Whiskey Wednesdays at our favorite club sometimes include some top shelf whiskey flights. This past Wednesday was no exception. Below are the tasting notes provided by the club, with some of our own additions. In a bit of a spoiler, we must admit to liking the least expensive of the three the most, and that’s not just because its from our local distillery. Other tasters, had different opinions though—giving points to Rock Town for standing up against much more well known and higher priced spirits.
Wild Turkey Diamond
The Diamond Anniversary is a blend of 13 to 16-year old whiskies hand-selected by Jimmy Russel’s son, Eddie Russel, as tribute to Jimmy’s 60 years making whiskey. 36,000 bottles are being released in the United States.
A deep inhale fills the nostrils with a warm yet inviting alcohol burn. Old wood, cigar box, caramel and vanilla show through. Very nice overall.
Aged wood, tobacco, cigar box, leather, vanilla, spice, and a hint of char make for a fairly complex sip.
The finish starts off with a little more alcohol burn than would be expected for the proof, and then youthful notes of caramel and vanilla take over, but only briefly. Aged wood, tobacco, and cigar box pull through and then linger for some time.
Retail Price: $133
Despite being the most expensive, this was our least favorite. (Although still very good!) It definitely had some serious aged wood, tobacco, and leather overtones—more than we prefer frankly. It was subtle and very dry, almost more like an Irish whisky than a bourbon.
Rock Town Single Barrel
Arkansas, known as “The Natural State” is home to mountains and rivers, deltas and diamonds, and acres of farmland. When Rock Town founder and head distiller, Phil Brandon, a sixth generation Arkansan, decided to make bourbon whiskey, he looked to his home state, Arkansas, for the corn and wheat to make this bourbon. He’s proud to say this is truly Arkansas Bourbon. This Single Barrel Reserve Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey represents the highest standards for bourbon and is take from the finest world-class casks.
Caramel, creme brûlée, vanilla, and some fruit-pie cherries or black currant.
More butterscotch, caramel, and custard notes, with an oily mouthfeel. A hint of baking spice, and some light oak.
Fairly spicy with allspice and ginger coming through the cinnamon and oak for quite a long finish.
By far the biggest and boldest flavors of this flight. The caramel and cherries especially jumped out and dominated the palate in a pleasing way.
Jefferson’s Grand Selection
“Based on our experience finishing Jefferson’s in innovative and ways and various types of casks, we felt strongly that the sweetness of Chateau Suduinaut wine and the toasted staves of the French oak wine casks would complement our well-aged, complex Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey. We were not disappointed. After hand selecting forty Suduinaut barrels, refilling them with Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon, and extra aging them in our proprietary “hot box” environment we have created a one-of-a-kind bourbon. This combines the sweetness of Suternes, the wood notes of both American and French oak, and the grain of a premium bourbon in a delicious, complex, and balanced final product.
Citrus and honey.
Cinnamon, caramel, lemon zest, and dried fruits.
Toffee, spice, leather
This was our second favorite of the flight. Notably the smoothest of the three, with very complex and undulating tones. The toffee, spice, and leather finish really played well with tobacco overtones of the Diamond Turkey.
Each of these whiskeys was great in their own way. As noted the Jefferson and Wild Turkey go together well. The Rock Town was just so big, bold, and delicious it quickly rose to the top. Even though its price is the lowest, it will be the hardest to find again. I may come back and review these separately to see if the ratings stand up. Blind tastings are in the works to remove all suspicion of prejudice.