We wrap up 2021 with a look at the final two special edition expressions of Booker’s Bourbon for the year, 2021-03 and 2021-04. Let’s see how they compare.
Booker’s Bourbon “Bardstown Batch” 2021-03 – Aged 6 years, 5 months, 0 days; named for obvious inspiration. The nose here is toasty but not overt with char, letting sweeter notes of caramel, vanilla, and dark chocolate do more of the heavy lifting. It’s surprisingly mouth-watering as you tuck into the palate, where a load of fruit — raspberry and cherry — leads the way. A bit hot on first blush, the whiskey quickly floods the senses with more chocolate and vanilla, plus a touch of cola. A bit of an herbal pop lingers on the finish, along with a little red pepper that takes you on a nice little ride from sweet to heat. A favorite expression in this now epic lineup. 125.5 proof. A
Booker’s Bourbon “Noe Strangers Batch” 2021-04 – Aged 6 years, 6 months, 12 days; and an indication that Booker’s may be running low on product names. The nose here is woodier and beefier, a more frontier-style experience with a fat grind of black pepper and some mild hints of sharp acetone. The palate is considerably muddier, offering notes of bacon fat and fresh barrel char, just a touch of dark chocolate adding at least a nod of sweetness. Pungent and quite savory, this is a burly, palate-toughening experience that feels far boozier than it actually is – though late into the finish a hint of some candied fruit elements provide at least a glimpse of what could’ve been. (Tasted side by side with 2021-03 and it was no contest.) 124.4 proof. B
each $90 / bookersbourbon.com