My Wandering Eye: Flor de Caña 25 Year Old

My Wandering Eye is a series reacting to the crazy rising prices in the bourbon world. We’ve reached a place where even average products have hit the range where they compete price-wise with other types of aged spirits. If I’m going be asked to drop $40 to $70 on a mid-range bourbon, I might as well see what else I can get for that money. My hope is to see if another spirits category offers something that is downright tasty in that price range. The goal isn’t to find cheap spirits, but to maximize the quality, I’m getting at a particular price point. And please remember, these will all be from the perspective of someone who basically only drinks bourbon.

As you may have noticed during the past few weeks, I got really excited by non-bourbon things over the holiday season. I’m doling them out at a slow pace so that there is still bourbon/whiskey content on BourbonGuy.com.

Once a month, my wife and I do what is called a Mystery Date. One night each month, one of us, takes the other out to…something. The only rule is that the organizer can’t tell the other what the date is. It needs to be a surprise. We don’t do fancy things (we are not fancy people), but we try to make it something or someplace that is at least a little special.

Last month my wife took me to a burger and cocktail restaurant that we had never been to. On the way back, we stopped into the Total Wine location near the restaurant because they had something that I had been lusting over: Flor de Caña 25 Year Old.

See, I really liked the Flor de Caña 18 year old and I got really excited when I found out that not only was there an older version, but it was available in the South Metro. Unfortunately, it was about $155. Not the price range for something I would normally buy for myself. But as part of the special experience of Mystery Date Night, she convinced me to splurge.

And so she raised the bar much higher than I anticipated for this month when I am in charge of organizing the Mystery Date.

Flor de Caña 25 Year Old

Purchase Info: $154.99 for a 750 ml bottle at Total Wine, Eagan, MN

Details: 25 years old (according to their website, the bottle says 25 slow aged). 40% ABV

Nose: Brown sugar, oak, ginger, and chocolate

Mouth: Viscous mouthfeel. Ginger, honey, sugar cookies, and oak.

Finish: Gentle and lingering. Ginger and dark chocolate.

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Thoughts: This is delicious. It is a sweet dessert in a glass and I am glad that I purchased it. That said, even if it is available, I probably won’t be buying it again. I just like the 18 year old version better. It is more vibrant and spicy. Plus it sells for over $100 less per bottle.

And I need to save that kind of cash for date night.


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Holy F**k! It was cold last week!

Last week, I ended up getting sick. It sucked. I hate being sick. Especially stomach bugs. They are the worst. But, this particular tummy bug happened to coincide with a truly once in a generation weather event. (You might have heard that we in the upper midwest ended up having a bit of a cold snap last week.) Well, sick or not, I wasn’t about to waste the opportunity presented.

Let me back up a bit. When I was growing up in Northern Wisconsin the adults in my dad’s family had a tendency to drink. A lot. There were cases of beer outside chilling in the snow outside the back door of every winter family gathering. Even in temps well below freezing. Early on, I noticed that the sodas and water would start to freeze a bit faster than those beers did. Not knowing anything about thermodynamics and relative freezing points yet, I didn’t realize that the alcohol helped act as an antifreeze and that the snow acted as a refrigerator but also acted an insulator to help shield that beer from the worst effects of the negative temperatures. The waters and sodas meanwhile were just stuck outside the back door, where there wasn’t any snow and so it froze.

But once I grew up and started learning about these things, I started to realize why the hard liquor that they turned to as evening rolled around never seemed to freeze, even after the beer had started to get a bit slushy. And of course once I got to be a fan of that hard liquor myself, I always wanted to see if I could get that liquor to freeze.

Yes, I am a geek in almost every way you can imagine.

So, last week when the temps were forecasted to be in the “Oh God, please don’t go outside” range, there I was. Outside with one ounce plastic cups of bourbon of varying proofs to see what would happen.

So yeah! I froze bourbon! It was that fucking cold at my house. I hated it. It caused all sorts of havoc in my attic. The dogs started pooping in the house due to not wanting to go outside (can you blame them?). And ultimately I’m just thankful my gas company was able to keep up with my furnace.

I never want to feel those temperatures again. Touching something that is -30° F causes a slight tingling pain in your fingers that lasts a little while. Take it from me, it is stupid and dumb and you shouldn’t do it.

I did learn a little bit though. Here are some photos from after the sun came up to show what happened to each of the bourbons.

As you can see the 80° proof froze solid. It was a bourbon-pop minus the stick. I wouldn’t lick it though. At -30° F you’d probably frostbite your tongue. 90° proof was a little more solid, but had a bit of liquid. And 100° proof was the slushiest of them all. I found it interesting that most of the color and flavor stayed with the water and was locked in the ice. I wasn’t expecting that. And yes, I tasted it after blowing on it to warm it some. It was very odd. Not nearly as pleasurable as a nice glass of neat bourbon though.

All in all it was a fun experiment. I wouldn’t wish for the temperatures to perform it again though.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!