Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
There are two things written on the back of the bottle that don’t present a great first impression of what may be inside (but I won’t allow them to prejudice my honest review of the spirit itself):
1) The fact that it starts “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – the cornerstones of the birth of a nation..” I understand Marketing (I am a member of it), but if that much hyperbole is warranted…
2) The fact that the last sentence states to “feel free to drink in a Whiskey Sour”. Ummm… yeah… great bourbons should not be put in a whiskey sour.
Onto the initial positive notes.. it is a very attractive bottle and opens easily. It does appear to be a spirit worth drinking.This bottle retails for around $30.
Eagle Rare was originally a 101-proof 10 year old (not single-barrel) from Seagram created by master distiller Charles L. Beam. Introduced in 1975, Eagle Rare was among the last new bourbon brands introduced prior to the current era of “small-batch bourbons”. The Sazerac Company, a New Orleans-based producer and importer and the parent company of five distilleries, acquired Eagle Rare from Seagram in March 1989. Sazerac’s Kentucky distillery was then known as George T. Stagg Distillery. Today the distillery is known as Buffalo Trace Distillery. The original 101-proof ten-year old non-single barrel bourbon has been discontinued as of March 2005.
Nose: Pleasant. A bit of Northeastern caramel, dried fig and green apple. A secondary note of iodine (not an Islay Scotch powerful iodine but a faint and quick note) and Belgian pomme frites (Belgian french fries). A fleeting note of blond coffee. Just a gentle whisper of the heat from the 90 proof… quite gentle and relaxed.
Taste:The front of the palate is mostly dark caramel and woolen socks. It sits nicely on the tongue (good mouth feel) and the heat disguises itself. Toward the mid palate, there is gingerbread and dark mustard… a seemingly odd combination that somehow works. The finish is a bit of cocoa and dark licorice with notes of spiced rum and pepper. The heat announces itself at the end but in a cool calming way.. like an old friend that you haven’t seen for a while (a small rush of excitement but also a subdued calm and peace). A good amount of residual.. mostly pepper and spiced tea.
Balance: I would say it is nicely balanced… not perfectly.. like a glass that writes a symphony from first whiff to final parting but I would say maybe a relaxed long jazz riff that doesn’t hit any particularly high notes but overall leaves you feeling calm, sedated and generally satisfied.
Overall, I would say a nice glass that could take you through a relaxing Sunday afternoon. Could pair with a light cigar or reasonably strong flavored cheeses.
I would buy again.
Score: 7.5 Black Cats (out of 10)
We are all warriors and we need to celebrate,