96 Points Malt Advocate. Unlike the standard a ssmall batcha t releases, this is from a single barrel: a really good single barrel. I rated the 18 year old small batch a 93 in the last issue, and I like this one even better. Therea s less wood getting in the way. Ita s softer, more elegant. Lovely fruit, gently sweet (black raspberry jam, blueberry pie), with nougat, creamy vanilla, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and polished leather on the finish. And so drinkable. Classic stuff!
This is Stitzel Weller bourbon folks! Out of a single barrel! Somehow we secured yet another barrel of this exceptional 18 year unfiltered version of Jefferson. If that doesn't mean anything to you, then how about if we said single barrel Pappy Van Winkle 18 year? Stitzel Weller is the long dormant Kentucky distillery opened by Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle (closed in 1992) that made the whiskey most people now scratch and claw just to get a single bottle of - including the exclusive Van Winkle products. Known for using a special wheated formula instead of the usual rye flavoring enhancer, their whiskies are known to be some of the richest, biggest, and most long-lasting of all known American bourbons. This second barrel runs in the same direction that our last one did, but with even more going on. Instead of the woodsy, tobacco leaf nose, this batch exhibits fresh candied citrus fruit, marzipan, and pez. The awesomely ripe and unctuous nose is belied by a seamless and elegant palate. This bottle is not as austere as the last barrel, which hammered intense resin and grass on the midpalate. The dark tarry brooding finish of the last batch is replaced by soothing and balanced crescendo. The oak tannin is highly integrated and supported on entry with orange blossom and sweet subtle herb. It's depth is beguiling in that its power does not jump out of the glass, but must be coaxed. Altogether a strikingly better whisky than the last batch, which is saying alot.