Young Nose’s Top Shelf 12/01/2020
The top shelf to any spirit is the mark of first impressions while at any bar or restaurant. As such, since most bars serve a wide range of spirits the top shelf may be more like top shelves, meaning a top shelf for each spirit variety. However, I find it more interesting to look at the “top shelf” at someone’s private home or bar. Usually there will be uniqueness, character, and personal taste amongst what you will find. Today we will explore my very own top shelf in my basement bar.
My top shelf is a mixture of scotch and bourbon for obvious reasons. There are a total of five whiskies on my top shelf.
First is Ardbeg 10 Year. Ardbed is the peatiest scotch I have had thus far. The reason this is on my top shelf is because of the rich honey flavors that come through once you get past the malty peat taste. This is a truly unique expression but definitely an acquired taste.
Second is Knob Creek 9 Year 100 Proof. This Jim Beam product is a traditional bourbon. Strong flavors of caramel and vanilla mixed with toasted oak and a hint of cinnamon stand out predominately. Whether drank neat, on the rocks, or with a meal this bourbon stays true to classic bourbon flavor. At a reasonable price of $40 this bourbon can and will be resupplied to my top shelf.
Third on the lineup is another bourbon, but this one has both great taste and a slight sentimental value; it is the 1792 Full Proof. Being a barrel strength bourbon the heat on this one can be a little overwhelming to the beginner. However, when I first got this bottle I would always drink it on the rocks because it would help reduce the heat but turn up the flavor. Now I can move past the intensity and onto the flavor notes, even drinking it neat. This is on my top shelf because this particular expression has helped me develop and grow my tolerance for higher proof whiskey. Also, it was the first bourbon sent up to the Scotchy Bourbon Boys from Super Nash!
Fourth is the Original Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Some may call it the famous old brand, others may know it as the J.A. Miller Chicken Cock Whiskey. This bourbon is very distinct and has strong notes of caramel and vanilla. This bottle is on my top shelf because of its superior taste; plus being at a price point of $125 per bottle some may consider it an A class bourbon. However, price does not always equate to high quality bourbon. Therefore price alone is not a deciding factor for Young Nose’s top shelf.
Last but not least on my top shelf list is the Cave Hill Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This bourbon is top shelf worthy for multiple reasons. First, this is by far my personal favorite bourbon whiskey because it blends both aspects of scotch and bourbon. The rich honey malt mixed with classic caramel and spice on the swallow gives this spirit a kick like that of the hind legs of our pet rabbit Ruby. To me this bourbon also has a small bias behind it because of the atmosphere when I first tried it. I was with Tiny, Super Nash, and Adam Edwards, the digital ambassador for Rabbit Hole Distillery. We were in the overlook bar after a private tour of the distillery. How could I not include this whiskey on my top shelf list?!
This concludes Young Nose’s list of whiskies on the top shelf. Like all top shelves spirits get consumed, things get added, and others have to step down. All top shelves are unique to those who own them. So let me encourage you, if you do not have a top shelf take some time to consider your own unique palate and experiences. After that go ahead and treat yourself to a fine pour from your very own top shelf.