One of the first “nicer” bottles of wine that my wife and I shared after we got out of school and actually had some actual disposable income was a 2004 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon. I had high hopes for this Groth Cask Finished bourbon because of that and I was not disappointed. This bottle is batch #3, bottle #0372. This is a “very old” bottle.
Company: Castle Brands
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Mash Bill: ?
Age: NAS (Rumored to be aged 6 years and cask finished for 9 months)
ABV: 45.1% (90.2 proof)
Released: Spring 2015
Nose: This has a mustiness I can only associate with wine caves. That’s a good thing! It’s a pleasant mustiness. It’s very smooth and very subtle. There’s not one particular scent that jumps out to me. If you can imagine cooking candied pecans on the stove with the mix of brown sugar, vanilla and toasted pecans blended together and perhaps some leather at the very end I think that’s the best description of what I get here.
Taste: Very smooth on the palate with a very velvety mouth feel. I get some of the tannins characteristic of Groth Cabernet. It’s as though the “extra matured” bourbon just mellows out the flavors that are there prior to hanging out in the wine barrel. Just as with the nose there is nothing in your face. I agree this a very mature bourbon indeed. There’s a bit of oak flavor hiding in there but it is even more subtle. At the very tail end I get just a touch of maple syrup sweetness.
Finish: What I have to say about the finish is right in line with my previous comments. The smooth subtleties carry though in the finish as well some of that wine cave mustiness lingers for a bit which for me is quite enjoyable. I get just a hint of some rye heat here that I didn’t notice anywhere before. Very unique. I like it!
Overall: I got to have a taste of the Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer finish but I was unable to find a bottle of my own. Well, as memory serves this is at least as good if not better than that delicious bourbon. I know there are people out there that love to hate on the bourbons with an extra finishing process but for me this Groth Reserve Cask Finish is currently at the top of my list of favorite bourbons. This is really some great bourbon!