Watkins Select is a bottom-shelf bourbon produced by mega-scale booze company LeVecke, but it’s at least one with promise. While it’s available in a variety of flavored versions, the standard bottling is denoted as a Straight Bourbon (so at least 2 years old) and it hails from Kentucky — lending it at least an inkling of legitimacy.
Let’s give it a try.
Immediately this emerges as a fairly innocuous and anonymous bourbon, light on the nose with notes of sweet brown sugar, vanilla, and butterscotch, with gentle notes of leather and wood on the side. The palate is extremely soft, with more butterscotch, plus honey and powdered sugar notes dominating. The focus is almost exclusively on sugar, to the exclusion of any savory elements, though to its credit the whiskey never feels overbearing or cloying. The finish is easy, quiet even, with just a touch of grain and lingering cereal milk notes left behind. Challenging and nuanced it’s not, but I’ve certainly had worse at this price point.
B / $17