Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year 86 proof

Alright I went all out on this one, Tasting at both full strength and diluted. You wouldn’t think that a bourbon at lower proofs such as this one would produce anything different diluted, but it kinda did. Anyway, here goes:

Name (full): Ancient Ancient Age Full 10 Years Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Proof: 86

Approximate Mash bill: 80% Corn 10% Rye 10% Malted Barley (the information I have says all Buffalo Trace products have this mash bill, is this so?)

Bottle: I wonder if this is what you guys were discussing when you were talking about the “Old Fashioned Ugly Bottles” in earlier posts. On the surface it is an odd and awkward combination of colors but it has a certain charm about it. It is a square bottle with a 2 in smooth neck. The front label is that antiqued bronze/gold color with “Ancient Ancient Age” Emblazoned across the top in black (except the 3 A’s, which are red). Along the sides it says “Distilling Since 1869” and “Genuine Sour Mash”, which I find interesting, how some bourbons feel the need to say that while others don’t. In small print along the bottom it reads “Carefully distilled along the banks of the Kentucky River according to the finest old traditions.”. On the back it says that it is Distilled, Aged, & Bottled By the Ancient Age Distilling Co., Frankfort KY.

Color: A Very Pleasant Shade of Ruddy Amber

Nose: Initially ~Burt Sugar, Underside Of a Log/Wet Wood, Bitter Chocolate, then a little peach/melon, candied oranges, clove, rich flowers. Diluted ~ Pleasant/Green like flower stalks, then cinnamon, vanilla cake.

Taste: Initially ~ At first leaves, oak, earthy and fresh/crisp, then Vanilla, Rye, Orange, Wet Wood/Tobacco. Diluted ~ the Vanilla in the nose is very evident here, along with the cinnamon, peaches (like canned I heavy syrup), tastes kinda like rich, fruity hard candies. Overall a lot more depth to this than I would have expected.

Mouth feel: Medium and mostly clean/and smooth. It was a little tingly around the edges the first sip, but it seemed to disappear as time wore on.

FINISH: This is where this stuff really shines. Medium long, and you can feel it all the way down. There is more Vanilla & Rye, and the aftertaste you are left with is amazing!

(note: it seemed to me that diluted, the sweetness really shined through, almost too cloying in fact, the aging seems to have balanced that out nicely undiluted.)

Conclusions: This stuff is a steal. From what I have been told, this is priced in the “everyday pour” section of the store. When I didn’t know this I commented to someone that I would easily pay the lower end of Small Batch pricing for this, maybe more ($20-$26ish) because in my mind it is clearly better than most of them. This bourbon has one of the best finishes of any I have tried so far. It’s a shame they don’t sell this stuff in Ohio, cause I would always have a bottle around. This could easily supplant Old Forester (which I still LOVE, btw) as my everyday pour here. One of the great joys to me about discovering & drinking bourbon is that even the VERY budget minded can drink a good spirit. This is a case & point. If it is available to you buy some now, get off the ‘puter & go already!!!!!!


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