Nose: The nose has a very earthy scent to it with notes of leather, barley, chestnut and grass. It smells on the young side with little evidence that it was aged for six years in a barrel.
Palate: Much like the nose, the palate has an earthy base to it. The palate has some hints of cinnamon, however it’s liquorice that stands out the most. Some rye spice rounds out the palate. Overall the bourbon has a generally thin mouthfeel. It also has a very noticeable whitedog taste to it. For a bourbon that has an age statement of six years and that also contains some amount of seven and a half year old bourbon, it certainly doesn’t taste like it.
Finish: As is the overall norm with this bourbon, earthy notes of pine and grass with liquorice dominate. These notes stay with you for the entirety of the semi-dry, medium length finish.
Uniqueness: This is definitely an interesting bourbon. It didn’t have a flavor profile that immediately made me love it, but it had enough curious elements that piqued my interest. Its flavor profile is definitely different than most bourbons, which probably doesn’t make this a great bourbon if you’re new to the spirit. For a seasoned bourbon drinker, Bib & Tucker is going to be a “sorta like it” or “hate it a lot” bourbon. I don’t see it as a bourbon people are going to fall head over heals for. The flavor profile just isn’t at that level. But because of its very unique flavor, some people might be intrigued, while others are going to downright hate it.
Value: At a price of $55 and a flavor profile that can be very polarizing, it’s a pretty costly gamble you’re taking buying this bourbon on the off-chance you’ll like it. The flavor alone will keep this bourbon from being an everyday bourbon, so what you’re hoping to get from this, is something to break out from time to time to mix things up. If this is the case and Bib & Tucker becomes known as a special occasion bourbon, then maybe $55 will become an acceptable price for it.
A premium priced bourbon should also have a bottle that conveys a similar message of “premium.” It makes marketing sense that a unique bourbon needs an equally unique bottle (e.g. Blanton's, E.H. Taylor). Seeing Bib & Tucker’s expertly designed bottle on the shelf screams “buy me.” Seeing the price screams “I’m special.” Together they scream brilliant marketing. After all is said and done, and you take the bourbon at face value, Bib & Tucker simply isn’t a $55 bourbon. It’s an average bourbon in a fancy bottle.
Overall: There are a lot of bourbon drinkers that will probably dismiss Bib & Tucker because of its almost too unique flavor profile. It’s odd, but not necessarily downright bad. Despite looking similar to Bulleit’s bottle design, the bourbon inside is the farthest thing from it. Bib & Tucker is a much more challenging bourbon, because it plays with the standard bourbon flavor profile. I really would have like to have seen what a few more years in the barrel would have done to this bourbon. Bib & Tucker would have benefited greatly with more oak notes in its flavor profile. As is, this is definitely a try-before-you-buy bottle. If you feel like taking a gamble, you might be rewarded with a bourbon that challenges you in the best of ways. Even if you don’t like it, there isn’t a better looking bottle on the market to collect dust.
To sum it up: A flavor profile that errs more on the unique side of the spectrum.
-Eric - Reviewed: 11/2014
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