Nose: Lots of alcohol upfront. Followed by toasted wood, light traces of nuts and coffee. While pleasant, I wasn’t blown away by the initial nose on this.
Palate: This bourbon was a big cup of sweet for me. A strong blast of the sugars from the wood hits you the moment you take a sip. Caramel and vanilla pop right out of this bourbon, along with a light woody taste. In addition to the sugar and wood, I also tasted a trace of citrus along the line of orange rinds. The palate quickly morphs into a nice long finish. For bourbon this high in proof, it’s a really easy to sip neat.
Finish: The flavors found in the finish hit quickly and stay consistent throughout. It’s comprised of a mellow nutty flavor along the lines of walnuts, with light traces of toasted marshmallow.
Uniqueness: Barreled just before the death of Fred Noe II, the extra 4+ years in the aging warehouse treated this bourbon well. Much like the Booker's 10th anniversary release, Bookers 25th is a special one off release from the Beam Family. Once these bottles are gone, they’re gone for good…until the next commemorative anniversary bottling comes along.
Value: At $100 you’re getting a really great tasting bourbon. The normal bottling of Booker's retails for a little under $60 and is really great tasting bourbon as is. However this special bottling ups the game ever so slightly. Is it worth the extra $40 to buy a bottle? That one is debatable. If you’re a fan of Booker's normally, you’ll definitely want to try to find any remaining bottles. If you’ve never had Booker's or aren’t a huge fan normally, stick to trying to find a glass of this one in your favorite bourbon bar.
Overall: I liked Booker's 25th a lot. It was a very easy sipper for such a high proof, and I had a really nice time sipping this bourbon. I do wish the nose was better on this bottle, but then again the nose on a normal Booker's bourbon isn’t anything to write home about either.
While my preference for this bourbon was to drink it neat, if you’re inclined to add a few drops of water, I’d say go right ahead. The nose didn’t change for me, but the bourbon morphed from a sweet sipper, to a spicy bold flavored bourbon full of pepper and wood. On the finish I picked up flavors of tobacco, bark, cherry syrup, and strangely enough very light traces of bubble gum. Really feels like you’re getting a two-for-one deal on this bourbon. Enjoy a few sweet sips, and then add a little water to get a totally different profile.
To sum it up: A very suiting tribute to a legendary master distiller.
-Jordan - Reviewed: 8/2014
5 - 7