North Star Vega 33 Year


Vega 33

Age: 33 years

Proof: 92.4 (cask strength)

Notes: Sweet and rich up front with pear, dried fruit and sweet vanilla. Spice and oak come in towards the end and especially on the finish. It makes you want to take the next sip. The mouthfeel is excellent, especially given the proof.

Stars: 3 - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle


Everything I want scotch to be (well aged, NCF, cask strength). This is the best North Star release I’ve had so far!

Old Fitz 17 Year


Old Fitzgerald 17 Year

Age: 17 years

Proof: 100 proof

Notes: Rich oak, sweet peanut brittle, leather, a long warm finish with spice and oak balanced with vanilla.

Stars: 3 - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle

TL;DR: This was excellent can’t wait for the next older Heaven Hill release.

Binders Stash 1011 and 1012

I was curious about these sleek black Binder’s Stash bottles and decided to pull the trigger with Barrel #1012 and then grabbed 1011 as well. They are both solidly aged, higher proof and distilled in Bardstown, KY. There aren’t that many options for distilled in Bardstown which was fueled speculation that at least some of these were sourced from Willett.


Binder’s Stash Barrel 1011

Age: 10 years

Proof: 119.7 proof

Notes: Sticky caramel, lots of spice and oak, brown sugar drank hotter than the other, subtler fruit notes, a bit of leather

Stars: 2 - Very good whiskey: I would want to have a bottle

Binder’s Stash Barrel 1012

Age: 9.7 years

Proof: 124 proof

Notes: Dried fruit, mint, bubblegum, warm spice, caramel and oak on the finish

Stars: 3 - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle


1012 was the clear winner for me and I ended up grabbing a backup. It was definitely on profile for Willett and putting it up against some WFE Single Barrels blind it was close (if not quite at that level). Given the crazy prices on Willett these days the ~250 felt fine on this one for me. The 1011 was also quite good but not at the same level. I enjoyed every drop and while I am not looking for a backup there I will certainly be looking for the next releases.


TL;DR: 1011 was good but 1012 was something else and definitely reminded me of Willett.

Samuel Maverick Barrel Proof and Private Reserve

The folks with Samuel Maverick were kind enough to send me 2 bottles of their whiskey to enjoy. They just released a 4 year old Private Reserve which I was excited to taste and since I enjoyed my entire first bottle of the Barrel Strength I was happy to have a replacement. As with anything where I didn’t buy the bottle I won’t be assigning star rating.


Samuel Maverick Private Reserve

Age: 4 years

Proof: 90


Notes: Honey, cornbread, buttercream frosting, slightly bitter dark chocolate, warm finish with clove and holiday spice notes.

This was nice but a little underproofed for my taste especially when drinking it alongside the barrel proof. That said the extra age definitely comes through in a good way. A bottled in bond take might also be a an interesting way to get the proof up without going all the way to barrel proof.

Samuel Maverick Barrel Proof

Age: 2 years

Proof: 114


Notes: The nose is powerful with charred oak and sweet caramel notes. The palate is layered with sticky caramel, corn bread, rich oak and baking spice notes. It’s got a great mouthfeel. The finish is long and warm with lingering oak and spice.

While I’ve enjoyed it neat this whiskey shines in a cocktail like many other young high proof whiskeys. This one is big enough that its core flavors still shine through in an old fashioned or boulevardier and it’s my current go to for old fashioneds at home.

TL;DR: Overall I enjoyed both of these and would love to see a barrel proof take on the 4 year!

American Highway Reserve Route 2

Thanks to the folks at Bardstown for the bottle! Since I was gifted the bottle I will not be assigning a score.


American Highway Reserve Route 2

Age: 4-12 year blend

Proof: 98


Notes: Raisins, fresh cut wood, slightly bitter herbs, caramel, holiday spice

TL;DR: Big upgrade from Route 1. The GA bourbon does great work like it does in Discovery Series 9

Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project 160


Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project 160

Age: NAS

Proof: 90


Notes: Smells and tastes a lot like Eagle Rare. Nose is sweet and earthy with cherry and live oak notes. The palate brings the cherry and oak plus vanilla and a hint of spice. The finish is long and woody. The taste evokes eating a cherry candy in the woods.

Stars: 1 - Good whiskey: I would choose to drink this over readily available whiskies

TL;DR: A small upgrade to Eagle Rare but harder to get and more expensive

Single Cask Nation Tomatin 12 Year


Single Cask Nation Tomatin 12 Year

Age: 12 years

Proof: 116.2

Cask Type: Second fill bourbon barrel

Cask No: 800-230


Notes: Sweet and floral with honeysuckle and pair notes. Balanced by a bit of oak and vanilla extract. Medium length spicy finish with baking spice and dried fruit notes.

Stars: 1 - Good whiskey: I would choose to drink this over readily available whiskies

TL;DR: Quite good but I was hoping for more

Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Rye 114 Loch and Key Wish It


Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Rye Loch and Key Wish It

Age: 7 years

Proof: 119.4

Barrel No: 114


Notes: Sweet and herbal nose with vanilla cream and Italian herb notes. Rye spice, herbal liqueur, caramel and a bit of tropical fruit on the palate. The finish is long and spicy.

Stars: 3 - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle

TL;DR:Exactly what I expected and wanted from a WFE Rye

Bold Move Beverages Cold Brooze Original Black

The folks at Bold Move Beverages were generous and gave me a 4 pack of their new Cold Brooze Original Black. Cold Brooze is made here in Austin from American whiskey, cold brew coffee and natural vanilla. Given that whiskey and cold brew are my favorite beverages I was very excited.

The coffee is the star of the show here with deep flavors. The whiskey comes through nicely though clearly in a supporting role and the vanilla is relatively subtle. I tried this both right out of the can and poured over ice and definitely preferred it extra cold. It was a great way to stay cool while griddling up breakfast on the Blackstone. The 0 sugar is also a big plus for me. Overall I really enjoyed this and look forward to picking up some more.

Willett Family Estate Bourbon OHWB

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar in Florida picked this Willett barrel a while back. I got to try it via OJ from Taste Select Repeat on a New York trip and he let me keep the rest of the bottle.


Willett Family Estate Bourbon OHWB

Age: 8 Years

Proof: 137.2

Barrel #: 4793


Notes: Sweet fruit notes, spearmint, warm spice. Very classic Willett rye bourbon profile just turned up a notch from most of the bottles I’ve had. Drinks wonderfully even with the very high proof. Great mouthful. Very long finish with spice, oak and vanilla

Stars: 4 - Extraordinary whiskey: An all time favorite


This was an outstanding Willett pick. Powerful and delicious without being overwhelming. Overall in my top tier of Willett bottles I’ve had.