Review: Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

Bib & Tucker.jpg
6 Years; Charred American Virgin Oak
70% Corn, 26% Rye, 4% Malt
Distiller N/A (USA)

A release coming from 3 Badge, who also make Bib & Tucker White and the fabulous Masterson’s. I love to taste product lines coming from companies who do things well. They are transparent, to their credit, about what is going on here – "lower than average” barrel entry proof, which means more flavour from the fermentation going into the barrel. A barrel char number 1 was used (less char than often, meaning a bit less caramel and sweetness). The grains harvested in late 2006 and 2007. Non chill filtered. Also, terrific bottle....

Review (2017)

  • Batch: 12th Release

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2016

The nose is nutty, with hazlenut oil, caramel, dried cherry, vanilla, and a nice showing of distillate – the corn and the rye both, with the earthy rawness of the grains coming through. Some nice earthiness – old books. The palate shows the corn beautifully, fading slowly to floral rye and spice as the finish begins. Corn husks, vanilla, cinnamon, hay, peach syrup, those hazlenuts, and a kick of oak. Great mouthfeel. I love the grain-forward nature (is this becoming a trend?) of the bourbon, rather than oak-forward. You don’t always see that. Gosh, it goes down easy. The spiciness on the finish is terrific.

It is very pleasant to sip, but I would love to use this for mixing. It would mix terifically – I don’t love heavy oak in my cocktails, and this one doesn’t give that – but it has the essence of bourbon throughout it. This would be an 84, but those grains are so beautiful....

As for cocktails - the nuttiness is nicely maintained in a boulevardier, and the oak fits in nicely to the earthiness of the campari without dominating. My favorite cocktail I made with it was a Basin St (1/3 bourbon, 1/3 triple sec, 1/3 lemon juice). It’s hard to go wrong there. I don't generally gravitate towards old fashioned, but this makes the best I’ve ever had (on second thought, this could beat out the basin st.). It’s definitely worth a go – I had a few of these...

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low (based on $105)