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Review: Pure Kentucky XO

Pure Kentucky XO (2008) - 53.5%

KBD (Willett) began releasing the Small Batch Bourbon Boutique Collection (Kentucky Vintage, Pure Kentucky XO, Noah’s Mill, Rowan’s Creek) in the 1990s. Originally, these expressions showcased high age-statements and often consisted of less than 12 barrels per batch of sourced, prime Glut Era bourbon. ~2006, Willett began bottling their Willett Family Estate (WFE) label which featured single barrel, cask strength offerings sourced from undisclosed distilleries. The WFE label quickly began to consume the older stocks that had previously been supporting the Small Batch Bourbon Boutique Collection. By 2007, the age-statements started vanishing from Noah’s Mill and Rowan’s Creek, etc. to support the WFE line.

I've had a few batches of Pure Kentucky XO like this one from shortly after the age-statement dropped. The profiles haven't been fully consistent.


Notes: Nose is... well not very bourbon-esque. Brine. Meaty, savory spice - almost sherried. Calls to mind pot still rum, even slight agave. Some young brandy notes - grassy, tart fruit. Not sure I'd peg this as a bourbon blind. After a little bit, it settles into more bourbon-y notes - eucalyptus and peanut brittle. Full on the palate. A touch rummy - Foursquare. Solid oak toward mid-palate. More savory spice toward the back. Dry peanuts in the finish.

Score: 4 (Not vocally complaining) This one was kind of a mess. It kept me invested. I didn't always enjoy it but sometimes, I did? A real thinker... I've had some sweeter leaning versions of older Pure Kentucky XO dig into fudge, maple syrup, and peanut brittle. I much prefer those.


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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