Back to our old Kentucky home, last night was four Bluegrass bourbons: Alltech/Pearse Lyons’s Town Branch, Old Pogue, Ancient Age and Ancient Ancient Age.
I was most excited, and most disappointed, by the Town Branch. It has the most unique bourbon mashbill I’ve come across: 51 percent corn, 49 percent barley. And the nose is amazing, a roller coaster of high and medium notes, with a lot of interesting sweetness and just a touch of wood. But the palate, while solid, is one-dimensional; oddly, it reminded me of basic Jim Beam.
The real standout was Ancient Ancient Age. You wouldn’t think it from the package, but to me it’s the equivalent of a nondescript hole in the wall that just happens to serve the best tacos in town. It’s not only a great whiskey for its price (that’s a liter, not 750 ml, and it runs about $18), but a good whiskey at any price. Nothing too challenging, just an honest, balanced, interesting drink: oak, marzipan, leather, cinnamon – I don’t have my notes, but that’s what I recall. I imagine if I went back I’d find other impressions: it’s multidimensional. Clay Risen