Please note that this review is for the Ancient Ancient Age Bourbon marked “10 Star,” not the one marked “10 Year.”
From the same distillers as Buffalo Trace, Ancient Ancient Age is a real Kentucky Bourbon that has been on the market for more than 50 years.
Unscrewing the top, I can’t help but notice some of the stronger classic bourbon scents coming out of the bottle. Once I have it in a glass, I am quite surprised at how complex it seems. A pleasant musty corn smell rides on top of what seems like a faint spicy hint of rye. Charred oak and the faintest waft of honey come to the front after a little swirling.
Taking a sip, the alcohol seems overwhelming at first, but at 90 proof that is not too much of a surprise. The oak is perhaps the strongest flavor component, followed closely by the pleasant corn taste typical of bourbons and a faint hint of bananas. As in the smell, I do detect a hint of rye. The flavors stay on the palate for quite some time in a relatively pleasant fashion, with the corn and the rye saying their long and lingering good-byes. If I breathe through my mouth after taking a sip, though, the rye flavor seems to take on a rather unpleasant musty quality. I think I’ll be breathing through my nose with this one! After sipping for a while, I am beginning to think there is more rye than corn in the flavor profile.
This whiskey does take a few sips to get used to as it does have a somewhat harsh quality, but is definitely a bourbon that can be sipped. The only real complaint I have with it is the musty quality that comes when breathing after drinking, which I have never experienced before with any other bourbons. All in all this seems like a reasonable, though not good, value for the money.