Distilled by an Undisclosed TN distiller 17 years ago (wink) - we all know who that has to be - this bottling comes to us after bottling by the folks at Big River Distilling. If you're familiar with Blue Note, Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey and Riverset Rye, this is another piece of handiwork for the brand. It's bottled at 50.95% ABV, a welcome moderate proof for something this old. Let's see how it is.
Big apple pie, spice drops, hone, cocoa and a rich vanilla bean character. Tea and candied orange. Faint pepper. Pretty opulent dessert notes throughout.
Rich on the palate, viscous mouthfeel and some amazing oak structure. Big fudge notes, a bouquet of fresh fruit like apples, pear, blackberry, cherry. Extremely low on TN minerality, if there's any at all. Oak structure helps keep everything tied together. Drinkers will have a hard time pegging this as TN distillate blind. Cherry on the back palate with big vanilla bean and honeysuckle notes.
Long finish. Pleasant and drying, but not overly tannic or bitter. Fruit cocktail carries through the finish with orange peel, cocoa and honey seeing things to an end.
There may be no better rollercoaster of expectation and realization than this 17yr Blue Note. Everything on paper screams that this should be a bitter, mineral forward, tannin bomb. What shows up, however, is a delightful fruit bowl of character, a rich chewy mouth feel and the perfect amount of oak. Holding in line with sensible value ($10/yr ish) it's hard not to remark on the value as well, but with $ not factored into ratings here, it's pure tastiness is enough to leave it standing on its own.