Nov 04, 2014

Very Olde St. Nick: Ancient Cask Bourbon – Lot 15 Review

The Very Olde St. Nick Lot 15 Ancient Cask Bourbon...

Very Olde St Nick Ancient Cask Bourbon - Lot 15 Review
The Very Olde St. Nick Lot 15 Ancient Cask Bourbon was a bit of an odd duck and when you read the tasting notes you’ll see why I say that and why it was my least favorite of the night. In addition to the… “interesting” flavors and aromas found in the Lot 15 it was also unique for being the only one we had that night without an age statement and instead relied on a lot number for identification.

I don’t know if this was done as a cheeky nod to the infamous Van Winkle “Lot B” releases and a subtle clue to it’s origins or not, but it definitely doesn’t hold up in respective quality in my opinion. Maybe I’m reaching with that comparison (plus Lot B is now made by Buffalo Trace), but regardless of my Davinci Code like attempts to connect some bourbony dots it was a fun whiskey to try in the tasting and lended a different perspective on the VOSN line-up we tried.

Very Olde St. Nick: Ancient Cask Bourbon – Lot 15 Review

Cask Lot: 15

ABV: 53.5%
Age: NAS
Price: NA – Prices vary due to rarity (Japan export)
Distiller: Stitzel-Weller
Bottler: The Kulsveens (Willett / KBD)

EYE
Dark caramel

NOSE
Banana heavy fruit and butterscotch. I’m being serious here, this was something unique and crazy I’ve never experienced in a bourbon before and I can’t say I was exactly a fan of that. It was bolstered with some notes of caramel, brown sugar and vanilla that when all combined reminded me of Bananas Foster. Weird.

PALATE
That same Bananas Foster from the nose is present on the palate but the banana was a bit more subdued by the notes of caramel and butterscotch. Like with the VOSN 8 year Estate Reserve the palate here was a bit more expressive and included notes of peanut brittle, candied citrus, toffee and some hints of vanilla and spice.

FINISH
Medium finish with mild notes of caramel, butterscotch, candied citrus and a fruit note that was more like melon than banana.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Off balanced and candy heavy with a medium body and rich syrupy texture.

OVERALL
Typically I like weird whiskeys that have something new and interesting to offer, but in this case the VOSN Lot 15 was too weird for me and ended up being my least favorite of the night. Overly fruity on the nose and palate with those errant banana notes throwing everything off and honestly making it hard for me to consider drinking it outside of a tasting like this.

SCORE: 78-82/100 (range given due to having it at a tasting and not in a controlled environment)

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tagged rye, bourbon, export, japanese, kulsveen, review...