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Black Maple Hill 18 years old


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This bottling has been around for some time, it is a finite supply. I am referring here to the straight rye, released some years ago by an outfit in California and at the time bottled for KBD (I believe) by Julian.

It is a personal favourite, and I've been pondering which forum to put a taste note in. Vbt #56 would have been great, but it was not to be. :).

So here's a go at it on the eve of my Chicago trip.

Nose:

This is a different effect to most bourbon and rye although sharing some elements. There is an aged candy odour, also something like old flowers, and light smoke in the background. It seems to be aged bourbon and rye at once, possibly disclosing a "legal rye" mashbill.

Taste:

Quite full bodied with alcohol framing a sweet wood taste, smoky sweet wood. This is barbeque for grown-ups. There is no musty or other off tastes, just mature, natural ones. A quiet, confident whiskey.

Aftertaste:

Soft, echoing tastes from the flavours on the palate. Tannin or ashes do not obtrude, as in some well-aged whiskeys.

Assessment:

Topmost quality. American whiskey at one of its heights. It has a taste of old-time and reminds me of some old (mid-1900's) bourbons and ryes essayed at Gazebos. Elements of this bring to mind too some of the iterations of the ORVW ryes. To sum it up, I'd say it shows how good straight whiskey can be at the older end of the spectrum, when everything is in synch.

Gary

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My sister bought me a bottle of this last spring for my birthday. My original tasting notes are below. At the time I found it to be quite good, but a little old/woody for my taste. I liked the 16yo version better. As I often do with rarer bottles, I drank 1/2 the bottle and then put the rest away in a 375ml bottle for later. About a year later I opened the 375 and found it to be even better than I remembered, quite wonderful. Maybe my tastes changed over the year, maybe breathing a bit and then sitting for a year changed it a bit.

Purchased at: BevMo, San Diego CA

Purchased for: $70.00

Info on this bottle: Cask R77

Nose: Oak, port, caramel, chocolate, grape candy and a hint of banana.

Taste: Full flavor on the palate. Sweet and buttery rich. Root beer.

Finish: Medium length. Oak, dry with a hint of sweetness.

Overall: Elegant and sophisticated. Good, but I prefer the 16yo. A hair too old and woody for my taste. If you like Pappy 20/23yo you will like this as well.

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