there has been a topic that has been ongoing in and out of various threads and the gazebo regarding a couple of bottles of PVW15 that BBQ+Bourbon sourced in Tucson. I had a bottle from the same source, so he sent me a sample to do a side-by-side, along with another sample that he picked up elsewhere. Interestingly, I picked up ANOTHER bottle in Tucson just this weekend- add that to the small sample I have of my initial "Tucson" bottle, I have four samples of PVW15 sitting in front of me. Ordinarly, I would be a very happy man... but unfortunately that's not the case right now because one of these whiskeys is terrible.
Sample 1 is the bottle I just got from Tucson. I just opened it, so it needs to take some time to breathe and get to know the air in my house before it becomes truly spectacular, but it's well on its way. The nose is like a honey soaked nutty breakfast cereal, high pitched, incredibly sweet smelling. very much what I've come to expect of the nose from this whiskey. The taste isn't quite as amazing as the nose- but then, the PVW15 probably has one of the most amazing noses ever. There are a couple of tiny off notes in the middle that I hope will fade with some exposure to air. The finish is clean, with just the right amount of oak and maple sugar. It lasts quite some time, and the mouth coating is divine and has me salivating for some time.
Sample 2 is the bottle I bought from Tucson earlier this year, of the same "batch" B+B got his "bad" bottle from. Compared to the first sample, the nose on this one is deeper, but also somehow somewhat muted. There is a definite off note, like old wood and a tiny touch of cardboard, in the middle. The finish isn't as clean as sample 1. It's still very good whiskey with a good nose, and a pretty decent taste, and although the finish is somewhat more astringent, I'm still satisfied after taking a drink.
Sample 3 is the "good" sample that B&B sent me. It's got a beautiful nose, somewhat deeper than sample 1, but I don't know if this is because he had a chance to give his bottle more air- I literally just opened mine. The profile and tasting notes match #1 pretty closely, Down to the very slight off-note (a little bit of oak where it shouldn't be? It isn't bad, it's more like a tiny bump in the road when you weren't expecting it). Good, satisfying whiskey.
Sample 4 is the bad bottle. The nose is muted, although still very clearly PVW15, and very deep, something so endlessly easy to fall into. It's perhaps a tad more muted than sample #2. In fact, the muted nose I find very beguiling- tantalizing, instead of being so incredibly forward, this one is a tease. The taste however.... Hmm. Honey nut breakfast cereal immediately followed by somewhat mildewed cardboard that's been through the dryer after an especially filthy load of laundry? My god. the off notes are everywhere, not at ALL what I was expecting from the nose, which was actually pretty good. the finish cleans itself up enough that I don't feel like killing myself, quite. I was expecting Heidi Klum in her prime, but instead got a twisted transvestite version of Anna-Nicole smith!
What's really sad, is that there is enough goodness still in this whiskey that I want to drink it, but it's terrible. Maybe Darth Vader would be a better reference, had Luke failed.