The Puncher’s Chance lineup continues to expand with this latest sourced release, The Undisputed, a single barrel bottling drawn from a batch of 5- to 6-year-old Kentucky straight bourbons made from a mash of 75 percent corn, 13 percent rye, and 12 percent barley. Bottled at an “almost cask strength” of 54% abv, each bottle is denoted with a rickhouse number, rick number, and dump date… but no information on the distillation date. So there’s not much extra information to go on, but something you can use to compare notes with friends who have different bottles.
Like the bulk of this lineup, it’s a solid little whiskey. The nose is refreshing and spicy, featuring an immediate punch of gingerbread and toasty — but not overly charred — oak wood. Heady vanilla and cola notes imply a reasonably mature whiskey in line with the age statement, though there’s enough rustic punchiness to suggest it could have spent a few more years in barrel before being turned out.
The overproof body is immediately impactful with its racy heat and a promptly evident cinnamon character, a complement of barrel char coming into focus soon after. The amount of fruit in the whiskey is a bit of a surprise, as it’s wholly absent from the nose. Said fruit takes the form of a lively collection of fig and golden raisin notes, well-spiced from those cinnamon and gingery elements that continue to linger as the finish builds. All the aforementioned qualities remain in focus as the experience fades out, with bracing heat keeping the throttle down fully and consistently. While it can stand up to unadulterated drinking, the whiskey’s fine as is. But a little water’s a good call also if you want a change of pace, helping coax out more of the cola character while, of course, tempering the heat considerably.
All told, this is a well-rounded whiskey that takes a journey from spice to wood to fruit and back again, and if higher abv offerings are in your wheelhouse, it’s definitely worth picking up at this price.
108 proof. Reviewed: Rickhouse D, Rick 557, dumped on 11/16/22.
A- / $55 / puncherschancebourbon.com