On Friday, April 25, we held our first-ever “Rare Bourbon” event after gathering some bottles that don’t exist on your run-of-the-mill trip to the liquor store. We met at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop in Downtown Seattle, an excellent setting that paired perfectly with the drink.
Woodinville Whiskey 2013 Limited Collector’s Edition Bourbon
In the most respectful of ways, a member called this bourbon “the best rye he’s ever had.” We aren’t sure exactly how much rye is in the mash, but many noted this whiskey’s spiciness and how quickly the bourbon’s corn sweetness disappeared.
The majority of our party enjoyed the flavors, but this was not the standout bourbon we might have expected from the $150 price point. Was it worth it? A couple seemed to think so, but the voting later indicated otherwise. Is it a solid bourbon that should be on upper shelves? Absolutely.
Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea
Only one in our attendance had previously tried a bourbon “aged at sea,” but the rest quickly followed. It is debatable whether or not the ocean scent comes through into the whiskey, but we all shared something nautical nonetheless (after all, the contents of this very bottle traveled over three years to 40 ports around the world). One did venture to say, “you can taste the salt!”
Most of our group claimed this to be a more interesting flavor than Woodinville’s first barreled whiskey—it has a longer-lasting finish, with tobacco and spice in the center, and is even richer with the addition of water.
Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon
Four Roses’ 125th anniversary bourbon lived up to its hype. Not only was 2012’s version labeled “American Whiskey of the Year” by Whisky Advocate Magazine, but so was this 2013 bottle! It’s composed of two 13-year bourbons and another 18-year bourbon into a blend that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
“Now that’s a bourbon!” one member said, after just taking a whiff from his glass. This whiskey is big, bold, and thoroughbred American. It overpowers every part of your mouth, but the sweetness lingers just enough, and it would likely keep you warm in the cold.
If Ron Swanson weren’t such a fan of Scotch, I imagine he’d drink a whiskey like this. Whisky Advocate’s own John Hansell called it “the finest bourbon I have ever tasted from Four Roses.”
The Collective Favorite
An overwhelming 80% majority of those in attendance preferred the Four Roses 2013 LE Small Batch for its bold bourbon flavor. Beyond them, 15% percent took to the Jefferson’s Ocean, while the remaining 5% preferred Woodinville’s limited release.