The Flaviar Club Whiskey Welcome package with Koval, FEW bourbon whiskey and Featherbone Bourbon whiskey was definitely a wonderful welcome and a great introduction to some new bourbon whiskies.
I was quite intrigued and curious about how my palate would react to these unfamiliar whiskies. I decided to pass on gathering research on the tasting notes of the whiskies and just do a nosing section and a tasting of them.
As I prepped the whiskey nosing area, I figured I would need my control whisky to open up my senses which just happened to be the Lagavulin 16 YO Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky. It’s probably the peatiest whisky I have tried so far. The Lagavulin was only used for sniffing during the nosing session.
Each of the whiskey sample bottles was labelled with “A, B, or C” and Flaviar was kind enough to indicate which whiskey was in which bottle.
When the nosing area was finally sat up, I began with sample bottle “A” which was the Koval Single Barrel Bourbon whiskey. I had a sniff of the whiskey first and immediately started scratching my head and wondering what the heck it was and what were the aromas. I then grabbed the Lagavulin, took a strong sniff to clear my head and proceeded with the nosing and tasting of the Koval Single Barrel Bourbon whiskey.
Nose: Vanilla, New Oak, mystery scent, butterscotch; the memory of a warm fireplace in a log cabin, soothing and dry sawdust; stinging pepper.
Taste/Palate: Vanilla, citrus fruits, orange, turpentine or what I think turpentine would taste like; when I added Old Limestone Mixing water, the flavor became fiery spicy and extremely bitter, chewy-dry, stale sawdust. I headed to the sink, poured out the sample and then thoroughly washed out the glass. I added some more Koval to my glass without the mixing water and proceeded to the finish.
Finish: Short and slightly sweet but becomes flat and very bitter
This turned out to be an interesting whiskey and I just had to google it. I was surprised to learn about the millet grain involved in producing it . I’m sure the whiskey probably appealed to some whiskey drinkers but not to me. The remainder of the bottle went down the kitchen sink and I had to rinse out my mouth with Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I will not be buying the Koval Single Bourbon whiskey and millet grain should not be utilized in any whiskey!
Cigar Pairing: Alec Bradley Sanctum
Few Bourbon whiskey was sample “B of the welcome package and it was an interesting and pleasing aroma on the initial sniff. It seemed to have a warm-sweetness to the scent.
I took another sniff of the Lagavulin and proceeded to nosing, tasting and then finishing the sample. The color of the whiskey was amber or burnt orange.
Nose: Kiwi, sugar cane, slightly vanilla, fresh mowed grass, wheat.
Taste/Palate: Pepper, sharp melon or honeydew, summer fruit (citrus fruits like oranges); when I added “Old Limestone” mixing water, the flavor smoothed out even more; honey or caramel is detected; spicy start and then it smooths out to a refreshing tingly-tongue feeling.
Finish: Thick, rich and chewy mouthful; slightly peppery but pleasant
Cigar Pairing: Alec Bradley Sanctum (helped smooth out the harshness of the whiskey)
The Few Bourbon whiskey is one to try again. The flavor was good enough for me to buy a bottle and enjoy again and again. The spicy-peppery notes are probably due to the 20% of rye used in the mash bill.
This is a whiskey that would be good for sipping and possibly enjoying with a cigar. There were no unusual flavors detected in the whiskey and everything just seemed to blend together in perfect harmony.
And finally, whiskey sample “C” was the Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon whiskey. The Journeyman Featherbone whiskey is a light in flavor whiskey. The whiskey is distilled and bottled in Three Oaks, Michigan. The Featherbone Bourbon whiskey is an organic whiskey and the grains were sourced locally. The color would also be amber or burnt orange.
Nose/Aroma: Honey, lightly sweet; I visualize the wings of an angel displaying fierceness; peppery, pineapple and butterscotch
Taste/Palate: Peppery again, chewy mouthful, melon and honeydew fruits
Finish: Smooth, light, soft and pleasurable
Cigar Pairing: To be determined
The Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon whiskey was a pleasant and easy to drink whiskey. It’s another whiskey that requires a second try and it turned out to be another buy. When I added the Old Limestone Mixing water to the whiskey, the flavor seemed to smooth out to the point where the whiskey appeared to be hidden in the glass. You know the whiskey is present; however, it seems to be a faint taste to the palate.
I would recommend the Few Bourbon whiskey as well as the Journeyman Featherbone Organic Bourbon whiskey. We would appreciate comments and suggestions on cigars and food pairings – cheers!