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9 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

Stopped by the same store that I found the A122 a couple of weeks ago and picked up the last bottle they had. Everything else on the shelf was the B522. Gonna stash this one away. 

Nice! I thought I heard some folks local to me mentioning a store having more A122, so I might need to do the same. Definitely feels like a batch worthy of having a backup. Don't sleep on that B522 either. It's seriously not too far behind the A122 at all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star
Parent Company/Distillery: Sazerac/Buffalo Trace
Proof: 90 (45% ABV)
Age: 3 years
Mashbill: Undisclosed (BT Mashbill No. 2)
Price: $17.95
MECD3JB_o.jpg

Nose: There’s just not a whole lot happening here and you really gotta dig deep to get much of anything at all. With some effort, a touch of vanilla can be picked out amongst a wash of youthful corn liquor. It’s got a bit of the same “sweet paper” note I’ve found on a few other bourbons in the past… like the wrapper from a frosted vanilla cupcake or a box that held a sweet baked treat like a Danish or glazed doughnuts. Coming back to it days or even weeks later sees it offering up a little more, but overall it remains rather subdued and devoid of complexity. During those later tastings, I continued to get the sweet, sugary paper note along with a medley of fruit flavored hard candies, like an assortment of Jolly Ranchers. That sugary artificial cherry/berry thing also reminds me a bit of kids juice boxes, such as Capri Sun, Hi-C, etc.

Palate: Right away, that sugary, fruity flavor takes center stage, and is very reminiscent of a cherry slushy and cherry/strawberry flavored salt water taffy. More of that light vanilla comes through here as well. Additionally, I find a faint nuttiness/yeasty note which gives off some slight breakfast cereal vibes. The mouthfeel is on the thinner end of medium and feels sort of silky, but more watery than anything. Like the nose, this is really lacking in terms of complexity, but at least it’s not offensive.

Finish: While it’s nothing too crazy, there is more length and intensity at this stage than I was initially expecting based on the experience up to this point. It has a somewhat unexpected liveliness from the start of the finish which carries through pretty much right until the end. It’s not really peppery, or cinnamon-y, or hot, but rather just zippy/zingy… honestly not too dissimilar to the effervescence of Pop Rocks candy. This adds a nice brightness to those same cherry/vanilla flavors from the nose and palate. On the tail end, a small amount of oak bitterness hides deep in the depths.

Overall: My only prior experience with anything that said Ancient Age on the label came two decades and change ago when I was visiting a friend for the holidays and his mom offered up the standard version to add to the egg nog she’d made. I might as well have poured a shot of bug spray in the cup. I literally had to dump it out in fear of getting sick, as I thought that perhaps the nog had gone bad or something. So I tasted a small sip of the nog by itself, and it was completely delicious. Then, I tried a sip of the Ancient Age. It was beyond disgusting… just an awful, astringent nightmare. Easily the most foul drinking experience I’d ever had up to that point in my life, it made me steer clear of all things Ancient Age from then on.

Yet over the years to come, I’d heard some decent things about this particular version, particularly back when it still carried the 10 year age statement. That had me slightly intrigued.

So, when I was looking for a sub-$20 sipper/mixer recently and the store was out of my typical go-to’s for that sort of thing, I somewhat reluctantly decided to finally give this version a try.

While it’s way better than what I was half expecting based off of my ancient egg nog experience, it truly is remarkably simple. It’s super easy to drink, but the trade off seems to be that without much character, it gets kind of boring rather quickly. Some oak, leather, spice, tobacco, etc. would probably help this a ton in terms of adding personality and balance. On top of that, this really does seem to suffer from a lack of time in the barrel. I’m not usually one to make much one way or another about the appearance of a bourbon, but this one really stood out. It has to be the lightest color I have ever seen on a bourbon. It seriously looks more like I poured a reposado tequila into my Glen, because it’s practically clear with just a little yellowish tint. Given the extreme lightness of the color, I’m actually shocked the neck label states that this is “aged at least 3 years”, because I’d easily have expected it to be far less.

All in all though, I think this is decent enough yet falls noticeably short of some other options in this price range like Wild Turkey 101, Old GrandDad Bonded, Early Times BIB, Evan Williams BIB, Evan Williams 1792, Fighting ****, and more. I’m sure some of that has to do with the additional age and 10 proof points those bonded releases are bringing to the table comparatively, but even the similarly proofed/priced EW1792 offers considerably more character than the Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star. This was fine to try, but not one I plan to grab again with so many other options out there.

Score: 4.5/10

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  • 2 months later...
8 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

Can’t believe there’s been no activity in here since August. 
 

@k-train, I’ve been drinking a lot of this. It’s lower proof than I think you’d enjoy, but it’s got a ton of flavor. 
 

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I've been out of the game for a bit. I work on an 11-month contract, so every year I am effectively unemployed for a month until my contract gets re-upped. With no income & some pressing home repairs, I haven't been in a position to seek out anything other than the cheap go-to's (OGDBiB, RR10, EWBiB, etc) for a while. Since I wasn't bringing in any new nicer bottles, I went through a ton of stuff. There was a point when I realized nothing I had was below 114 proof. It seemed like it was taking a toll, so I've actually been way more open to drinking sub-100 bourbons than I have been in a long, long time.

Then about 2 months ago, I started noticing a constantly sore spot in my left ribs, plus my upper left abdomen just felt kinda off... not painful, just always gurgling & not feeling normal like the rest of my stomach.

After talking to my doctor, I had some blood work done which showed some elevated numbers for my liver. Nothing crazy, but double what it had been 6 years ago. So until we figure out what in the heck is going on, I'm holding off on consuming any alcohol.

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52 minutes ago, k-train said:

I've been out of the game for a bit. I work on an 11-month contract, so every year I am effectively unemployed for a month until my contract gets re-upped. With no income & some pressing home repairs, I haven't been in a position to seek out anything other than the cheap go-to's (OGDBiB, RR10, EWBiB, etc) for a while. Since I wasn't bringing in any new nicer bottles, I went through a ton of stuff. There was a point when I realized nothing I had was below 114 proof. It seemed like it was taking a toll, so I've actually been way more open to drinking sub-100 bourbons than I have been in a long, long time.

Then about 2 months ago, I started noticing a constantly sore spot in my left ribs, plus my upper left abdomen just felt kinda off... not painful, just always gurgling & not feeling normal like the rest of my stomach.

After talking to my doctor, I had some blood work done which showed some elevated numbers for my liver. Nothing crazy, but double what it had been 6 years ago. So until we figure out what in the heck is going on, I'm holding off on consuming any alcohol.

D@mn. I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. I’m glad you’re abstaining until you know what’s going on. If you don’t mind, let me know how you’re doing. 

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3 hours ago, k-train said:

I've been out of the game for a bit. I work on an 11-month contract, so every year I am effectively unemployed for a month until my contract gets re-upped. With no income & some pressing home repairs, I haven't been in a position to seek out anything other than the cheap go-to's (OGDBiB, RR10, EWBiB, etc) for a while. Since I wasn't bringing in any new nicer bottles, I went through a ton of stuff. There was a point when I realized nothing I had was below 114 proof. It seemed like it was taking a toll, so I've actually been way more open to drinking sub-100 bourbons than I have been in a long, long time.

Then about 2 months ago, I started noticing a constantly sore spot in my left ribs, plus my upper left abdomen just felt kinda off... not painful, just always gurgling & not feeling normal like the rest of my stomach.

After talking to my doctor, I had some blood work done which showed some elevated numbers for my liver. Nothing crazy, but double what it had been 6 years ago. So until we figure out what in the heck is going on, I'm holding off on consuming any alcohol.

Probably for the best man. Good luck to you 

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16 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

D@mn. I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. I’m glad you’re abstaining until you know what’s going on. If you don’t mind, let me know how you’re doing. 

Thanks, man.

That sore spot on the bottom of my left rib cage feels sorta like they're bruised. It's a relatively small area, and while it hasn't spread much, after 2+ months it also hasn't gone away completely either. There are definitely times where I notice it more than others, but I still haven't figured out if there's anything I'm doing (physical activity, diet, etc.) that's triggering it or keeping it from improving. The pain is never severe, just noticeable & inconvenient... probably 1 5 or 6 out of 10 at its worst.

At first, I was worried that it could be something like a ruptured spleen, but two different docs seemed to dismiss that after physical exams & the fact that it'd probably be far more painful at this point.

I'm equally unsure what's causing the left side of my stomach to feel strange so much. It was constantly 'active' making gurgling noises & felt like it does when your belly starts to rumble on an empty stomach. It was doing this just one the left side & whether I was full or not. I had a colonoscopy on Monday & outside of two small polyps being removed, everything was good as gold with that whole thing. I've had a pretty healthy diet (compared to the average American anyhow) for a long, long time, so that wasn't too much of a surprise. However, it's a bummer that it didn't seem to provide any answers as to what was causing my stomach to act up. My doctor also had me submit a stool sample & that came back negative of anything odd. So, still trying to figure that one out, too. I definitely can tell that I'm becoming less tolerant to certain foods... potato chips, lentils, too much citrus, etc. So perhaps that's just a matter of adjusting my dietary habits a bit.

The blood work showed low red blood cell count & low hematocrit, which can be signs of anemia. These numbers weren't far off from where they were 6 years ago, though... so not super concerning. My alkaline phosphatase level was slightly low also, which again can be a sign of anemia. It was just barely shy of the normal range, and also not far off from what it was years ago.

Additionally, my AST & ALT numbers were flagged as being high. ALT was 55 U/L, which is almost exactly what it had been 6 years ago. The thing that got my attention was that my AST went from 54 U/L six years ago to 109 U/L with this most recent test. There are apparently a number of things that could be causing that number to double (muscle injuries, alcohol consumption, infection, etc.), but that's the reason I've decided to abstain from alcohol until I get a more clear picture of what's going on. Better safe than sorry.

At any rate, my doctor doesn't seem super concerned at this point, so I suppose that's good. I just wish there were more answers. I have an appointment next month, and I'd imagine there will be more blood work done, and perhaps some other testing, scans, etc.

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15 hours ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

Of course you’ve had it! Lol. I bought a bottle of Amador today on sale. 
 

For the 1792, seems like it’s worth the price but not if it goes up. Haven’t had it but wanted your insight before trying it 

Bourbon prices have definitely continued to soar over the past several years, but I have a hard time seeing the standard offering of 1792 going for $50. For a sub-100 proof, non-age stated, batched bourbon, something like a bump up to $35-$40 seems far more realistic.

Perhaps the person who mentioned that to you is just speculating due to the recent rise in popularity of a few of the other offerings in the 1792 line.

The 1792 Bottled in Bond won double gold at the 2020 San Francisco Spirits Award & gained a lot of hype. The limited runs of 1792 12-year & 1792 Sweet Wheat always get hyped up, too. Because there's just not much to go around, this two can fetch a high price on the secondary market. Whether or not the actual bourbon in those bottles is truly worthy of the inflated pricing is extremely subjective. Personally, I don't often find much that lives up to the hype. Would I purchase a bottle of 1792 12Y or Sweet Wheat if I just happened across them at retail? Absolutely. Would I chase them for anything more than $5-$10 above retail? Heck no. Far too many good bourbons out there to ever chase anything... that includes Pappy, Weller, Blanton's, EH Taylor, etc.

Anyhow, the standard 1792 is a fine, all-around daily sipper. Not too light, not too intense. Just a solid middle ground with a decent array of standard bourbon flavors/aromas. I do think it's one that can sometimes start sorta harsh upon first opening, but a few weeks of oxidation can really help in come around into something really enjoyable.

In addition to the ones I mentioned earlier, they also have a Single Barrel version and a Full Proof version. The regular releases of these two can be really hit or miss, but if you come across store picks of either of these, they are absolutely worth exploring. I've had a few different store picks of the Single Barrel & they have all been quite good... a solid step above the standard small batch offering or the standard single barrel offering. The Full Proof picks can be harsh, but are typically far superior to the regular Full Proof release. Again though, I don't advise paying a premium for those, but at or near retail, they're a but all day long most of the time.

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8 hours ago, VTCrunkler said:

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How is it?

The standard release is nothing special, but I've heard some of Yellowstone's store picks can be pretty good.

If this is a new special release, it feels kinda odd since the whole toasted barrel thing was done to death about a year ago. I'm really surprised they'd just now roll that out.

But hey... if it's tasty, that is really all that matters.

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1 hour ago, k-train said:

How is it?

The standard release is nothing special, but I've heard some of Yellowstone's store picks can be pretty good.

If this is a new special release, it feels kinda odd since the whole toasted barrel thing was done to death about a year ago. I'm really surprised they'd just now roll that out.

But hey... if it's tasty, that is really all that matters.

I have not. My buddy has

http://philtalkswhiskey.com

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