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Bargain hunting: Rich & Rare Reserve

Posted on by Eric Burke

September: it’s National Bourbon Heritage Month here in the US, it’s also the month that BourbonFest is held in Bardstown, KY and when a lot of the Fall bourbon releases come out. Add in the facts that it’s also the month of my birthday, my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary and you get a month that’s great for a vacation.

I may have mentioned before that I have a bit of a shopping problem. Last time I spent more than an overnight in Kentucky I came home with 35 bottles of bourbon. I had to find a new place to store the overflow. In fact, some of those bottles are still waiting to be opened. And it’s not like they are special releases or anything.

So based on past history, since September is National Bourbon Shopping…err…Heritage Month, August had better be Bottle Emptying Month. I’ve spent the summer trying to make room for the shopping I know I’m going to be doing, but August has been where I’ve really resisted opening anything new. And it’s paying off. I’ve been emptying heels at a fairly rapid clip.

The most recent of which was Rich & Rare Reserve. It’s a Canadian whisky that is aged and blended in Canada, but Sazerac bottles it at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, KY. I initially purchased it after reading about it in the afterward of Davin de Kergommeaux’s Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert. I love bargin hunting and am willing to drop $10-15 dollars on a whisky to see if it’s one of those “hidden gems.” Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but often I find something that I’m willing to pick up again.

Rich & Rare Reserve

Purchase info: $10.99 Gordy’s County Market, Rice Lake, WI

Details: 40% ABV

Nose: Delicate. Initial faint hints of nail polish remover. After sitting, it’s sweet with delicate hints of maple, caramel, citrus and corriander.

Mouth: Salty. Light with faint hints of soap. Sweet with buttery caramel.

Finish: Decent length with lingering maple that slowly fades to a tannic bitterness.

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Thoughts: This is merely ok. I have nothing bad to say about it, but personally prefer something a bit less delicate. It’s cheap enough though, that if you are a Canadian whisky fan, you might want to risk picking it up to see if it sits better with you than it did with me.