Old Ezra Barrel Strength
Avery well balanced and full-flavored bourbon. The alcohol never really becomes overpowering, and this does not need a splash of water to sip, likely even for those not accustomed to higher proof whiskeys. And at $39.99, it's certainly worth having a bottle or two on the bar.
What it is
Old Ezra is a new offering from Luxco, a long-time Non-Distiller Producer who recently built a state-of-the-art distillery in Bardstown, KY. To date, most of their whiskey has been sourced from Heaven Hill or MGP, and this is likely a Heaven Hill sourced product as well. It is a straight Kentucky Bourbon, age stated on the bottle at 7 years old (THANK YOU, LUXCO!) and bottled at barrel proof- which in this case is 117º (58.5% ABV). At a suggested retail price of $39.99, this should find a home on many a bar.
From the producer:
September 19, 2018 (St. Louis) — Luxco introduces Old Ezra Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey this fall. Aged a full seven years for a more robust flavor, this bourbon is bottled at barrel strength of 117 proof. This allows the bourbon to develop bold, intense flavors with the perfect balance of oak, caramel, cinnamon and pepper, with a long, warm finish.
In line with the bourbon inside, the Old Ezra Barrel Strength premium features a custom bottle showcasing two unique embossments. For the first time, the bottles are embossed with the Ezra Brooks “EB” monogram on the base of the bottle and the Lux Row Distillers logo across the top. The die-cut label with gold and copper foil embossing allows Old Ezra to stand out to authentic bourbon drinkers. In addition, the bottle is topped off with a natural cork with wooden top.
Dark brown, definite amber tones.
Brown sugar, vanilla, and oak hit the nose with a strong burst of traditional bourbon aromas. Behind that is a certain earthy quality like tobacco or oiled leather, followed by cashews and roasted walnuts.
Surprisingly light entry to the palate, it’s sweet with lots of butterscotch and vanilla on the front of the tongue. The center palate gets a dose of cinnamon and black pepper while only moderate oak plays around the perimeter.
The nuttiness returns with a stronger push of oak and barrel tannins, rounding out a medium length finish.
I truly expected this to punch much heavier at the proof and 7 years old. Surprisingly, it is a very well balanced and full-flavored bourbon. The alcohol never really becomes overpowering, and this does not need a splash of water to sip, likely even for those not accustomed to higher proof whiskeys. While the flavors are full, it’s somewhat simple- sticking to traditional bourbon flavors and maintaining a nice balance between the nuttiness, spiciness, and sweet flavors that seems to carry through from start to finish. And at $39.99, it’s certainly worth having a bottle or two on the bar.
ModernThirst.com score: 90 out of 100.