This bottle took a real journey. Borger is secretly part bloodhound. I don’t know anyone who is more addicted to chasing a good deal and holy shit did he find a unique opportunity. He met an elderly gentleman in Italy with an absurd collection. Ryan kept yelling, THAT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM, as we looked through the photos. I kinda hope some of them do. He has many thousands of bottles from eras bygone that he and his father, and his grandfather, personally bought over the years. He is in his 80s and decides to find a new home for some Bourbons and Irish whisky he never got around to opening. There was tons of heart from all people involved… but ough, that was a heck of a needle to thread.
I was glad to liberate a 1987 Bookers Batch C87-D-21 and as well as a 1982 Lot C-B-04-82 along with a host of Old Fitzgerald, Old Forester, Marker’s Mark, Early Times, Mayflower, Basil Hayden’s and others from the 1950s – 1980s. A true dusty hunter treasure trove.
This bottle experienced a very bizarre shipping mishap. The wax was perfectly intact. The stopper in place. But cork was floating inside the bottle and the box was lightly moistened. And smelled amazing. I pretty much stared at the wet paper tag for 2 minutes deciding whether or not to try to suck the juice out. Those tasting notes are not included but are memorable. It tasted like shame. I ended up recording myself opening it just in case some of my buds from the community might wants a little taste.
So, it is a drinker today rather than for the special occasion I had intended.
The nose reminds me of walking through the woods in fall. That point where the mornings light frost on the ground thaws. You can genuinely smell the wet leaves and damp earth. It strikes an odd mixture of earthy and sweet that reminds me of portobellos marinated in balsamic. Nosing the empty glass thirty minutes later it reminds me of my wife’s dark chocolate lemon zest banana bread.
The palate is well integrated and balances a distinct bitterness well with a rich sweetness. Powerful oak that is lightly tannic in the way of raw almonds. The sweetness is earthy and woody, a dark maple syrup or those handmade birch sodas I used to get at county faire. This probably isn’t helpful to anyone, but it reminds me of the poison oak honey that the park ranger who dated my housemate convinced me to start taking daily when I got into long distance trail running. Best way ever to build a resistance.
I’ll admit that the absurd effort I went to chase this bastard of a bottle down, get it around the world, and the hefty price tag makes me want to like it and might make me biased. It’s pretty dang great. I went with a 7 the first try but two days later came back thinking I would be downgrading, and actually pushed it up to an 8. I haven’t published a review with a 9 or 10, but for context, that would be Parker’s Heritage 27 release 2. Is it worth what I paid for it? Depends if I have to pay Brian hourly for the bullshit we went through. Hard to say.. maybe… but I’d probably get more bang for my buck from a hella good Armagnac or solid Springer. Worth it for the story, the history and the adventure, but I’d say nope, not for the 400 euros when all said and done.