The newest batch of Booker’s has been sitting on my shelf for well over a month and as you can see I’m already half-way through the bottle. While I wanted to write up a review awhile ago it just didn’t happen. Better late than never I guess.

Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” 2018-01

6 years 3 months 14 days; 63.70%

Color: Amber brown

Nose: Immediate astringent oak and herbs with underlying floral and citrus notes and just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Taste: Strong, warm pepper bite, which gives way to oak, sage, char, and some fleeting flashes of vanilla and cinnamon.

Finish: The initial rush of flavor gives way to a deeper, harsher burn that eventually dries out the tongue leaving it feeling a bit tingly and scorched but in a good way. Once the burn falls off the aftertaste is similar to a dry wine and feels very grape-like.

Verdict: B

This is an intensely hot bourbon that will challenge beginners and veteran bourbon drinkers alike. Adding water takes off some of the most intense heat and leaves you with all the complexity without too much of the burn. I liked it but this time around I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. (Side note: someone (probably me drunk) didn’t put the cork completely back into the bottle which I believe has affected the character of the bourbon).

In my memory this was one of the best batches of Booker’s I’ve had ever and I was planning on buying another bottle to stash (I’m still going to buy another bottle). However, now that I’m part way through the bottle, it is substantially different than I remember. It is much hotter than I thought and which leaves me questioning my memory. Either way it’s still a good purchase if Booker’s is something you enjoy but I’d definitely lean towards adding some water.