Now that my wife and I share our son with his SO's family on holidays, we got together at his condo this afternoon to exchange our gifts.
Mine from my son was A. H. Hirsch 20 year old bourbon. As I've mentioned in other threads, I was expecting Pappy 20 year old; I still have that to look forward to.
As he tells the story, my son took a list I had given him months ago and stopped by Wine & Liquor Depot while making sales calls. The proprietor looked at the list (compiled largely from information acquired on this forum -- thanks, all) and said, "Your Dad really knows good bourbon." He noted that my list included Hirsch 16 year old, and he convinced my son that the 20 year old is even better.
Now this afternoon I wasn't about to tell my son that it often doesn't work that way (older isn't always better, that is), even though he assured me that he could exchange the 20 year old for two or more bottles of just about anything else on my list. I had the 20 year old in my hands, and I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to try it.
After our Chirstmas Eve meal, I asked him for a suitable glass, popped the cork, poured about 3/4 of an ounce, and commenced to sniff. Eventually I will try to do a full-fledged tasting report. For now, I can say that the aroma and flavors are much less intense than I expected. The nose was quite woody, but sweet, not acrid. The sweetness conveyed a hint of some kind of berries. Over a period of an hour or so, a very pronounced caramel emerged.
The taste was an almost exact copy of the nose. There was no burn or bite.
The finish was more of the same and not as long as I had expected.
Is there such a thing as a bourbon being too delicious, boringly good, excessively smooth?
I will report more at a later date.
Oh yeah, and now that I didn't receive George T. Stagg from my son, later this evening I will open one of the bottles that I purchased. More on that in the appropriate thread.