A really nice nose, medium-rich, bourbony with acetone (nice acetone), vanilla, maple syrup, caramel.
The palate is really rounded, with a strong but not excessive flavor. The painty-synthetic quality I find in many very old dusties is here, and I love that quality. (That tends to go away after 20-30 mins of opening up as in most cases, but the rest of the package changes as well -- for the worse, if you ask me, though this stays very drinkable throughout). Note that the label reads "Heavy Bodied," and that's excactly what this is.
In finish, skunky aspects waft into the nose, a perversely enjoyable characteristic. Great long finish.
The weird painty-chemically qualities here won't make this for everone, but I love em. I find this massively drinkable, while delivering perfect bourbon flavor in strong but not too strong amounts, plus odd yet enjoyable added complexities, and it doesn't tire as the glass drains.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that on release, this was probably more imbalanced. To get this intensity of flavors in a 5-year-old, I'd think it required some rapid aging (in high heat, higher rickhouse floors, etc) which might've made for some rough edges. 57 years of bottle aging has probably rounded off the sharper corners. That's all pure speculation, of course, and regardless today this drinks as a true delight. A-/A
RETASTE: I was excited to spend more time with this bottle, and I was surprised to find the palate less "rounded" than I recalled. Now it strikes me as more unusual and perverse almost, with some bitter coffee notes and woody edges. I still like it very much. Seems another focused retaste is in order soon. For now it's down to B+
The nose is quite lovely with vanilla and floral notes. The palate is floral then a minty note kicks in which turns herbal. The finish is a tad bitter. Water is actually terrible for this one, bringing out even more bitterness.
This is a nice enough bourbon, though not one that is particularly exciting.