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Abraham Bowman Limited Edition, Port Barrel Finished Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

I have the best wife ever. 

There are a lot of guys that think this. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one that is correct though. To show you why, I’ll need to take you back in time a couple months to Valentine’s Day. We were on vacation in Virginia, looking to see if it was a place that we might want to move someday. It had snowed the night before and the city’s 18 plow trucks had been out for most of the night trying to make the city streets passable. At least they were until two of them tipped over and they gave up. Being hearty Midwesterners, we were out and about early enough to see that there wasn’t really that much snow and that most of it was already turning to slush. 

With our trip around the city’s neighborhoods done by mid-morning we were left looking for something else to fill the time between lunch and our planned Valentine’s night activities. You know: ordering a local pizza and trying a couple amazing local beers while binge-watching Game of Thrones in the hotel room. (That's what you call romance when you've been married for over 16 years.)

I had made a comment on our drive across Virginia that I wished we had made time to stop into the A. Smith Bowman distillery. It’s owned by Sazerac and is the producer of both the Bowman line of bourbons and Virginia Gentleman. We were sitting down to a nice Valentine’s Day lunch of Popeye’s chicken when my wife proved to me, yet again, that she really is the best wife ever by announcing to me that she was taking me up to the distillery for a tour.

We had a good time talking with the tour guide. He kept describing the place as a “microdistillery,” but when questioned about it he admitted that it was part of Sazerac. We had a nice tasting and we bought some souvenirs to take home, a glass and some barrel char in a bag. No bourbon though. They had bourbon to buy, but it was only their standard release stuff. Back at the VABC in Richmond, I had noticed a bottle of a Bowman Special release and I really wanted that instead. 

Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Port Finished Bourbon

Purchase info: $69.99 at Richmond area VABC

Details: 50% ABV. Distilled March 30, 2001. Bottled August 17, 2013.

Nose: Cherries, a peppery tingle, tobacco and hints of sawn oak

Mouth: Sweet and spicy. Reminds me of my mother’s snickerdoodle cookies. Vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Cherry preserves.

Finish: Warm and peppery with a smoke and fruitiness that just sort of hangs around.

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Thoughts: This is my first Abraham Bowman limited release and based on this, I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on more. It is a very good whiskey. It’s a bit peppery at bottle strength but a splash of water brings out more brown sugar sweetness. 

On our way back to the hotel after the distillery visit we ran back to the VABC to pick up this bottle even though, round-trip, it was a half-hour out of the way. I really do have the best wife ever.