View Full Version : New treats
The current issue of Malt Advocate has a photo of Ezra B single barrel, a 15-yr-old with a sharp looking blue label, gold and red letters and a nice red ribbon secured to the bottle by what seems like a small medal. The magazine rating was average, mid 80s. Any comments from our expert reviewers?
Also, what's the word on Evan Williams 1783. This bottle has a shiny gold top, black label with the date 1783 in large gold numbers. A 10-year-old sticker proclaims its age. I've never seen it in Florida, but it's a big seller in KY. Priced under $20.
I can't speak to the Ezra Brooks.
As far as the Evan Williams 1783 goes - try it you might like it. When it comes to Heaven Hill bourbons I always go the distance and buy either Elija Creig 12 YO or their newest single barrel Evan Williams Single Barrel 1990.
All their other bottlings pale in comparison. The pricey Elija Craig 18 YO Single Barrel is way too wooden and is a waste of money. Better bourbon can easiy be had in that price range. i.e. - Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve.
Have Shotglass. Will Travel.
I've been looking all over for the Ezra B product, ever since I saw that article. What really p!$$#5 me off is that Wild Turkey chose this month to release their new (and really excellent) 10 year old Russell's Reserve and it seems it never occurred to anyone in marketing to send a photo and press release to Malt Advocate... even though they have a full-page rear cover ad in that same issue. Are they afraid people will find out? Or maybe Malt Advocate isn't a big seller in FRAY-UNCE! Oh well, at least the David Sherman folks know how to generate interest. I guess they sure got ours! Let me know if you find any.
Evan Williams 1783 is all right. It's a lot better than Heaven Hill 10 year old, which you'd think would be the exact same thing (but it isn't). I think Mark Mason describes it really well as displaying the crossover between 7 year old black label Evan Williams and 12 year old Elijah Craig. If you've seen only pictures, I'm afraid the real bottle is a bit of a disappointment; that shiny gold top is gold-tone metallic-plated plastic and looks really cheap. I feel that they did that with the plastic wood-grain top on the Elijah Craig 12 bottle, too. It's already a bargain; how much more would they have needed to charge for a real wood top? Oh well.
While on the subject of new / upcoming treats, I forgot to bring up the Antique Bourbon collection (comprised of 3 offerings) from Buffalo Trace:
Eagle Rare 17 yr.old. / Sazerac Rye 18 yr.old. / W. L. Weller 19 yr.old
I've seen mention of this new collection in a couple of publications. John Hansel reviewed each with high praise (93,95,and 94 respectively). Ken Harris tasted the most senior of this geriatric trio, the 19-yr.old, and was clearly impressed (see General topics, Wheated bourbons thread, Nov. 1). I hear supplies will be limited. No word on $$.
Brief comments from Hansel:
The Eagle Rare 17 "...very smooth, polished, incredible balance."
The Sazerac 18 "...thick, chewy, unbelievably spicy, powerful flavors. Oldest, best balanced rye in market."
The Weller 19 "...complex array of wood spices and fruit. Big, mature, very sophisticated whiskey that is on a very short list of America's finest."
I have photos (Acrobat pdf file) of the bottles if anyone wants to take a look, drop me a note. Has anyone else tasted the collection?
Finally, the age of these products, along with the new Ezra Brook 15 yr.old, makes me wonder if more distilleries are thinking "older is better" or at least more profitable. Is this a trend?
On my way to Sam's right after this post to reserve my bottle of 19 yo Weller.
is there an on-line copy of Malt Advocate? When I search for it all I hit is http://realbeer.com/maltadvocate/ which has Spring 95 issue- what gives?
Please email me a copy of the pdf files.
(I tried to email you privately, but your profile email address is incomplete and the private message function did not work.)
The new Ezra B 15 yo. is now available from Randall's. Check under single barrels, $27. I just ordered one, the bottle sure looks nice in pics.
The antique collection isn't available in Florida yet...you know, they found some dimpled boxes and issued a recount. So I'm waiting on your reviews.
Thanks, Omar. I found it at Mr. G's Liquors in Florence, Kentucky. I'm glad you ordered one - I'm sure you're gonna love it. Those of us who enjoy Evan Kulsvein's products (Johnny Drum, Noah's Mill, Rowan's Creek, Kentucky XO, etc) are likely to be real happy with Ezra-B 15-year-old. Those who like younger, less oak-y bourbon might not care as much for it.
One thing I noticed that seemed peculiar... Nowhere on the label is the word "Kentucky" to be found. Other David Sherman bourbons say "Kentucky", even other Ezra Brooks products. Now it seems to me that a likely reason for NOT including the word "Kentucky" on a bottle of fine bourbon is because you're not ALLOWED to. I know that Seagram's was making bourbon in Indiana at that time (to be used in blending Seven Crown and others). Jim Murray wrote wonderful things about that whiskey. Could some or all of Ezra-B be that?
I sure wish we had a StraightBourbon member who was familiar with the David Sherman operation. Like, from the inside, I mean.
David Sherman is a company that is particularly fascinating to me. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, they have been the distributor of last (or maybe first) resort for many brands that would otherwise have vanished from the scene. Ezra Brooks was a real, honest-to-goodness Kentucky whiskey once. In fact, it was distilled at the Hoffman Distillery, which is now known as Old Commonwealth and owned by Julian Van Winkle. Julian and his family are well-acquainted with the David Sherman company, having sold brands to them. Glenmore also sold brands to David Sherman, and when ex-Glenmore Master Distiller Charles Medley's distribution outgrew his small family operation in Owensboro, he contracted with them to bottle Wathen's for him. When Diageo ditched their bourbon holdings a couple years ago and sold Old Fitzgerald to Heaven Hill and Old Weller to Buffalo Trace, it was David Sherman who got Rebel Yell. One can only guess at how many small ten-, fifty-, or hundred-barrel lots they may have picked up from time to time. Talk about small-batch, historic bottlings -- imagine the the delicious damage they could do to the pocketbooks of hobbyists such as ourselves!
Yet they have no website, they are never covered in any bourbon book I've seen, and no one seems to know much about them. Heck, I can't even find an article about David Sherman in any of the back issues of Chuck Cowdery's Bourbon Country Reader (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com/page9.html), and just about EVERYTHING gets mentioned in there eventually!
Sherman is a marketer, bottler and rectifier. In this day and age, "rectifier" means he makes some of his products, probably liqueurs. Sazerac is Sherman on a larger scale (and with a well-heeled Japanese partner).
--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)
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