Kentucky Bourbon Distillers does not actually distill any whiskey, they purchase bulk whiskey (typically from Heaven Hill) and bottle it under various labels. Their bottling operation is located in the former Willett Distillery.
Nose is lighter, honey, caramel and cherries, hay. Palate has some really delcious spice, cinnamon mostly, twirling around a basic vanilla-corn center. But the finish is hot, too hot, damn it. It's better with H20, but problems aren't solved.
I used to love this. But this isn't how it used to be, or maybe just not how I remember it. No wait, at least definitely the latter. (Batch 11-121) B
Previous notes (Circa 2008) A nose to die for, candy-store bourbon. Knock-your-socks-off, rich, quality whiskey. Outstanding. A
This one is very musty on the nose. The mustiness is followed by some peanut candy (PayDay bar) and rubbing alcohol. The palate is mostly heat with some wood underneath that grows stronger into the finish. Hmm, where's the flavor? I've never had a high proof whiskey that was so indistinct. Given that it's high proof, I thought that water might help bring out some flavor notes as it often does with high proof whiskeys, but no dice. Water gives the palate a bit of those peanut notes from the nose, but not much else. [Batch 11-121]
Keep in mind that this is a vatting of sourced whiskeys, so the potential is there for a lot of variance from batch to batch.
N: Woody up front, quite prominently so. Light notes of toffee lie under stronger notes of black cherry. A little bit of earthy clay and some vanilla. Water doesn't do this much favor and it's sort of malty and must. There's a light hint of sugary sweetness in back.
P: Quite mouth-coating, it's almost immediately off to the races and starts heating up. Cinnamon, cayenne pepper in a small dose. Behind that there's some maple syrup and plenty of wood and it pushes into over-oaked. A little black cherry, a little vanilla. Light sugary note as well. Water tames the heat considerably but it's still all about the wood.
F: Very hot initially on the finish; recedes leaving tons of oak and leaning slightly bitter. A little whisper of orange zest but it's mostly heat, pepper and wood. Water does this no favors.
The last time I had it (10-57), it was much sweeter, not overoaked, and verged on almost being candied. It certainly lived up to the A- range grades above, but the most recent batch was an abortion.
(Batch 10-57 notes):
N: Vanilla, caramel, cherries, wood and a bit of cotton candy. Dilution merges the palate a little more cleanly.
P: Moderate spice, sweet; dark fruit - plum and black cherry; wood on the back of the palate, heating continuously. Dilution subdues the heat, the wood seems almost varnished and the cherry intensifies.
F: Warming, remains with dark fruit and some sweetness; a little toffee.