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This is a Texas-exclusive bourbon collaboration between Old Forester and King Ranch, the largest ranch in the U.S. This is a blend of Old Forester whiskey aged in heavily charred barrels and filtered charcoal created from mesquite trees harvested from King Ranch.
Rally fascinating nose. It reminds me of cotton candy, peach rings, banana bread and a dash of barrel char. Light and fruity but not in a youthful way — there's plenty of oak — but in a genuine fruit-forward bourbon kind of way.
Medium mouthfeel, it's banana bread all day long with a touch of extra char. Interesting vanilla bean and honey note as well. Everywhere you turn, though, it's banana and char, banana and char. There's a nice oakiness that's not overbearing, which is unusual given how much char is coming through with the banana.
Long finish, more char than banana.
For being so complex on the nose, the palate and finish grow increasingly one-noted. This isn't bad by any stretch, but I suspect it will be polarizing save for a narrow band of bourbon drinkers. I am thankful it's similar to Longbranch (from Wild Turkey) but with some real character, depth and flavor for bourbon lovers. That said... if you don't like banana ... steer clear.