July 25, 2015

The Angel Barrel, Part 5 Guest Review by AlPop Ward

For our final guest review, one of the nicest and most generous folks that we've bumped into in our whiskey travels, Alan "AlPop" Ward from KY!!

Alan with son Brock and Drew Kulsveen at Willett Distillery

Meet Alan

I am a relative newbie to the world of whisk(e)y. I enjoyed bourbon when in college and even had Rebel Yell when it was Stitzel-Weller. Had we only known. I only had occasional cocktails for many years. My son and I discussed whiskey as he became older and came to enjoy beers and then spirits. I must give him the thanks for opening my eyes again.

My journey began with searching for the elusive Pappy and I was fortunate enough to sample a few. I wanted to broaden my horizons and ventured out into other spirits than just wheaters. We discovered ryes from another well known distiller and it was this event that led me to Smokybeast. I read one of their earlier posts about a new 4 yr old rye and asked their opinion on a 25yr old rye that I had purchased for more than I would normally pay. From these early talks I discovered that we had similar styles that were favorites. A learning curve from my point of reference was started.


I am often asked what is my favorite bourbon or drink. My reply is that it depends on the mood, but I think that my favorites all have 3 things in common. 

THE NOSE: I like a nose that comes out of the glass from about 2-3 feet and grabs your attention. This rye really draws you in. I get some mint, a bit of oak(but a good oak), some honey and pine bark.. You know some spice and cinnamon is there, but it is in control.

PALATE: I like a spirit that is complex...and not one dimensional. This rye jumps out with the spices to the forefront, even though they were in hiding in the nose. After the rush of spice, you find some hay and butterscotch. At the back of the palate, I pick up the mint and some butterscotch again. This rye is not oily, but it coats the entire palate.

FINISH: I like a drink that continues to let you know it has been there...This has a relatively dry finish, as you would expect, but it lingers for minutes. The finish is very smooth and does not burn as you would think from this proof.

REVIEW: A very solid pour and one that Smokybeast has every right to be proud of...I had originally planned on doing a side by side evaluation with a THH of same proof, but will save that for another day, and maybe a 3 way with a WillettFamilyEstate 8 yr rye.. Being a Kentucky boy all my life and with my profession, I grew up with the swish and spit syndrome, but this bottle is definitely not a spitter and you should only share the swish with your closest friends as it is that good.

Well done Mr. and Mrs. Beast

Thanks AlPop!!  We hope to get back down to KY and see you again soon!!  Cheers/SB

Read the final SmokyBeast rye piece, our interview with John Little from Smooth Ambler!

No comments :

Post a Comment