A page for me to remember what drinks I've tried and how it tasted. May feature whiskey drinks that aren't bourbon at some point. No, this will not be written up like a professional review for you. It's just notes to myself. There are plenty of "professional" type reviews out there already anyway. Expect this to be pretty similar to my Broad Nib Friendly page in its informality. I don't bother with mixed drinks either, so all notes here are about how these taste neat and on the rocks. I'll update this as I try out more. Notes are of things I've tried recently from starting this page, since it'd be pretty pointless to try and recall anything further back to this degree.
Four Roses Small Batch: Strong oak taste the whole way through, honey, caramel, rye, light cinnamon at the end. Long finish. Dark, rich, smooth. Thick. Good neat and on the rocks. I really like the oak flavor being so dominate here and the smoothness. Feels really well balanced. Worth rebuying at current prices, but not great if in the mood for a sweeter drink. I've been alternating between this and Woodford Reserve's Disteller's Select. They feel of similar quality and are roughly the same price, this being the more oak dominate one, and WR being the sweeter, more caramel alternative.
Four Roses Single Barrel (OBSV): Oak is lighter than FRSB, rye, cherry but mostly in the finish, dark chocolate which comes out strongest in the finish and is the main note to me for the whole experience, light cinnamon, caramel, dark, not as smooth as FRSB, alright neat, somewhat weak on the rocks. Feels as thick as FRSB. At a price tag higher than FRSB, not worth a rebuy unless on sale but is a decent drink otherwise. Finish is not quite as long as FRSB. When both bottles were low, I mixed this and FRSB together, and it came out just as smooth, but mostly chocolately!
Wild Turkey Longbranch Small Batch: oak, faint mesquite, light rye, smoke, vanilla, caramel, honey, cinnamon, dark, Snickers bar in finish. Great neat, loses much of the "spiciness" on the rocks, with mesquite disappearing altogether. Not very smooth. Not especially thick tasting, but not thin either. Has a unique spice to it. At the price, not a regular buy but good for occasional purchase when wanted a certain type of flavor. Finish length is similar to FRSB.
Bulleit Bourbon: Taste like a very cheap, bad whiskey. Weak, ethanol, bitter. Awful aftertaste. This was delegated to use in offerings exclusively after tasting it. Absolutely disgusting. Never rebuy.
Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select: Vanilla, caramel, honey, light chocolate, faint oak, faint sweet chairy, rye. Smoother than WTLB and FRSB OBSV, about as smooth as FBRS. Pleasant to drink neat or on the rocks, but doesn't feel particularly special either. Harmless in a good way. Feels very thick to drink. Caramel and honey in the finish. Decently long finish. Balanced, but not unique. With more than one bottle size available, good for getting on a budget or looking for something mellow, a little sweet, and inoffensive. I buy this one often due to price.
Wild Turkey (formerly 81): Got because Reddit said 101 was good and 81 was a milder version, and I liked WTLB. Absolute ass of a drink. Ethanol, strong orange peel, bitter, light honey, light caramel, weak, weird indistinguishable grossness. Undrinkable neat, barely drinkable on the rocks. Would only be useful for mixing. After this, I have no intentions of trying WT101 at all, but am still open to other WT offerings. After testing, this was delegated to offerings exclusively. Never rebuy.
Lazy River: Total Wine product with questionable sourcing and questionable information. Mostly rye and honey, with slight fruitiness. Almost nonexistent finish, but in its briefness, more rye, faint honey, and pepper. Color is so bizarrely light the 2 year age is very questionable. A little overly sweet neat, better on the rocks. Not smooth, not balanced, but not awful either. At a full bottle's price tag, however, not worth bothering with. Locally, this costs ten bucks more than WRDS and FRSB and almost as much as TWLB.
Elijah Craig Small Batch: Strong corn and rye notes, very sweet the whole way through. Sweet corn, cinnamon, and oak are the dominate notes in the finish. Smooth to drink, but feels a little thick. Neat, a bit bland and a little too sweet. On the rocks, vanilla notes are a bit more pronounced and sweetness is dulled to a much more tolerable amount. Finish lasts a moderate amount of time, but has a slight unpelasant bitterness at the very end. While not bad tasting, this is just too sweet for my personal preferences.
Jim Beam White Label: Corn, syrupy, slight oak neat. Very bland tasting. On the rocks, notice a really weird sour, yeasty taste joins, but it's still mostly corn and syrupy. Feels thin to drink. Short finish, mostly just yeast and bitter wood. The syrup flavor is swapped for cough syrup. Pretty gross, but not absolutely undrinkable. Was better neat than on the rocks, but not by much. This is definitely cheap stuff alright.
Jim Beam Devil's Cut: Very sweet, much sweeter than JBWL. Neat sugary, syrupy, corn, with a little cinnamon and a generic wood flavor, but definitely not oak. On the rocks, generically woody, bitter, astringent, cinnamon, sour yeast. Feels thin. Strong, hot, long finish of cinnamon with a slight wood. The wood in this never once tastes like oak, reminding me more of chewing on a popsicle stick or a wooden spoon. It's not very pleasant. Tastes just slightly better than JBWL, but not by much and neither taste like something I'd want to drink. These two would only be good for mixing or cooking with.
Buckhorn Bourbon: Spice, cinnamon, honey, moderate thickness. Long, spicy finish with a lingering licorice once the cinnamon fades out. On the ice, mostly honey and caramel. It's alright, not bad, not very complex either. Just not my thing, but okay and not very pricy.
Old Forrester 86 proof Bourbon: Spice, sour, woody, slightly oaky, rye, some honey, very thin. On the rocks, mostly the same but lighter. Short finish, mostly a mild spice note. Pretty disappointing mostly due to how bland it tastes. Not expensive. Would probably be best used in making mixed drinks.
Bank Street 5 year: Cherry syrup, oak, vanilla. On the rocks, cherry suryp turns to cherry cough syrup, lots of rye, and oak shifts to a generic woody note. Short finis, thin. This one was pretty nasty to me. Only used in offerings. I wouldn't give this to someone else. Couldn't find much info on who actually makes this stuff. Another one of those.
Iron Smoke Bourbon: Leather so much leather, shoe polish, dark chocolate, smoke, dark cherry. Somewhat thin. On the rocks, a bit of caramel joins the rest of the notes and the leather and polish are toned down a bit. Very short, dull finish. It's drinkable, and I wouldn't mind it in a mixed drink, but I wouldn't want to drink it neat. I definitely wouldn't buy a bottle of this.
Want to try:
Knob Creek Single Barrel
Knob Creek 12 Year
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Russell's Reserve 10 year
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
Chicken Cock Bourbon
Chicken Cock Whiskey Double Oak
Chicken Cock Whiskey Island Rooster
Old Elk Blended
Blue Run 13 Year
Blue Run High Rye
Four Roses Small Batch Select