Hurricane Gustav had been chewing its monstrous way through the western provinces of Cuba; killing people and damaging some of the best cigar tobacco in the world in Pinar Del Rio province. The feeder bands of this monster started coming ashore, here in Homestead, Florida (just north of the Florida Keys) late Friday evening. Feeling angst for what the poor folks south of me are going through and just having passed the anniversaries of hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Wilma, all of which altered my life, I was on edge. I am so worried for New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast area too for what will be coming their way so I decided to take some time away from the weather and news stations to hit some booze sellers in the area.
Among my finds were two, literally, dusty bottles of J.W. Dant 100 proof bottled in bond bourbon. I bought a bunch of other finds but for some reason these bottles seem to get my attention. The back labels have the DSP-KY-31 marking and the bottles have a 99 on the bottom so I reckon these bottlings date from 1999. The seller had four bottles for $12.99 so I picked up two.
There was a break in the rain, between the radial arms of Gustaf last night so I decided to step outside to smoke a pipe. I picked a corn cob pipe and stoked it with Prince Albert. Usually, Prince Albert has a background bitter chocolate taste for me. Well, I sat down to smoke my pipe, watch the fireworks in the clouds and drink some of this Dent. There is most certainly some kick to this Dent. I think I feel the tanginess of rye in there. The odd thing is that the Prince Albert in my pipe really enhanced the flavors of the Dent as it produced all sorts of flavors that I had not perceived prior to lighting the pipe; orange rind, sour orange, white grapefruit, heavy and nosy corn sour mash smell, white pepper, cloves, molasses, brown sugar and tinges of Café' Cubano in the after taste. These flavors may have been the product of the marriage of the booze and baccy but it was wonderful whatever it was. In fact, it was so nice that I just had to see if this was a fluke so I loaded up another pipe, dropped some more Dent into my glass and headed out for a second try. The second time was just as wonderful as the first pipe and glass. Again, this is not some ultra-pure, wonderbooze with coquettish pretense to be the best, smoothest bourbon in the world, but it cost me very little and provided much bang for that buck.
My question for the crowd is about how typical this older bottle is of the current crop of J.W. Dent? Is there anything special about this bottling of Dent or is this pretty typical of the product? I am thinking about going back for the last two bottles of these older examples come Monday if these turn out, in your opinions and advice to be a little better than the norm, as I suspect they are.