I try to keep my nose to the happenings in the whiskey front. I read and listen to whiskey news, blogs, and reviews. I used to be on twitter to follow such things (not so much anymore, Twitter can be a vile place). But sometimes, things slip through the cracks, and I get surprised at the liquor store. I mean, if the company doesn’t send me the press release, it’s not like I’m out searching for them. I’m a storyteller, not a journalist.
Take tonight’s whiskey. Apparently, this was introduced earlier this year. In researching it, I found a press release for its 12-year-old brother dated April of 2018. Looking at the archive.org snapshots of the Calumet Bourbon website show that images for this bourbon showed up on their site around the same time. But when I walked into a Total Wine in Louisville back in September, I knew none of this. I saw that they had a Private Selection of a 10-year-old Calumet and picked it up. It wasn’t until I got back home that I realized that there were bottles of 10- and 12-year-old Calumet bourbons on local shelves.
Knowing that I thought the standard “small batch” Calumet was fine, but that I felt it was overpriced, I wasn’t in a real big hurry to grab another bottle from the line. But, of course, I did have that Private Selection in the closet, and I was a fan of the Bird Dog 10-year-old released from the same company. So, yeah, I pulled the trigger and picked this up.
What does “Single Rack” mean? Apparently, that is a descriptor that the company is using because each batch of bourbon is created using the barrels from a single rack (19 barrels) in the rickhouse.
Calumet Farm 10-year-old Single Rack Black Bourbon
Purchase Info: $52.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN
Details: 46% ABV. 10 year age stated. Rack C0505.10. 19 barrel batch.
Nose: Bubblegum, mixed berries, a hint of soap, cinnamon, and light oak.
Mouth: Nice spice, with cinnamon, ripe fruits, mint, and oak.
Finish: Warm and of decent length. Lingering baking spice, ripe fruits, mint, and oak.
Thoughts: This tastes like it has more than its fair share of Heaven Hill juice in the batch. But, it also reminds me a bit of something from Jefferson’s. This ain’t half bad. It’s a nice “change-of-pace” bourbon as it sits solidly between the typical bourbon flavor profile and the fruity fringes of the bourbon flavor profile. I’m going to say this one will not be for everyone, but I like it. And I like it more after I’ve spent some time with it than I did when it was first opened.
You might be asking that since I felt that the “regular” small batch release was overpriced for what it was, what about this one? I’d like to say that a $50+ price point for a 10-year-old bourbon is high, but we all know that is no longer the case. So in light of that, I’m going to say that the price is on the higher side of acceptable for me but still within tolerances.
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