Here’s a new kid on the block from the good whiskey folks at Buffalo Trace: Charter (aka Old Charter) Bourbon, bottled at 101 proof and retro top to bottom in its gold-trmmed, angular-designed bottle.
No age statement on the label, which is the norm for a $24 bottle of whiskey. In the glass, it’s very pleasant: This is a simple Bourbon like a higher-proof, trickier Jim Beam, full of the spirit’s characteristic vanilla sweetness, tempered with heat. The finish is small and short, as Charter 101 fades away a bit too quickly.
Try it with water for an easier time at picking out some of the herbal flavors, but it’s the sweetness that will stick with you even after the finish has faded.
I’ve heard Charter 101 can be found for as little as $20. $24 to $30 is more common, and while that puts it a cut above the cheapest non-rotgut whiskeys out there (Beam can be had for $13 a bottle), it’s still a good deal in a world of $50-plus spirits.
Give it a try if you manage to find it. It’s dandy in a Manhattan or other mixed drink and worth a try on its own or on the rocks.
B+ / $24 / bourbonwhiskey.com
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