Abraham Bowman Double Barrel (Limited Edition) Bourbon
A few weeks ago, I visited the A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, VA where I got a thorough tour of the facility, met with master distiller Brian Prewitt, and sampled their Single Barrel, Small Batch, and Rum.
The 100 proof John J. Bowman Single Barrel bourbon hits all of the right spots for this guy with its big, sweet notes; and the rum has an extremely pleasant, raisiny-sweet flavor profile.
Each year, Bowman releases a "limited edition" whiskey. In 2014, Brian released the "Double Barrel" bourbon. It features the standard 6-year-old, 100 proof bourbon (barreled in December 2006); however, this batch was then transferred (in April 2013) to different, new, #4 charred American oak barrels. Those barrels aged for six months in Warehouse A1. The barrels were then moved and aged for five more months in the upper floors of Warehouse K, where they were really exposed to the Virginia elements. [Bowman ages its bourbon upright, which is unique among American distilleries].
Paul Prichard does a similar thing in Tennessee (although his barrels age horizontally) with his "Double Barreled Bourbon" which happens to come in at $20 less retail. Regardless of price, they are both outstanding whiskeys if you can find them.
Abraham Bowman Double Barrel (Limited Edition)
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
$70 at A. Smith Bowman Gift Shop
Nose: Burnt brown sugar, toasted marshmallow, barrel char, caramel, baked cinnamon apples. Not very spicy or alcoholy- just big, intriguing, delicious.
Tasting Notes: The sip is strong with baking spices, toasty oak, and caramelized orange peel followed by cinnamon, caramel, clove, and vanilla. The body is lighter than expected- even a bit thin- and the finish is pleasant, tight, and on the dry side.
Overall: A-. A great, limited edition bourbon. The "double barrel" process leads to some of the best aromas I've ever experienced. Heaven must smell like a glass full of this. The distillery released a bourbon finished in barrels that once contained coffee beans- keep a look out for bottles of that; and if you ever get a chance to swing by their operation, it's well worth it.
Red, White & Bourbon