Color/Appearance: Yes, yes and yes. Exactly the way you want your bourbon to look. Just look at that photo. Deeply rich and darker than amber. Fire! Just one look at a glass of this and it will disappear all too quickly. I love the bottle. All rounded and tall with a classy black wax seal. Thick glass bottom and solid overall construction. I do feel like it’s a little slippery, with no edges, and I make sure to hold on extra carefully. I also enjoy all the info about the specific barrel. Really no idea where this comes from but they, like Willett, seem to source the good stuff.

Nose: Sticky and rich. Warm and elaborate spices rise up to meet you balanced with oak. Dry cocoa powder, butterscotch, vanilla and maple syrup. The rye seems cloaked in a robe of evolved brown sugar. You can tease out these individual scents but a decade of merging have really made a cohesive whole.

Palate: It’s chock full of intensity with boldly charismatic bourbon flavors, but comes off as extremely elegant, silky and dexterous. Raisins, chewy caramels and chocolate bon-bons. It has sweetness but its balance is much more of a defining characteristic. The dryness from the oak has such a soft touch that it doesn’t take over in any way. It cuts the sweetness, while lending complexity without masking or overpowering anything. It keeps expanding in the glass, providing unlimited depths to explore while maintaing a dangerous drinkability.

Finish: Spicy sweet finish ending around tomorrow with a soft dry touch of wood. This oak must be amazing. You could probably eat it on its own it is so gentle and sweet. Each glass is gone before you know it, leaving fond memories to be cherished.

Overall: I really wished I did not like this as much as I do. If you see a bottle of this in your local store don’t buy it. You should alert me and I will make sure the bottle is removed and the store owners dealt with. Feeling lucky that these last two reviews have been of such great bourbons. I have seen a bottle of the twenty year which I heard is even more incredible and I am tempted. Even though that bottle sits on a remote top shelf of a price gouging location, I want to hand over a king’s ransom to find out how good it can get. I also have heard very good things about their ten year old rye and know that a new batch is hitting the market right about now. Might have to focus my efforts on that one first.