The first two were rather “meh”, the 19 year Rare Bourbon blew us all away and then the Very Olde St. Nick 22 year Ancient Rare Whiskey brought us back down to a nice even plane. From the lowlands to lofty heights to mid-land plains to the mountain slope and then back down again is how this series seemed to go. Going through all of these was a roller coaster of an experience.
The Ancient Rare 22 yr wasn’t mind blastingly good, but it was above average. To be honest this is more like what I was expecting from most, if not all of the VOSN bourbons. After tasting the ryes I had a gut feeling that the bourbons as a whole would be better because a brand with this legacy couldn’t have been built off of butterscotch laden rye alone. I’m glad to see that I can still trust the old gut even after all these years.
Very Olde St. Nick – 22 yr Ancient Rare Whiskey Review
Age: 22 years
Price: NA – Prices vary due to rarity (Japan export)
Bottler: The Kulsveens (Willett / KBD)
Dark caramel with some orange
The age is showing up here with the nose being a bit muddled, but it was still clear enough to pick out some nice notes of butterscotch, brittle and some cherry heavy dark fruit. A weird baking / rye spice hybrid and with an errant note of dill was lurking in the back along with some strange vegetal notes that added a new, but not unpleasant, dimension to the nose.
The cherry heavy dark fruit moves up a bit and brings along some notes of vanilla marshmallow, watery caramel, musty wood, raw grain and a medicinal cough syrup undertone. There was a bit of that baking spice from the nose, but it came across muted and seemed to be at odds with some of the sweet notes instead of working together.
Short and mostly made of watery caramel, wood, marshmellow and a weak spice
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
A bit off balance with a medium body and light syrupy feel.
Sometimes battling duality in a whiskey is a good thing and here it’s just an ok thing. The nose here was definitely more complex and interesting than the palate and the finish was a little lack luster. That said it was still something I wouldn’t mind having from time to time. Not terrible, but not particularly great either. It was just kind of there in it’s own unique way.
SCORE: 83-87/100 (range given due to having it at a tasting and not in a controlled environment)
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