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Hancock’s President’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon – Whiskey Review

25 May, 2016 — by John Hayward0

I am not and never have been the president of anything, unless you count the club I made up so I didn’t feel so weird for liking Ben Affleck’s Daredevil. These facts did not stop me drinking this amazing bourbon and feeling like, yes, I could be the tyrannical leader of the US of A.

hancock's president's reserve

Hancock’s is a single barrel bourbon made by Buffalo Trace from the same family as Blanton’s and the legendary Pappy Van Winkle. It is relatively unknown in the UK but has quite the following in its home country. This was a Christmas gift from my wife, who has really been raising the bar when it comes to whiskey gifts of late.

The first little touch of class is the bottle itself, which comes in the form of a faux decanter with a big cool looking wooden stopper. The label states 44.45% the weirdest and possibly most accurate ABV I have ever seen on a bottle of any alcohol. Its name, emblazoned on a slightly cheap looking label, comes from Hancock Lee. Lee was an early pioneer who surveyed the land that the Buffalo Trace distillery is built upon.

It has vanilla and oak on the nose with no strong undertones. A distant nuttiness conjures up almonds and cashews. I have never smelled a squirrel’s breath but I strongly suspect it would match this mix of oak and nut. Subtle aromas belie the tasteful smooth creaminess within.

There is a huge depth of flavour, which makes it taste expensive and refined. Rye and vanilla meet you at first, not surprising due to the good rye content. It’s very, very smooth, well balanced and deceptively easy to drink. Next, a dark, fruity goodness eventually fades into crisp, refreshing spring water. This is a true sipping whisky and should be savoured slowly. As you have finished your fourth or fifth big glass I defy you not to imagine that you are the eponymous frontiersman sketching every hillock and creek in Kentucky. And by this point you will probably be drunk making the imagination process so much easier. 

President’s Reserve is a phenomenal bourbon that lives up to its highfalutin name. It is not easy to get in the UK but, as with all of Buffalo Trace’s output to date, this bourbon is worth every penny of its £85 price tag. I really like this as a treat whisky for special occasions as I can’t afford it all the time. Hopefully one day it will eventually make birthday cake obsolete in my life. 5/5

Find your perfect dram in our whiskey reviews section. Perhaps Smooth Ambler’s Old Scout Straight Rye Whiskey?

Hancock's President's Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon

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