DISCLAIMER: The Sample for this review was provided by the distiller. All ideas and opinions in this post are entirely my own. I do not accept any money for these reviews.
Nose: Corn, Pepper, Vanilla, Red Fruit, Caramel, Banana Nut Bread, and Oak
Taste: Sweet Corn, Pepper, Fruit, Vanilla, Butterscotch, and Oak
Finish: No kick Short Vanilla and Oak
EDIT: I KNEW WHEN I DECIDED TO GIVE THIS A TRY THAT THERE WAS GOING TO BE A LOT OF BACKLASH. I DON’T MIND IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT I HAVE TO SAY, BUT PLEASE REFRAIN FROM PERSONAL ATTACKS. IF YOU HAVE TRIED “THE 87” PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON YOUR VIEWS OF IT.
Tom Lix, the genius behind Cleveland whiskey, was gracious enough once again to send me some samples of bourbon. I originally contacted Tom a couple months ago. After reading my Jim Beam Red Stag review Tom came back and told me he wanted to send me a bottle of bourbon that had been finished with black cherry wood. You can see the results of that review here. I will tell you that after tasting that we had to go back and beg for more booze.
For those of you who don’t know, Cleveland whiskey isn’t “normal” whiskey. It isn’t aged for years in a barrel. In fact, he ages it in a fraction of the time! Most of us Bourbonites have issues with change. We all have certain ideals about what makes good whiskey. A lot of us turn up our nose to anything under six years old. I have been guilty of it myself on more than one occasion. If the so called bourbon shortage that we are in has taught us anything, it should that we need to to embrace change. Back to the whiskey and, the one we’re talking about today is “The Eighty-Seven”.
For a whiskey that is barely aged, the nose is heavy on vanilla with pepper, caramel, and oak coming in a close second. The Banana nut bread smell is the only way I can think to describe it. I was really expecting a weak nose, but this one was actually quite robust. There was also a bit of red fruit like cherry or apple hanging out in the background. All in all, a very good nose.
The nose made quite a few promises, but the palate was a bit lackluster. Its skates over the tongue, barely touching the taste buds. It lacks depth. Taking a larger mouthful and swishing it a round does help. Drinking it this way helps to get the flavors we normally associate with bourbon. It even brings out a bit of butterscotch. Personally I prefer the corn, caramel, oak, and vanilla to greet the tongue as soon as its in my mouth. This was the biggest drawback for me. Not once did I get any hint of burnt oak, or ash in my mouth.
Taking small sips makes the finish a bit sweet, while larger mouthfuls bring out the pepper and a bit of bite on the way down.
I enjoyed this quite a bit. I won’t go as far as to put it head to head with Knob Creek, because in all honesty I am not a big fan of Knob Creek. It could easily replace my Jim Beam Black and Four Roses Yellow Label as a “Time to relax” drink, but I prefer the Cleveland Black Reserve. The only shortfall for this reviewer is the price.
I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Review suggestions are welcome.
Until Next Time,