Producer: Charles Medley. Distiller: undisclosed Kentucky distillery. ABV: 45%. Mashbill: 77% corn, 10% rye, 13% malted barley. Price: $60-75.
Every once in a great while, I get utterly surprised by a whiskey. Often it’s not a good surprise, like when the bourbon that purports to have subtle brown sugar tastes like burnt molasses. But on occasion, I find one I’ve never tried and am utterly blown away by it.
Such was the case with the Medley’s Private Stock. This 10-year-old whiskey purports to be inspired by the Medley family’s 1870s recipe. While this sounds like pure marketing, the Medley family has a genuine bourbon-making heritage they can trace back to the 18th century. And no less important, what’s in the bottle is damn near superior.
The Private Stock is contract-distilled for the Medleys by an undisclosed Kentucky distiller (rumored to be Heaven Hill). They’ve previously released a 12-year-old called Old Medley, and their 4-year-old Medley Brothers bottling is both easier to find than the Private Reserve, and a good deal cheaper, at $25-30. But if price isn’t an object, the Private Reserve is worth seeking out.
There’s light vanilla, caramel, spice, and oak on the nose, and all of those are joined by a really delightful hazelnut splash on the palate. The finish is of medium length and takes you from robust to warming during the journey.
I don’t know if I could justify the cost on a regular basis, but I sure did enjoy the taste. And with the holidays coming up quick, I know this one’s going to be on my list for sure.
Cheers, friends! -TM