This is the summary of my tasting notes for Gentleman Jack, Four Roses, Woodford reserve and Buffalo Trace Bourbon and American whiskeys.
Gentleman Jack 40% ABV
Mid gold in colour, with a slight orange hue, decent swirl line thickness too, and slightly syrupy medium thick legs.
Initially I’m getting wood shavings, apricots, white pepper, there’s a slight vegetal note too. I’m going to add cereals/ grains, like flapjack, and some floral notes coming through for me.
Black Jack sweets, and liquorice torpedo’s, not a bad mouthfeel either actually, a little oily. Dark chocolate Orange, blood orange, black coffee, dates, anise, cigar leaves.
There’s almost a black treacle/molasses flavour here, cask char, feels higher than 40% ABV too tbh, and there’s something else I can’t put my finger on at the moment.
Quite long tbh, and quite spicy. Chilli’s as @whiskeychap is getting, espresso, grapefruit, cloves, dates, ginger root bitterness, and cask char, very nice tbh.
I hadn’t tried this before this tasting, but had read that it was a decent drop of whisky, and a step up from the entry level Jack Daniels. I have to say that i agree, this is a very nice whiskey. For around £30 and readily available here in the UK i’d definitely buy one.
Four Roses 40% ABV
Mid gold with a hint of orange in colour, again a reasonably thick swirl line and medium thick legs and teardrops.
AgaIn this noses a little higher than 40% ABV for me. Sweeter, apricots and nectarines, perhaps cherries too, toasted tea cakes, sweet lemon too, it’s spicy on the back of my palate from nosing too.
It is becoming sweeter actually, all fruit, perhaps raspberries and a little cranberry too.
Nice mouthfeel straight away, oily definitely, and initially I’m getting cherry soothers and cough candy, I’m going to say white pepper but I’m expecting that to change tbh. I’m thinking 5 spices as it’s developing, fruit cake with icing on top.
I’m adding honey, cinnamon, and ginger here, it’s becoming more spicy now.
Again quite long, quite spicy too, much like the palate here tbh, not that I’m complaining.
This was the 2nd of the 4 we tasted that i’d not tried previously to this tasting, and i really enjoyed it. A bottle of this is £23 here in the UK, that’s mad, there’s so much flavour here, with a decent mouthfeel, i’d very happily buy one of these to be honest, i really enjoyed it.
Woodford Reserve 40% ABV
Heading towards dark gold/ amber colour wise, thinner swirl line that beads up quite quickly, likely ABV related. Syrupy medium thick legs eventually fall.
ABV is definitely more apparent here, aromas are stronger. Blood orange marmalade, black cherries, wood varnish, wood shavings, but a sweetness also comes through, royal icing I’d say.
Again decent mouthfeel for me, a little oily, and then wood shavings and spices, mince pie filling, Christmas pudding, perhaps even Black Forest gateaux. Ginger root again, cinnamon, slightly over toasted bread, liquorice.
Quite long, very spicy, super warming and slowly becoming more bitter, very nice.
I have had a bottle of this in the past, and would definitely buy another. In fact i haven’t had a bottle in a while, and tasting it again last night reminded me of how much i like it. That small rise in ABV is quite apparent to be honest, it just gives that bit more punch in my opinion.
Buffalo Trace 40% ABV
Mid to darker gold with an orange hue, swirl line breaks up and beads up, with teardrop doted legs.
Wow, noses higher than 40% ABV, burnt toasted bread again, definitely a blood orange vibe, cranberries, blackcurrants? Quite spicy in general, grapefruit/ pomelo.
Oooh, this is the most confectionery of the 4, sweatshop stuff all day long for me, that stereotypical sweet shop smell. It is a little spicy, white pepper, some cinnamon coming through, and slowly becoming more spicy.
Icing sugar initially, lemonade, blood oranges, marmalade, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, golden syrup, caramel, and cask char.
I currently have a bottle of this, and again i think it’s a great Bourbon, even though it’s entry level as such. I’m enjoying my bottle that much that i’m trying to stretch out it’s demise, and again it’s another i’d definitely replace it.
As we went through these whiskeys i left a little in the bottom of each glass, i wanted to compare the noses on them once they’d been sat for even longer, and this is what i found.
With lots more time on the nose, Gentleman Jack – royal icing and sponge cake, Four Roses – Black cherries and cigar leaves, Woodford reserve – floral with more cereals, Buffalo Trace – lots of perfume and very floral.
Overall tasting thoughts
Well what a great tasting! Prior to starting this tasting i was a little concerned that these whiskeys would be so similar that i’d have problems separating them aroma and flavour wise. Turned out i was over thinking the whole thing. Even though there were some similarities, there were also differences that weren’t hard to smell or taste. Tasting these in a vertical fashion was without doubt the best way to do it, i was left feeling surprised at just how different they were from each other. Seems American whiskeys 2.0 is going to be thing for the future, happy days.
Image credits – Master of malt.
And now for something completely different.
Continuing my whisk(e)y and music thing, of songs iv’e listened to either during my tasting or review. I hope you enjoy this one.