Review: Old Ezra 101

Maker: Luxco (likely distilled at Heaven Hill, Bardstown/Louisville, Kentucky)
Age: 7 y/o
Proof: 101 (50.5% ABV)
Color: New penny
Nose: Caramel, grassy, eucalyptus, peppermint, bit of spice. Classic Heaven Hill profile.
On the palate: caramel, burn, then spearmint, then peppermint, then more burn.
Finish: long and assertive, tingles all over the mouth for a real long time. A slight hint of oak and char.

Parting Words: . It’s ironic that in Michigan one of the best expressions of Heaven Hill’s style of bourbon comes in a brand they don’t own.
The Ezra Brooks brand has a long history. It was made at the now closed but now refurbished Medley distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky for many years, and some of those old bottles and decanters are floating around. The current product is in the hands of Luxco, a company that buys its whiskey from other distilleries, as far as I can tell Heaven Hill almost exclusively, and bottles it under their own brand names. Currently Luxco’s bourbons are the Yellowstone, Ezra Brooks, and Rebel Yell lines. The EB line includes Ezra Brooks (90 proof), Old Ezra 101, and Ezra B. single barrel, originally a 15 y/o, but now a 12 y/o.

At any rate, in spite of being labeled a “sippin’ whiskey”, Old Ezra works just as well in mixed drinks. The high proof and moderate age make it a good match for more assertive mixers like cola, sours and ginger ale. This is one of my favorite bourbons in its price range. It’s good for just about anything. I always try to have some around.

7 thoughts on “Review: Old Ezra 101

  1. Josh, how do you think this stacks up against Evan Williams, esp since EWB’s move to NAS?

    It seems to me that EB is a much better value, it still being 7 years, and 101. What are your thoughts?

    1. I like both but yes, I do think Old Ezra is a better value. It also has a slightly different flavor profile than EW, to my tastebuds, anyway. It displays more of the grassy, minty Heaven Hill profile than Evan Williams. EW has more caramel, and I would guess has quite a bit of older whiskey in the mix, even though it is NAS, if that makes any sense at all.

  2. The original Old Ezra 15 Year Old 101 proof was one of the most outstanding whiskeys I ever had. It was the only one I ever bought by the case – once I realized it was no longer being produced. I wish the distillery would bring it back. The later versions of 7 Year Old were OK, but not close to the original.

  3. […] words: For many years, Old Ezra 101 was one of my go-to bourbons. As I said in my previous review, it was maybe the best example of Heaven Hill’s distictive, minty, yeast-driven style despite […]

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