Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Distilled & Bottled by:
The Early Times Distillery Company
Early Times Bottled in Bond Bourbon is a relatively new addition to the market. Early Times itself is an old brand. It was first established in 1860 by Jack Beam and A.G. Nall. The brand was successful up until shortly before prohibition when Jack and his son, Ed, who ran the distillery with him, passed away. Then prohibition closed the distillery. The brand was purchased by Brown-Forman in 1923, who originally sold Early Times Bourbon under their medicinal license.
After Repeal, Early Times bourbon rose to be the top selling bourbon in the US by 1953. However, by the 80’s the brand was an 80 proof blended whiskey, marketed as Old Style Kentucky Whisky and was bourbon blended with ~20% whiskey which was aged in used, instead of new, barrels. It fell from favor in the U.S. For the export market, Early Times remained a bourbon. The current BiB version was introduced in 2017. Brown-Forman recently sold the brand to Sazerac.
Mash bill: 79% corn, 11% rye, 10% malted barley
Let’s taste it:
🛏 Rested for 20 minutes in a Glencairn
👉🏻Nose: Banana, cherry, cedar, baking spices, caramel & a hint of tobacco; light alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Brown sugar, oak, caramel, lightly sweetened tea
👉🏻Finish: Char, oak, toffee & a hint of walnuts. Moderate burn and fairly long
Early Times Bottled in Bond Bourbon may be the most complex of the value BiB’s and the one whose price may most surprise those who taste it. It has some Brown-Forman characteristics, like the banana that I get from many of their whiskeys. The spelling “whisky” is also used, the same as for Old Forester.
Those DSP numbers will presumably change under Sazarac’s ownership. DSP-KY-354 is Early Times and DSP-KY-414 is Brown-Forman’s Shively distillery. I’m not sure if 354 goes along with the purchase because it would seem weird if Early Times was not produced at its namesake distillery. Maybe “whisky” will change to “whiskey” as well…🤔 Have you had Early Times Bottled in Bond Bourbon? What do you think of it? Cheers!🥃
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Do you want to read about a couple of more value Bottled in Bond bourbons? Check out our review of J.W. Dant & J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond Bourbons!
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