This has a beautiful nose with big candy notes including candied orange peel. The palate opens with a sweet dessert wine note, moves on to orange flavored baby aspirin (you'll remember those if you're over 40) and some floral notes. The finish is fleeting but slightly spicy with more of those orange notes.
This is a very unique bourbon and very different from other Stitizel-Wellers I've had. Those dessert wine and the floral notes separate it from other, more recent Stitzel-Wellers, though the orange and candy notes are more familiar.
Nose is light but with an unusual character, something sugary like Sweet Tarts, and a little paint.
Palate is odd as the nose suggested. Odd but not bad, that painty thing is here in mild amounts. It's in the finish that this is at its best, where waves of sweetness gently roll in, it gets a little peanutty again, with the paint too. This does drink incredibly easy for 50%, but 55 years of bottle aging can do that to a whiskey. I'm guessing that the flavors overall have mellowed as well.
In a blind tasting, I think this would come across as a little unusual -- but I don't think anyone would peg it as great stuff in comparison to today's bourbons (and I don't even mean against the super-powerhouses per se). It's nice and certainly drinkable, but for me the only seriously special thing here is the history.
On a side note, I've never been much impressed by any old S-W dusties... I think the hype far outweighs the reality. The best Stitzel-Weller juice that I've tasted has been in the Van Winkle bourbons from the past decade. So for those of you wondering if you're missing anything here, as far as flavor goes, you've likely got a better selection in your cabinet.