Review #97 Smoke Wagon Rare and Limited: Bourbon
Score: 9.2 / 10
Distillery: Nevada H & C Distilling Co.
Type: Nevada Straight Bourbon
Ranking Slightly above the coveted "Uncut and Unfiltered" expression of smoke wagon bourbons is the Rare and Limited Release. Blended from 11 barrels of the 5th floor warehouse 8 yr bourbons. All whiskey as of this post is sourced from Midwest Grain Products of Indiana (MGPI) using a higher rye mash bill of around 36% rye. This is highly allocated whiskey and the rare expressions are starting to fetch insane prices on the secondary market as of the start of 2021.
Just FYI, don't let the NAS on these labels fool you into overlooking these bourbons. All varieties contain blends of 4 - 10, (though occasionally up to 12) year bourbons. All are also disappearing off of shelves quickly, and I highly doubt it is because of the supply side...
Batch #1 - Bottle 1332 of 1500 - served neat in a Glencairn glass - 118.9 proof
Nose: Earthy char, burnt caramel, toasted sugar and plenty of fresh lemon. Sweet corn with a tinge of barnyard hay. Searching deeper in the glass yields some buttered popcorn notes.
Palate: Orange rind and dark fruit (cherry, plum, grape) contact the palate first. The mouthfeel is oily and semi-viscous. Then a cascade of malty vanilla ramps up with Gala apples and combines with cacao.
The second half of the drinking experience explodes into fiery cinnamon with a tingling black pepper. Sweet caramel notes are intermittent with just a touch of citrus. This pour is incredibly easy to drink at 118.9 but you can agitate it on the palate to get it as hot as you want.
Finish: Very long lasting, very tannic, dries the sides and front of the mouth out quickly, but leaves the tongue juicy. A very crave-able finish that leaves toasted oak, dry cinnamon and cacao.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Availability? Very Rare.... cough and "Limited". If you see it near MSRP of around $90 snag it. However, I don't believe that you will come across this if you are just traveling around on a whiskey hunt. A tip off from Total Wine looks like your best bet!