In reality, this is the fourth (and final) bourbon from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers’ Small Batch Collection — the entire line has been reviewed here now — and it is arguably the least impressive of the series. At just 90 proof, the whiskey still comes in hot and really begs for a splash of water before you sip. From there, a distinct toffee character is the most noteable characteristic of the spirit.
From here, things get muddy. Matured for “many years,” according to the label, Kentucky Vintage is extremely sweet and punctuated with some odd notes, including a kind of weedy herbal character that reminds me of dried spices that have been sitting on the shelf too long. A little bitter, perhaps… as if the sweetness is there to try to overpower the greenish tone of the herbs.
This might work in a simple cocktail — say, with Coke — where the sweetness could be mitigated and the bitter herb character would get lost, but it’s not my favorite on its own.