love Bourbon, in case you are new and have not figured that out yet I figured I better lay that out here right now. One of the things I love is seeing what effect aging has had on a decent bourbon. Is it best after four years or six? Does the recipe have enough sugar to hold up to the barrel and come out better after ten or twenty years than it was when it was meant to be bottled at four? What different flavors and smells are added or removed with time in supposedly "identical" barrels?
hat is why tonight's tasting is so intriguing. Medley Bros. bourbon has always been bottled after four years on oak. So what happens when it spends twelve years in those barrels to become Old Medley?
The Guys at Caskers sent me this bottle of Medley Bros. Bourbon and their 12yo Old Medley as well for a taste comparison.
4yo is bottled at 102 Proof and is pretty raw. Sweet at the start, with caramel and honey at the front giving way sharp flavors of cut grass and raw alcohol. Adding a couple drops of water opens up more brown sugar on the nose and the front, and smoothes out the finish.
Now the Old Medley 12yo gets it's chance to answer back!
The Old Medley is bottled at 86.8 proof, showing the angels have definitely taken their share from the barrels. There were Sweet toffee and caramels on the nose. Front has nice sweetness followed quickly by spicy notes from the rye. Heat faded quickly into brown sugar and citrus notes as it smoothed into a dry finish. A little water opened up the sweetest notes while taking the biggest bite out of the rye. Much smoother front and finish than the four year, as we would expect.