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Whisky Reviews

I Blind Tasted 8 Whiskies: Stagg Jr, Little Book, Elijah Craig, Highland Park, Barrell, Larceny, Makers Mark


8 whiskies entered, 1 liver left. Barely. The Thunderdome of barrel proof blind tastings is done, just like my hepatocytes. My palate was nearly blown all the way out by the end, but I was shocked at how much some of these cut through even at the finish.

True blind tasting, everything rested 15 minutes in a tumbler. No water added.

1) Stagg Jr. Batch 13
2-tie) Little Book Chapter 3
2-tie) ECBP B520
3) Highland Park Cask Strength
4) Barrell Bourbon New Year 2021
5) Larceny Barrel Proof B520
6) ECBP C920
7) Makers Mark Wake County ABC Private Selection

Stray observations:

  • The Stagg Jr. was an immediate dead giveaway with its nose and that opening salvo of dark chocolate. It was by chance in the middle of the lineup, and the Stagg Hug also stampeded over the next 2 glasses.
  • Little Book Chap. 3 was by chance the last glass, and it was overshadowed by none. It was an extremely impressive display.
  • ECBP B520 and Little Book flexed their age - I was surprised how much more oak and leather they had compared to the others. Strangely, ECBP C920 didn’t have they same elder statesman flavors to the same degree despite an identical age.
  • The Barrell New Year 2021 really held its own and was a pleasant surprise with how high it finished; this bottle has a ton going on. It’s probably my favorite of theirs that I’ve tried.
  • Highland Park also was a dead-giveaway; its nose remains iconic and my favorite ever.
  • The Makers got done dirty, it followed the Stagg Jr., and unfortunately it could not follow that act. There’s obvious variance in the Private Selection bottles, and this one hews closer to the brown sugar bombs of a classic Makers profile.

So, did I get it right?


Image courtesy of Jon who also writes on Low Class & High Proof.


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