Cheers for Boone County Distilling Company’s transparency in not trying to hide the source of this bourbon and cheers for the 12-year age statement. I could do without the gimmicky “made by ghosts” and strained ties to heritage, but every brand knows that history sells bourbon. Beautiful bottles also sell bourbon, and there’s no denying that Boone County hits a home run with its bottle and label design and overall aesthetics. Those things aside, twelve years piques my interest and I know the quality of MGP, so I have high hopes.
Bourbon: Boone County Eighteen 33 Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 12 years
ABV: 45.4% ABV (90.8 proof)
Appearance: Amber brown and oddly cloudy.
Nose: Subtle, earthiness and leather, with almond, black pepper, and furniture polish.
Taste: Not much heat, creamy, leather, and faint spice. It’s not a sweet bourbon by any stretch, instead leaning heavily toward the darker, more earthy flavors.
Finish: Shorter side of medium; nothing remarkable, but still a nice, friendly hug.
This batch of Boone County Eighteen 33 was enjoyable enough but something was a little off. So I did a blind side-by-side against a front-12 Elijah Craig and was astonished at how different they were. The EC12 beat Boone County at every turn and helped me find what was off—Boone County didn’t have a standard caramel and vanilla backbone. Alone those can be pretty boring tasting notes, but a bourbon is missing something to not have at least a hint of those family of flavors. It’s still a 3.0 for my tastes, but barely.
Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale: 3.0
The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill. I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings. Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon. Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws. I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection. I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.