sku's... no collusion was involved.]
N: Lots of sugar (Brown Sugar!), maple syrup. Oddly has some Tennessee whisky in the nose, reminds me of George Dickel. P: Whoa. (like Keanu said in the Matrix, but not quite as dopey.) That's a nice big sweet mo' fo'! Very florally spiced for a wheated bourbon. F: Just the right amount of burn with lingering cinnamon.