William Larue Weller 2020 67.25%

Nose: I made zucchini bread two nights ago. Ad libbing with the recipe, I poured a hefty dollop of young Hampdens, white pepper and a swirl of molasses. Both savory and funky with hints of sweetness. My favorite leather belt. Touch of graphite or the whiff of a soldering gun when working on circuit boards. The oak tannins hit me as black tea. I quite like this nose, but I like oak bombs more than most.

Palate: Blackberry hard candy, bourbon soaked cherries, licorice root, grapefruit peel, spearmint, ginger and white pepper. A profoundly concentrated experience. My favorite treat on earth are my wife’s molasses cookies, basically a Pfeffuernusse in disguise, but they end up more spicy and savory than sweet. The big oak and spicy bite is my jam. I’d probably swear this had some rye if I was tasting it blind.

Rating: 7 / 10 – This is a hell of a bottle although the nose lacks the full punch of the palate. I wish I had another year open to try them side by side as I remember being blown away by both the complexity and approachability of the 2014 in a way that isn’t here in the 2020. Still, money very well spent.