Aged charred oak | Dried tobacco leaf | Rye spice | Leather | Caramel | Baking spices | Dried raisins | Well balanced aged notes
Baking spices | Rye spice | Burnt Caramel | Mixed spiced dry dark fruits | Cinnamon spice | Aged oak | Thick mouthfeel
Dry oak | Dry leather | Dry cigar box | Rye spice | Light cinnamon spice | Bold lingering heat | Overtly dry
Now celebrating its 5th anniversary, King of Kentucky solidifies itself as one of the most anticipated ongoing limited releases in the world of bourbon.
King of Kentucky is back with its fifth annual edition. This year's release continues the trend of an ever increasing bottle count compared to past years. The 43 barrels resulted in 3,500 bottles being released, which is the highest bottle count to date for the brand. In addition to the 15 year bottling, an ultra limited 18 year bottling will also be available, with only 250 bottles being released. The press release states that the barrels chosen for this year's release were from two lots of barrels from 2004 and 2006. King of Kentucky has impressed us in the past with the 2018, 2019, and 2020 releases, each making our short list of “Whiskeys of the Year.”
Compared to last year’s 2021 release, the 2022 release leans a little more heavily into drier flavors, especially in the finish. The sip opens with well balanced aged scents that force you to just linger for a while inhaling the delectable aromas. The aged notes carry over into the palate, merging with rich spice and a hint of sweet to provide balance and an overall complex flavor profile. The only fault that is holding this bourbon back from being truly spectacular is the finish. It’s full of bold spice and heat which showcases its proof well, but it’s also full of swaths of dry flavors that are fighting to suck the moisture out of your mouth. It’s not a complete turnoff, but more of a stumble to greatness. After five years of constantly being good, King of Kentucky is proving that this release should be just as anticipated as the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and other hotly anticipated fall limited edition releases.
The bourbon being reviewed comes from barrel #14, which the company states is a “Representative Barrel.”