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MyBrainOnWhiskey

Booker's "Kathleen's Batch" 2018-01

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MyBrainOnWhiskey
Posted (edited)

Today while at my local B&M I found the latest Booker's Small Batch release on the shelf, "Kathleen's Batch" 2018-01.  Officially released in late March, I haven't seen a single online retailer advertising any stock so I was pleasantly surprised to find it.  The reviews of Kathleen's Batch have ranged from good to excellent and I'm anxious to find out how this release stacks up against some of my past favorites.  I'll report back after I've sampled a few glasses and formed an opinion.  I'm also curious to know how others are liking it.          

Edited by MyBrainOnWhiskey
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fosmith

I understand it's a roundtable batch and I'm looking forward to trying it.  Haven't seen any out here yet.  Sip Awhile is still in the stores.  I liked all four of the 2017 batches a lot and am kind of glad they stopped doing six a year.  Too hard to keep up with them all. 

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MyBrainOnWhiskey
8 minutes ago, fosmith said:

I understand it's a roundtable batch and I'm looking forward to trying it.  Haven't seen any out here yet.  Sip Awhile is still in the stores.  I liked all four of the 2017 batches a lot and am kind of glad they stopped doing six a year.  Too hard to keep up with them all. 

Cutting the annual releases down from six to four has its costs and benefits.  I agree it was hard to keep up when it was six.  And to be honest, I still find it hard to keep up with four (although its now a bit easier).  But with four we now have higher prices.  The MSRP is $75, which is on the expensive side considering the age of the bourbon (I got my latest bottle for the "bargain" price of $71.99 - :huh:).  

 

I'm still only half way through "Front Porch Batch" and have an unopened bottle of "Sip Awhile".  I'll probably skip forward to "Kathleen's Batch" and then will hopefully loop back to "Sip Awhile" before 2018-02 is released.  So much bourbon, so little time...            

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fosmith
11 hours ago, MyBrainOnWhiskey said:

Cutting the annual releases down from six to four has its costs and benefits.  I agree it was hard to keep up when it was six.  And to be honest, I still find it hard to keep up with four (although its now a bit easier).  But with four we now have higher prices.  The MSRP is $75, which is on the expensive side considering the age of the bourbon (I got my latest bottle for the "bargain" price of $71.99 - :huh:).  

 

I'm still only half way through "Front Porch Batch" and have an unopened bottle of "Sip Awhile".  I'll probably skip forward to "Kathleen's Batch" and then will hopefully loop back to "Sip Awhile" before 2018-02 is released.  So much bourbon, so little time...            

In my area, Sip Awhile is still $55, as have been all the 2017 releases.  At that price, I usually pick up a couple of each.  At $70+, I will wait for reviews and, if they are good, I will get only one to try.  At $70, I can, with a little hunting, get ECPB and Stagg Jr., both of which I like a little better than Booker's. 

 

I don't think Booker's is going to be able to sustain the higher pricing since there are other barrel strength offerings out there now that are as good or better for the same or lower prices, eg., 4RSiBCS, ECBP, Stagg Jr., etc. 

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kevinbrink
11 hours ago, fosmith said:

In my area, Sip Awhile is still $55, as have been all the 2017 releases.  At that price, I usually pick up a couple of each.  At $70+, I will wait for reviews and, if they are good, I will get only one to try.  At $70, I can, with a little hunting, get ECPB and Stagg Jr., both of which I like a little better than Booker's. 

 

I don't think Booker's is going to be able to sustain the higher pricing since there are other barrel strength offerings out there now that are as good or better for the same or lower prices, eg., 4RSiBCS, ECBP, Stagg Jr., etc. 

As good or better is subjective I prefer Bookers on most nights to all of the above though ECBP can edge it out depending on my tolerance for oak sometimes, I don't love the new price like everybody else and haven't bought a new batch in a few years if/when the bunker dries up I'm probably just going to buy based on best price since in general I find the batches pretty consistent. 

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beasled

Noob question... what's a roundtable batch when it's at home?

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The Black Tot
3 hours ago, beasled said:

Noob question... what's a roundtable batch when it's at home?

 

Dramalot?

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fosmith
3 hours ago, beasled said:

Noob question... what's a roundtable batch when it's at home?

It's basically a panel of industry people and journalists that meet with Fred Noe to select the next batch of Booker's from among several sample batches.  Some people feel that these are generally the superior batches...

http://bourbonr.com/blog/bookers-roundtable-cheat-sheet/

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beasled
4 minutes ago, fosmith said:

It's basically a panel of industry people and journalists that meet with Fred Noe to select the next batch of Booker's from among several sample batches.  Some people feel that these are generally the superior batches...

http://bourbonr.com/blog/bookers-roundtable-cheat-sheet/

Noted, thanks!

 

25 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

 

Dramalot?

It's only a model. 

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The Black Tot

Six years, 3 months, and 14 days is the age statement.

 

Too young for my money.

 

Can't remember if the last one I tried was Sip Awhile or Front Porch batch, but it did not have the richness I taste in the older, higher aged batches.

 

I can only hope Beam has ramped up it's Booker's production as strongly as BT has ramped up the wheaters. I'd love to see it get back above 7 or even, dare I ask it, 8.

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flahute
3 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

Six years, 3 months, and 14 days is the age statement.

 

Too young for my money.

 

Can't remember if the last one I tried was Sip Awhile or Front Porch batch, but it did not have the richness I taste in the older, higher aged batches.

 

I can only hope Beam has ramped up it's Booker's production as strongly as BT has ramped up the wheaters. I'd love to see it get back above 7 or even, dare I ask it, 8.

One can only hope.

The latest Bourbon Crusaders pick is in - a 13yr 9mo Knob Creek Single Barrel. Freaking fantastic. Beam at age with proper aging conditions is a beautiful thing.

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Paddy

^^^^The 13 year/10 month we selected in December it as richly complex and full flavored as any I've ever had.  Freaking creeper finish on it, as you don't get any heat going down... and then... bliss...

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fosmith

If Booker's went to around a 10 year age statement, I don't think people would object to paying Beam's target price of $100.  That was the MSRP of the 25th Anniversary which was 10y.o. and it sold out instantly.  By cutting back to four batches a year instead of six (maybe go to two or three), they should be able to increase the age.  They are just putting too much on the market too soon.  ECBP (12y.o.) releases 3 batches a year and Stagg Jr. (8-9Y.o.) only two

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Charlutz
17 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

 

Dramalot?

I regret that I have only one like to give. Brilliant. 

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Mule Skinner

Picked one up today.  it was $66 and some change.  I stuck it on the shelf, and will get to it some time in the future.  I don't see it nearly as often as I used to, so at that price I'll grab one now and then.  I enjoy it.

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The Black Tot

I saw it a few weeks ago in Houston (yay!), but it was priced at $70 plus tax (boo!). I left it there.

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Freakdog
Posted (edited)

I had a generous pour of this on Saturday at The Pub in Gettysburg while watching the Belmont. Paid 15.00 if i recall correctly. Bottle was 2/3 full,so probably some air time ????.  Spent a good 45 minutes with it.

Classic Bookers nose/palate/finish, but one of the most balanced and oily batches i have tried recently- Bluegill Creek and Sip A While.

 

Wife even had a few sips and after she got past the heat, enjoyed it as well. We both agreed that beyond the caramel, and toffee- we got a very nice butterscotch aroma and flavor note.Will definitely pick up a bottle if I see it.

Edited by Freakdog
Upon further review...just went to the Minnik review earlier in the th018-buying-gread. He nailed it. http://whiskyadvocate.com/top-10-whiskies-summer-2018-buying-guide/
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The Black Tot

Thanks for the flavor comments, freakdog. Most appreciated!

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fosmith
On 6/10/2018 at 12:59 PM, Freakdog said:

I had a generous pour of this on Saturday at The Pub in Gettysburg while watching the Belmont. Paid 15.00 if i recall correctly. Bottle was 2/3 full,so probably some air time ????.  Spent a good 45 minutes with it.

Classic Bookers nose/palate/finish, but one of the most balanced and oily batches i have tried recently- Bluegill Creek and Sip A While.

This has finally made its way to the Bay Area and I have to say, it's one of the best batches I've had in a long time.  Less nuttiness, leather and oak and more caramel and fruit.  Great mouthfeel and finish too. 

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gurgalunas
Posted (edited)

It's been in Kansas City for a month or more.  Passed on it yesterday at $49.99.  Great price, but I haven't been feeling the more recent batches.  Like others, I've been finding KC picks to be better, and bought a 6 pack of a stellar 13 year a week ago at $40 per bottle OTD.

Edited by gurgalunas

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The Black Tot

Pretty sure at $50 I'd have given it a whirl

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Kpiz
21 hours ago, fosmith said:

This has finally made its way to the Bay Area and I have to say, it's one of the best batches I've had in a long time.  Less nuttiness, leather and oak and more caramel and fruit.  Great mouthfeel and finish too. 

Thanks for the notes. I saw the WA Top 10 where this batch is listed, but I don't really trust their American Whiskey scoring or notes so I prefer to hear from SB members. Fred Minnick's palate doesn't align with mine and I just can't trust someone whose tasting notes routinely include more than a dozen flavor descriptors.

 

You probably already know this but K&L still carries Booker's for $49.99. They don't specify the batch online though, you have to go into the store to figure that out.

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smokinjoe
1 hour ago, Kpiz said:

Thanks for the notes. I saw the WA Top 10 where this batch is listed, but I don't really trust their American Whiskey scoring or notes so I prefer to hear from SB members. Fred Minnick's palate doesn't align with mine and I just can't trust someone whose tasting notes routinely include more than a dozen flavor descriptors.

 

I so agree.  Minnick’s notes go beyond annoying to down right fictional sounding with the nonsensical spewing of multiple flavor descriptors.  Utterly worthless information.

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fosmith
1 hour ago, Kpiz said:

You probably already know this but K&L still carries Booker's for $49.99. They don't specify the batch online though, you have to go into the store to figure that out.

They (K&L) actually have a separate listing for "Kathleen's Batch" as well as the generic Booker's listing.  Don't know why, but we seem to have better prices for Booker's than most of the rest of the country.  Bevmo in Walnut Creek has it for $54.99, which is where I bought mine.  Actually got two bottles for $99.98 +tax after using my $10 off coupon. 

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