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fishnbowljoe

BOTM 6/18: HANCOCK'S PRESIDENTIAL RESERVE

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fishnbowljoe

I'm only a day late, but that's better'n par for the course. ^_^ Yet again another revisit, although it's been a while. HPR was last the BOTM way back in February of 2009 to be exact. It started showing up (again) the last few months at a number of stores in my area. And FWIW, I recently finished a bottle. :P  Soooooo......

 

To me, HPR is an odd proof (88.9) single barrel iteration that isn't an overly complex bourbon. I don't know about the rest of y'all, but there are times that I firmly believe that simple can be better. Know what I mean? ;) It's a light, sweet, very easy drinker, which pretty much sums it all up for me. A no brainer bourbon? On occasion, yes. A nice summertime bourbon? Definitely. An every day drinker? Probably not so much. I definitely think it's a great change of pace bourbon though. The price is the only drawback that I can see. I've seen it at $50.99, $53.99, and $55.99 at three different stores in my area. Do I want another bottle? Yes.  Will I buy another bottle? Probably, uh maybe, uh maybe not. I have no idea, but I will say that I do need one to go alongside a RHF and Blanton's, so who knows? :blink: So let's hear it for HPR. Happy posting to y'all!

 

Biba! Joe

 

 

 

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0895
Posted (edited)

Couldn't agree more, Joe.  Excellent choice.  After I saw your post, I pulled it down for a fresh taste.

People seem to dog this for the lower proof, but that's what makes it shine for me. 

Still very flavorful and a good representation of mashbill 2.

Price is definitely its biggest problem.  Hard to pay more for this over ETL & RHF.

My bottle is from 2016.  I had to scour around in southern IL to find it, so I probably won't be replacing it anytime soon.

 

IMAG3408.jpg

Edited by 0895

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Paddy

I agree that it's a nice representation of MB2 (training wheels included), but on its best day it's still a sub $30 bourbon with a $100 name. 

 

At todays admission price, there's too many other great bourbons out there on the shelf for me to give this one a second glance.

 

I'd love to see AAA 10* come back with a bit more age on it, even if it meant dropping this label.  If they want to swing for the fences, let's just go ahead and bring back my fav, AAA 10 year! 

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JoeTerp

I had this one the other day SBSBS with some of it's MB#2 siblings (ETL and RHF) and it was a distant third place.  It was ok but nothing special.  I did stumble upon this at VA ABC a while back and think it was likely in the $50-$60 range  which makes it a tough buy when VA ABC still has ETL at $38 with more availability as well. 

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Richnimrod
Posted (edited)

HPR is good.    ...But, not fiddy bux good for my taste buddies.    I'm with Paddy and Joe Terp on this one.    At $25-$30, I'd keep one on the shelf for the sake of 'representing' with Blanton's, Elmer T. Lee and Rock Hill Farms (all of which I find a good deal more satisfying than Hancock's almost every bottle... I had one lousy bottle of ETL several years ago).    All of this is, of course just my own opinion.

Edited by Richnimrod
grammar

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Thig

I thought it was thin and didn't offer much. I have it on my list not to replace and at $50 not buying another is easy.

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Flyfish

Liquor Barn in Lexington used to have palettes of the stuff all the time for $27. But that was also when they had ETL, AAA10YO, and VOB6YO that seemed like more prudent purchases. Can't picture myself paying $50 for HPR.

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dcbt

As with the other BT mash #2, HPR agrees with my palate.  I don't reach for it often because of its relative scarcity, but when I do it's usually while I man the grill outside, seems to go well with that endeavor.  HPR, ETL, and Blantons are all so similar to me I don't think I'd be successful at a blind test.  RHF I MIGHT be able to pick out as it seems to have a little more 'grassiness' to it but then again I might not win there, either.  I love them all, though it sometimes seems like overkill to have so many similar offerings within such a small proof range.

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0895
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, dcbt said:

  I love them all, though it sometimes seems like overkill to have so many similar offerings within such a small proof range.

I've often thought about this, and my conclusion is that it's the result of having single barrel products with actual pulled (for dumping) barrel profiles not fitting specific product profiles.

 

With 4 single barrel products all @ different proofs, BT has more flexibility on hiding the barrel variations, while still allowing that barrel to be sold as a "premium product" versus getting dumped into a bottom shelfer.

 

Through a neat marketing trick, they are able to sell all the barrels that aren't quite "Blanton's" at a higher price.

Arguably, these brands were around before "the boom", but today this is especially good for the consumer, because more whiskey is reaching shelves as "single barrel premium product".  Let's face it, nobody is bunkering AAA 10 star or regular AA..... Or at least they aren't bragging about it online.  :)

 

This whole theory is just conjecture on my part though.

 

Another interesting thing I've noted is that the HPR bottle is (as far as I know) not being used by other brands (sazerac or otherwise) for different products.

Edited by 0895

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Mako254
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Paddy said:

I agree that it's a nice representation of MB2 (training wheels included), but on its best day it's still a sub $30 bourbon with a $100 name. 

 

At todays admission price, there's too many other great bourbons out there on the shelf for me to give this one a second glance.

 

I'd love to see AAA 10* come back with a bit more age on it, even if it meant dropping this label.  If they want to swing for the fences, let's just go ahead and bring back my fav, AAA 10 year! 

 

I’m right there with you Paddy. I bought a bottle and used it primarily for tastings when doing a BT mash bill 2. Most folks said ‘meh, that elmer t lee is really good’

 

I didn’t dislike HPR but there wasn’t anything there I really wanted again. Especially for $50. 

 

With so much demand for the other MB2 offerings, one might think that juice would be better served older at a higher proof in a square decanter bottle w/ a big stopper and a horse on it. 

 

My bottle of HRP was greatly enjoyed by friends in old fashioneds at a steeple chase race earlier this spring. The bottle was exhausted. 

Edited by Mako254

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Vosgar
15 hours ago, Paddy said:

If they want to swing for the fences, let's just go ahead and bring back my fav, AAA 10 year! 

+1! I have a few of those stashed away (liter bottles!) and even though it's kind of thin for its age it's still a favorite. Time for an email to Mark Brown..... :)

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flahute

There are days when my palate is in just the right spot and HPR tastes like the finest of all the BT expressions. Problem is that on the other 6 days of the week it tastes off and unbalanced to me. Don't know if it's me or the bourbon. This makes it a tough buy at the price point. Rock Hill is better at a similar price point. My past couple Elmer's have been weak so I don't care about that brand the way I used to. Any more I just load up on good BT store/private picks.

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CardsandBourbon

It's MB #2 so of course I like it.  As the entry level MB #2 it fits right where I think it should.  The only reason I don't drink it more often is how hard it is to find.  The bottle I bought I got for $42, and I probably should have picked up a couple more since I haven't seen it since that one time.

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Paddy

^^^^If you haven't already, I'd recommend at least trying Ancient Age, which is the entry level for MB2 (with an entry level price, to boot).  For me, HPR is just no longer worth the trouble (given it's inconsistency and current price).

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The Black Tot

I really love HPR. So much so that I will uncharacteristically post in BOTM. Normally I don't do this because I'm away from my collection and can't sit down with a glass as I write, but HPR I can do confidently from memory.

 

I've beat the drum on the 'pear note' that I get from HPR, which is unique and I think this flavor development direction is one of the ways a barrel gets selected to be HPR and not other Mashbill 2s.

 

I've grown biased because I stocked up on a few cases of the Liquor Barn store pick of it when I tried it and it wowed me. I'm pretty sure those were about $33 per, and my only regret is I didn't have enough space in the car for twice as much :)

 

It's not a huge complex beastie. But it has pleased everyone I've poured it for, and it's also a great choice to serve someone who is just getting started and isn't yet ready for barrel proof heavyweights.

 

So I haven't had the regular single barrel in a while, but it was the regular single barrel that I first bought and said "nice!", and led me to being excited about the store pick.

 

I agree though I wouldn't buy it at $50. It's a very good less than $35 bourbon option.

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smokinjoe
4 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

 

 

I've beat the drum on the 'pear note' that I get from HPR, which is unique and I think this flavor development direction is one of the ways a barrel gets selected to be HPR and not other Mashbill 2s.

 

Barrel selection, schmarrel selection...  ????

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The Black Tot
4 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Barrel selection, schmarrel selection...  ????

Selected...at the appropriate age :)

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Paddy
43 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

Selected...at the appropriate age :)

Well, that barrel did happen to be.  Most of the time, that pear note you like ends up being a sour wood note...

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The Black Tot
1 minute ago, Paddy said:

Well, that barrel did happen to be.  Most of the time, that pear note you like ends up being a sour wood note...

I believe that. The first bottle I tried was an old shelfer, possibly of generous glut age...

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flahute
9 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

I really love HPR. So much so that I will uncharacteristically post in BOTM. Normally I don't do this because I'm away from my collection and can't sit down with a glass as I write, but HPR I can do confidently from memory.

 

I've beat the drum on the 'pear note' that I get from HPR, which is unique and I think this flavor development direction is one of the ways a barrel gets selected to be HPR and not other Mashbill 2s.

 

I've grown biased because I stocked up on a few cases of the Liquor Barn store pick of it when I tried it and it wowed me. I'm pretty sure those were about $33 per, and my only regret is I didn't have enough space in the car for twice as much :)

 

It's not a huge complex beastie. But it has pleased everyone I've poured it for, and it's also a great choice to serve someone who is just getting started and isn't yet ready for barrel proof heavyweights.

 

So I haven't had the regular single barrel in a while, but it was the regular single barrel that I first bought and said "nice!", and led me to being excited about the store pick.

 

I agree though I wouldn't buy it at $50. It's a very good less than $35 bourbon option.

That barrel you stocked up on is an exception to what I said above. That one tastes good 7 out of 7 days.

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uncork_it_already

I picked this up last month, cracked it right open and found it to be a very pleasant pour.

 

I paid $55 here in NYC (seen it for $85+). Would rather have Blanton’s at that price. Or pay more for RHF. I may like it more than ETL but haven’t had it in over a year (the other three I’ve had within the last two months). Never had Ancient Age.

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NDN98

I enjoy HPR, but not as much as the other Mash Bill #2s from Buffalo Trace.  Due to the proof, it's a little thinner than ETL, Blanton's, RHF, etc., but I still like it.  To me it is also a little fruitier too.  When I see it in the $45-50 range, I buy it.  Some places around me price it in the $80 range, which is hard pass for me.  I recently bought 2 bottles at $47.99, since I hadn't seen much of the other bourbons from BT that share the mash bill.  To me it is still a good sipper, especially during the summer.

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Charlutz

This one just confuses me, ok whiskey in an overly ostentatious bottle and lately a price tag approaching $50. Just doesn’t work for me. I like the bourbon, but not as much as ETL or RHF. I’m not a huge fan of standard Blantons, but it’s miles ahead of HPR and only $10 more. I just don’t have a place on my shelf for HPR, but I’ll drink it if offered. As I said, confusing.  

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Clueby

I picked up a bottle of this while on a long weekend trip to Tucson last month. I hadn't this in a LONG time. There was a whole shelf of it. I think it was $39.99. May have been $49.99. I wanted something not readily available at home. Intended to drink a bit and pack the rest home in checked baggage.  It didn't last the 3 days. The proof contributed to that but it was incredibly easy to drink. A bit thin as noted above and I agree on the fruitiness. I thoroughly enjoyed every last drop though.

20180506_171034.jpg

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