FYI – this is a quick take review primarily because I wanted to get something out there right now. But I’ll give you my immediate thought: Kentucky Owl Batch 6 is so good, I’m going to give it two reviews.
For background…wait, I don’t need to go into the history of the marque. If you are reading this and you are interested, you already know the cool backstory. What’s important here is the bourbon.
I’ve read a couple of other reviews, and my feelings and notes are very similar, which lends credence to my review.
Bourbon Buddy mentioned in his review the color, and I noticed this immediately too. I had to look at it in some different lighting in various rooms in my house just to make sure my eye weren’t playing tricks. The barrels that Dixon blended into Batch 6 are around a decade old on average, and then batched for a few more. But this one has the appearance of a bourbon that’s been aging away for 20 or 21 years. It is SO dark.
The nose emanated with a wonderful smoky char, and gobs of strong honey, mixed with breakfast spices. There is also a fresh component, almost like an evergreen. It was comparable to an early morning hike through the mountains along a rushing stream, dew dripping on the deciduous trees surrounding you. The entirety of the nose put me in mind of the way grandma’s kitchen used to smell on cold winter mornings, when you knew she had been up early, stoking the wood stove, wood caramelizing, getting the griddles good and hot and slathering them with butter, slinging a thick slice of bread that had been dredged through cinnamon and spice to make French toast.
It’s the mouthfeel of this one that really caught me, and this is the standout component. It’s hard to come up with the right superlative, so I’ll just say “spectacular”. It’s thick and viscous, akin to the consistency of Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup. Oily is a great operative word. Yes, the love child of olive oil and bourbon. It reminded me a lot of Bernheim-era Weller that I’ve tried.
As soon as I tasted it, I knew it was special.
The flavor profile isn’t cloyingly sweet, but it has a specific kind of richness, almost like a perfect bowl of cinnamon and brown sugar oatmeal. Or the perfect batch of caramel corn at the County Fair. There is a level of spiciness, a biting oak that lets you know there is power behind the 55% alcohol, but it’s more of a dessert spiciness. That fresh woodiness is in the profile as well.
The finish is such a great sizzle. It’s got major legs on the finish, and it goes on and on, hitting all areas of my mouth and back of the tongue.
I love the new Kentucky Owl. You will too, if you can get it.
It’s early, and the fall releases haven’t been sent out yet, but it’s really hard to see anything else topping this one for my selection as Epic Bourbon’s Bourbon of the Year.
Yeah, it’s that good…..