Sunday, February 25, 2024

Assessment: Ezra Brooks 99 Straight Rye and Bourbon Cream (2023)

Lux Row’s Ezra Brooks model is getting the glow-up remedy, with new and reformulated variations  of two of its entry-level merchandise, Ezra Brooks Straight Rye and Bourbon Cream. Each are altering proof, recipes, bottles, and labels, so let’s dig in and see if these modifications are for the higher.

Ezra Brooks 99 Straight Rye (2023) – Lux Row’s Ezra Brooks line hasn’t all the time been probably the most thrilling model, however the model ought to be recommended for persevering with to work at issues. Ezra Brooks 99 Straight Rye is a brand new expression with no connection to the older Ezra Brooks Straight Rye (although that older model seems now to be discontinued). This 99 proof expression is produced from a 51% rye, 45% corn, 4% malted barley mashbill and is charcoal filtered earlier than it goes into the barrel, although it’s nonetheless made by MGP in Indiana. (The older, 90 proof model is a vastly totally different 95% rye.) Each, nonetheless, carry a 24 month outdated age assertion.

Ezra 99 is a step up, although it stays a youthful, scattered spirit. A bit beefy on the nostril, the rye spice character is muted, permitting the barrel to take extra of the main focus. Notes of mint are outstanding on the palate, although a sprig of random inexperienced herbs takes maintain shortly. A chewy, nearly gamy high quality grips the tongue, although notes of almonds and nougat sweeten the expertise up only a bit. Because it lingers within the glass, the whiskey turns into more and more doughy and hard, with some astringency on the end. Higher than Ezra? Sure. However that was a ’90s band. 99 proof. C+ / $30

Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream (2023) – Launched as a sugar-laden monstrosity again in 2017, Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream has been reformulated with, notably, the next proof — leaping from 25 to 33 proof, making it “one of many highest proof ranges of any providing within the Bourbon Cream class,” per the corporate. It’s nonetheless nonetheless made with Kentucky bourbon and actual cream. Excellent news: The sugar is much less heavy-handed this time round, too — or maybe the increase of alcohol has dulled it — which permits extra spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg to point out themselves as a substitute of the blunt butterscotch and vanilla that was endemic to the 2017 launch. Each of these sweeter qualities are nonetheless current right here, however they’re mercifully tempered, making a extra conventional, traditional, and straightforwardly pleasurable expression of bourbon cream. Notes of maple and cinnamon toast on the end aren’t unwelcome this time round, although do word the worth has jumped significantly. 33 proof. A- / $22 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream (2023)


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