This week it was a relatively abbreviated tasting featuring the newly arrived GBS Russell's Reserve in a blind SBS. One thing that really stood out right away was that the cap was much darker on the new GBS bottle than the other three (they are mixed up in this photo but I have since corrected them). I forgot to look at a newer bottle off the shelf to see if it was a light or darker brown.
We had a selection of four RR's to try. In addition to the GBS barrel there was a barrel from a local store I had a chance to help pick along with a store pick from a Louisville store I picked up last April and finally an off the shelf bottle from about a year ago.
The store owner managed to pick all four correctly which was quite amazing and really liked the GS bottle, picking it as his favorite over even his own store pick bottle which he really liked and had been drinking just this past weekend (which no doubt helped him identify it!). I liked them both but managed to pick the local store bottle as my first choice over the GBS bottle.
The local store pick was a bit drier to me but I guess that is my profile with a nice cinnamon component at the back of the palate and into the finish. The GBS bottle had a much thicker mouthfeel with a nice but well balanced rich light sweetness on the palate of chocolate more than cinnamon. I found the store pick to be my third choice with a similar dry mildly tannic edge but not as interesting as the local store pick while the Louisville store pick was also more on the sweet side but not as complex or rich tasting and kind of a one trick pony.
So four bottlings presumably with similar profile although the three store picks all were from a different warehouse. 2 were 5th floor and one was 6th floor for what ever that is worth. But 2 were on the drier side and 2 were on the sweeter side with one of each of those much more complex and interesting than the other one.
Will be fun to continue to explore the local store pick and the GBS pick for the next few weeks!
Still don't care much for the hang tag because if you lose it there is no good way to distinguish between bottles. Need to remember to put some sort of sticker on the bottles themselves pretty soon.
As we were wrapping up a distributor rep wandered in with the new Bluecoat barrel aged gin that was finished for at least 3 months in new oak barrels of undetermined size. It comes in a clear bottle instead of the typical blue bottle of the original. Hard to give it a completely fair assessment after all the bourbon which was followed by pizza but it seemed to be pretty good.