Bottle of Bookers with patially filled glencairn glass

Here’s the newest batch of Booker’s bourbon. I’ve been sitting on this one for a few weeks while I cleared out a few of my older reviews. Booker’s, to me, is synonymous with quality. There are very few that I don’t like and I think—even after the price increase—it’s one of the better buys out there right now. Whenever I buy a bottle even if it isn’t my favorite I know that it will be an experience and a worthwhile bourbon.

Booker’s Blue Knights Batch 2017-02

6 years 3 months 6 days; 63.7%

Color: Burnished copper

Nose: Cloves, tobacco, spice, vanilla, and pepper.

Taste: Big and bold right off the bat. The pepper and spice hit the palate with intensity that is a bit too much before it slowly reels itself back in. Despite the prevalence of pepper and spice there is a slight sweet undercurrent of caramel.

Adding water makes it eminently more drinkable. The harsher notes are significantly lessened and the warmer, sweeter notes are blended much better. Pepper, nutty, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon.

Finish: Long earthy finish: tobacco, herbs, pepper, and char.

After adding water the burn moves to the finish where it still packs a wallop (I accept my old man card for using the word wallop). This way, however, is much preferable as you can experience the complex flavors and then are greeted with a nice spicy burn to finish off the experience. The burn lingers throughout the mouth and cheeks and really makes for a fun drink. If it’s still too much add a little more water.

Verdict: A

Despite the fact, that it’s a bit lower proof than “Tommy’s Batch” it feels like it is significantly higher. After initially not being very impressed with it—I usually drink a glass a few days or weeks before I review—I’ve changed my mind. Adding water made a big difference and opened up the bourbon into a more complex, fun experience. I really enjoyed the earthy, sweet mix followed by a long, strong burn throughout the palate. I can’t wait to drink this with a La Dueña cigar. If only it’d stop raining here in the Maryland.