Despite a love of bourbon and central Texas summers, my back porch sometimes grows too hot to truly enjoy a glass–even in the late evening hours. Thank God for last night’s exception. It had showered earlier in the day, and instead of the sun burning up the droplets as soon as they hit the ground, the cloud cover had allowed the air to remain cool. This resulted in a maglie calcio online near-misty, damp night with few mosquitoes and varmints in sight — a night that begged for a new whiskey to be tried. I settled back into my Adirondack chair and got to “work.”
Henry McKenna Single Barrel is packaged as a “table whiskey,” and the phrase delivers on what it implies. This is a straightforward and easily downable bourbon that lacks pretension and a whole lot of fanfare.
The color, in some ways, resembles the smell — thin, temperate, middle-hued. That thinness is an attribute of the slightest medicinal astringency, something that you find in almost all bourbon, and it is not unpleasant (unlike the Cody Road debacle, an experiment maglie calcio shop which still prejudices me against rye). The nose carried notes of amber, caramel, and maple — a lot like a Dr. Pepper fountain with a little too much syrup.
I first tried the Henry McKenna without water (as usual). The initial few sips were distinctly oaky, with one of the most pleasant after-burns I’ve enjoyed in a bourbon. The burn is deep, and stays on the palate long after a single sip, with a fine char. Caramel bubbles up under that char like a good cobbler through the crust. The flavor sears a little, but is not at all punishing. At first, I tasted little to no fruity or floral notes. Again — the characterization as a “table whiskey” is dead-on.
After the flavor (or my imagination) opened up a little, I noticed the faintest apricot taste on the back-sip. By “back-sip,” I mean the moment between the initial sip and when that “char” lingers after the liquid is downed. On the finest edges of my taste buds, I could maglie calcio a poco prezzo detect white floral notes. The main body of the bourbon remained is that charred oak. Though it’s an uncomplicated flavor, I could have easily swilled a few more glasses due to this bottle’s simple goodness.
I splashed a couple of fingers of water into the second glass so that I had about one-third of water, two-thirds bourbon in the glass. DO NOT DO THIS. With water, the floral notes on the periphery dilute way too easily, while only the most peppery portions of the wood flavor surface. The caramel flavor largely dissipated. I regret splashing so much water in and will begin experimenting with only a few drops from now on.
Barrel #783. Bottled on September 28, 2001
Best aspect: A fine, lingering burn.
Worst aspect: Since using too much water was my fault, my only complaint is that one more flavor outside of the oak could have made it a more interesting sip.
Enjoyed after: prosciutto and egg sandwich
Song to pair with: “Long As I Can See the Light”