I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Taylor Strategy for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.
The first time I tried Blade and Bow, I was at the 2015 Kentucky Bourbon Festival All-Star Sampler. I tried it mostly to satisfy my curiosity. In hindsight, it was a pretty poor place to try it. I'd had one or two other bourbons, I'd had some delightful food, and I was probably giving it less attention than I normally would to a bourbon I had never tried before.
I had a taste of it again this year when I visited the Bulleit Experience at Stitzel-Weller. It was after the tour, and it was going head-to-head with Bulleit Barrel Strength. Also not a fair comparison since the proof of a barrel strength bourbon will obliterate a 90-ish proof every time.
I didn't walk away with a great impression of the Blade and Bow from my two previous experiences with it, and so it was with no small amount of interest that I accepted an offer from a Diageo PR rep for a sample of the Blade and Bow. I was very curious to see what I would think of this bourbon when it wasn't trying to live up to unfair competition or circumstances.
You know something a little more "real-life." Because seriously, I try not to have a lot of different bourbons in one night and I especially tend to be mindful of the barrel-proof ones.
Blade and Bow
Purchase Info: This was a review sample provided by Taylor Strategy.
Details: 45.5% ABV
Nose: Caramel, peanut, green oak and a hint of mint
Mouth: Peppery on the mouth with honey, peanut, nutmeg, clove and oak.
Finish: Warm and of medium length. Lingering bubblegum, peanut, and mint.
Thoughts: Even today, on my first sip, I wasn't impressed by this one. But, as I got lower in my glass, my opinion changed. It grew on me. I was regretting the tiny sample bottle they sent as I would have loved to have just one more splash.
I like this bourbon and if it were half the price, I would probably want to buy it as part of the regular rotation. At around $50 per bottle though? This is going to be a change of pace bourbon for me, at best. It's tasty enough, it's just not a bourbon I'd regularly be willing to drop half a Benjamin on.