This lot of Rare Perfection 15-year whiskey is made from a bourbon mash bill of corn, wheat, and malted barley that was distilled in Canada. This whiskey was originally intended to be aged in a cold warehouse for a relatively short period of time, but the distillery was sold off and these barrels were forgotten in the back of the warehouse and left to age in the cold Canadian air. 15 years later these barrels were discovered, dumped, and bottled at barrel proof. Rare Perfection 15 years is a limited release that was bottled at cask strength, 119.7 proof, and has an MSRP of $189.
The nose on this bottle was interesting to say the least. Initially, I found some ethanol and what I can best describe as a note of textile rubber, which made the nose feel a bit medicinal. At just shy of 120 proof, some ethanol on the nose is to be expected. I gave this pour plenty of time to rest and these notes softened, revealing some rye spice, plenty of oak, heavy caramel, rich vanilla, and toasted coconut. I also started to find some floral notes that work quite well with the strong woody undertones.
On the palate this is one of the most unique and interesting pours I have ever experienced. In the glass it appeared to have an average viscosity, but once it is in your mouth it provides a syrup-like consistency, instantly coating your entire mouth. There is a prominent caramel sweetness, but this is balanced with some burn from the alcohol and a sharp rye spice on the tip of the tongue. I also found plenty of grain, some smoky, burnt caramel notes, more toasted coconut, and a prominent oak presence. I found that a few drops of water really helped this pour, as the thick viscosity was a bit overpowering.
The finish is long and thick, super thick! The viscosity felt heavier after the first sip and almost became overbearing by the time I finished the pour. Again, some water and/or ice really helped. Some heat and rye spice linger, but the finish consisted mostly of toasted grain, more of that smoky burnt caramel, and heavy oak.
Rare Perfection 15-year is interesting, to say the least. There are certainly things I loved about it, and others I was a bit unsure about. However, when I let this pour rest a bit I did find that the nose really opened up and revealed some very pleasant and unique notes. Further, while the viscosity was almost too much at times, I found that a few drops of water really helped to thin it out and allow more of those sweet and smoky flavors to develop on the palate. Although this is a great whiskey to enjoy neat, I can’t help but wonder just how incredible it would be in a cocktail. Might I suggest you give it a taste neat, then with a bit of water, finally mixed into a Manhattan to see what happens!
This product is only available for delivery in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
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