Tasted: Neat & w/ water in a glencairn glass
This Blade and Bow 22 Year Old Bourbon is a product of Diageo. That same company that produces the Orphan Barrel line which many in the bourbon community recognize. Like many of Diageo’s releases, this bourbon is cloaked in mystery. Supposedly, this bottle includes bourbon distilled at Buffalo Trace and the old Bernheim distillery, but was “inspired by the passion and craftsmanship of the legendary Stitzel Weller Distillery”. I’ll leave it at that.
Nose: The nose is the star of the show for this pour. Vanilla. Caramel. Old oak. Tobacco. Spice. Cherry. I have read people questioning if this is an old wheated whiskey. I can see why on the nose. There are some similarities to those old Bernheim wheated bourbons from Willett. However, didn’t see those similarities on the palate or finish……..
Palate: This is one of the most unusual pours I have had in a while. It really developed while I was drinking it. Unlike anything I have had before. The first 2/3’s of the pour I got notes of dry oak. Tannins. Caramel. Spice. Black pepper. Cherry, with a medium mouth-feel. However, the last 1/3 of the pour I was getting rich caramel and vanilla. The dryness and tannins were gone. Also, was getting a improved, oily mouth-feel. It was lovely!
Luckily I got a large sample, and was able to try this bourbon again the next night. I have come to the conclusion that while this bourbon only comes in at 92 proof, it needs just a touch of water to drown the dryness and bring out the sweeter notes.
Finish: Short. Oak. Caramel.
Grade: 80 – 84 (B-) = Not-too-bad, No major flaws, worth tasting
The Blade and Bow 22 Year Old Bourbon was an interesting pour. Surprisingly, this 92 proof bourbon really benefits from some water. I did struggle to find the right balance of time and water to make this bourbon reach it’s true potential. Something that I shouldn’t need to fuss with for a $150 bottle. Although, if this bottle was in the Diageo’s Orphan Barrel line, it would probably be one of the better bottles once you add water to the pour. Just a step below the Barterhouse and Lost Prophet in my opinion. Cheers!Blade and Bow 22 Year Old Bourbon Review, Bourbon, bourbon blog, bourbon ranking, bourbon review, cleveland, review, Whiskey blog, Whiskey review