What Won Round 2 of $26-$40 Bourbon Taste-Off?

Part II of the $26-$40 bourbon blind taste-off is in the books, and the winner is pretty darn tasty.

Here’s a refresher of the exercise: I walk into a liquor store, with the goal to buy all bourbons in a particular price point, fill the cart up, swipe credit card and go home. If it’s not at the store, like Old Granddad 114, I don’t buy it. If it’s above or below the range, I don’t buy it. This method allows me to support a local retailer and taste products that are on the shelf. It’s not perfect, but I am having a blast with it. This is round 2 of the $26 to $40 category.

Here are the results, ranked from last to first, with tasting notes:

16. Glass N, Three Rivers (farm manure and plastic, “Why?”)

15. Glass H, Bluegrass Distillers (“Do I have to taste this one?” Aroma is Play-Doh and hot asphalt)

14. Glass I, Brough Brothers (charcoal, burned toast)

13. Glass C, Jefferson’s Very Small Batch (vanilla notes, pepper)

12. Glass F, 1776 James E. Pepper (Maple syrup nose, bitterness, tobacco, underlying sweetness, “F confuses me.”)

11. Glass B, Leadslinger’s Bourbon Whiskey (light on the nose, basically a glass of corn)

10. Glass L, I.W. Harper (“OK, it smells like bourbon,” pretty basic, brown sugar, overcooked rice, hint of pineapple)

9. Glass P, Bowman Brothers (cornbread, touch of vanilla, “pretty basic”)

8. Glass D, Redemption Bourbon (well developed, earth, touches all points of palate, sweet, fruity)

7. Glass K, Woodford Reserve (apple pie, cherry pie, “pie city,” cinnamon, banana, caramel, Nutello, hint of avocado)

6. Glass E, Chattanooga Whiskey (cotton candy, honey, allspice, caramel, Raisin Bran, “E is great, aw man.”)

5. Glass G, David Nicholson 1843 (apricot, fruit bar, peanut brittle, cayenne, “G’s got some business going on.”)

4. Glass J, Early Times Bottled in Bond (light nose, hint of caramel, spicy, fruity, touch of marzipan, “It’s got a lot going on.”)

3. Glass A, Russell’s Reserve 10 Year (cherry, fresh milled corn, banana, Juicy Fruit)

2. Glass M, Wild Turkey 101 (funk, wood, spicy under tongue, corn)

1. Glass O, David Nicholson Reserve (floral, mulch, cinnamon, raisin bread, vanilla icing)

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