Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Barrel-Strength Rye

Maker: A. Smith Bowman, Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA (Sazerac)

Age: 9 y/o

Proof: 136.4 (68.2% ABV)

Notes: Lot 01-C-14, The Party Source barrel #1

Appearance: Dark, ruddy copper with thick, slow legs.

Nose: Surprisingly mellow, leather, caramel, mango, a little copper.

On the palate: Medium-bodied, sweet and hot. Cotton candy, butterscotch. When a splash of water goes in, more spice comes out. Jalapeno, paprika, and cassia join the party.

Parting words: This is an exclusive offering from The Party Source (TPS) in Bellvue, Kentucky. TPS is one of the only retailers outside of Virginia to carry the Bowman line of spirits. The whiskey is first distilled in Frankfort at Buffalo Trace, trucked to Fredericksburg where it is redistilled and then aged there in Virginia. This is good whiskey, much better than its barrel-proof sibling Thomas Handy, and rye of this age is very hard to come by. That said, it’s expensive at $73 and while it’s good, it’s not great, in spite of all the internet gushing over this stuff. Nevertheless, it’s worth a recommendation. Makes a pretty good Sazerac cocktail too (on the rocks or with a little water added).

5 thoughts on “Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Barrel-Strength Rye

  1. So it’s an excellent whiskey, but not great? I’ll have to recalibrate my adjective hierarchy.

    Did you pick up any stately old rye notes like those in the Saz 18, or is this much closer to the Handy? It’s in between them in age, and from your notes, it sounds like the Handy.

    1. What? I didn’t say it was excellent and then turn around and say it’s not great in the same paragraph. Check it again. 😉

      But seriously folks…some wood and older notes do show up, especially with water, but on the whole much more Handyesque than VWFRR or Saz 18. The mango note (or what I interpret as mango anyway) is something I associate with younger ryes. I get it in spades with Koval’s rye spirit. Anyway, thanks for dropping by!

  2. Thanks Josh! I just bought one bottle, but from the reviews I’ve read, I thought there would never be an occasion special enough to justify opening such a treasure. I feel better now, knowing I’ll probably love it, but that it isn’t a monumental experience that every human needs to have to become fully-realized.

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