Score: 88 points
This no-age-statement Bourbon from Diageo comes from some of the final casks filled at Louisville’s Stitzel-Weller Distillery before it closed in 1992…but with a caveat. This expression uses a solera-style maturation process in which younger Bourbons are added to the casks along with those older whiskies over time, but a small percentage of the older whiskey remains in the vats. The technique is common in Sherry production, but has only been used to make whiskies on a limited basis.
The nose is aromatic and spicy with toasted oak, baking chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and molasses. The taste is spicy with cinnamon, caramel cola, cocoa beans, vanilla, toasted oak, and a hint of black pepper. The finish is aromatic and peppery with a slight touch of lemon zest tartness, honey, and black tea. Complex and spicy. (May, 2015)