Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blind Sample #7, Rock Hill Farms

Rock Hill Farms has long been one of my favorite Buffalo Trace offerings. I reviewed it back in September and rated it a 92 so I was really interested to see what the rest of the committee thought. The bourbon is Buffalo Trace's mash bill #2, which has a higher percentage of rye than their flagship offering Buffalo Trace. (Mash bill #2 is also used for Elmer T. Lee and Blantons.) Rock Hill Farms is a single barrel bourbon that sells for around $50 in the DC area. Obviously, since it is a single barrel, it is going to vary some from bottle to bottle.  On to the notes:

Average: 82.25


Color and nose: A crystal clear ochre. The nose is pleasant: slightly sweet with corn, rye, tannins, nondescript spice, and a touch of menthol.

Taste and finish: Not high in alcohol, this drink hits the tip of the tongue. The taste is high in corn and wood. There are bits of spice, but not as much as I had hoped based on the nose. The finish is strong on corn and caramel, dissolving into the menthol.

Overall: A nice little whisky. It is not complex or bland.  I have been a bit frustrated at the dominance of corn in this round of blind tastings and may be a bit sensitive to it for a bit as a result. It seems to me that this whisky is nearly ready to break out, but just isn’t quite rounded enough to move into the very good category. Until this line cuts on the corn it remains merely good. 84/100


Nose: sweet and light; a little leathery

Taste: light and peppery on the tongue; first impression is heavy with oak

Finish: A bit of ice mellows the oak bitterness and leaves the sweetness to come through, but not much else save for some chalkiness

Overall: 80


Nose is rather boozy, some notes of orange peel. Opens brightly and with heat on the palate, then lots of mint and other herbal, medicinal flavors. Plenty of heat in the finish and an aftertaste utterly devoid of sweetness. Not fussy on this one. 78/100.


Nose: Spice, green apple, cotton candy, corn stalk

Taste: Corn foward, little heat, spice and green apple

Finish: Fruity sweetness, quite pleasant and medium length

Overall: 87

Jon, Kyle


Parting words: Man, tough crowd. I've heard rumors that Buffalo Trace may have reduced the age of this bourbon and our notes seem to bear that out. In my experience, corn forward notes tend to round out after sufficient time in the barrel (say, maybe six or eight years maybe). A few of us noted a corn forward taste. It could have also been a less than stellar barrel. Either way, I remain in the "buy" camp while my fellow members probably recommend passing on this one.

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