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Older bourbon is not always better bourbon, but the 22-year-old annual release from Blade and Bow is one that is usually a crowd-pleaser. This limited-edition whiskey is available this month while supplies last, but expect to pay a hefty premium.
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Blade and Bow is a whiskey brand owned by Diageo, the same company behind so many well known single malt scotch distilleries and popular American whiskey brand Bulleit. The brand was created as an homage to the famous Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, which was reopened after being closed for many years in 2014 as a tourist site and visitor center for brands like Blade and Bow, I.W. Harper, and Orphan Barrel (no whiskey is made there anymore). While the brand has said that some whiskey produced at Stitzel-Weller before its 1992 closing has been included in other Blade and Bow whiskeys via a solera aging system, there is no such claim for this new release. Instead, the liquid is sourced from other unnamed distilleries, with some whiskey internet sleuths looking at possibilities like Heaven Hill and Barton.
This 22-year-old bourbon arrives each September, which also happens to be National Bourbon Heritage Month. Master educator for Blade and Bow, Doug Kragel, has some tasting notes that might be helpful if you’re interested in looking for a bottle. “Blade and Bow 22-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an homage to the American bourbon industry,” he said in a press release. “Rarely do such complex and delicate whiskies make it to this age in the state of Kentucky, but when they do they can be magical. This bourbon has layered flavors reminiscent of a freshly baked apple pie, with undertones of fresh dough and apple, layered with caramelized sugar and honeyed spices bringing everything together in an Americana flavor profile.” That last note is a little ambiguous, but think oaky, rich, classic bourbon flavors.
Blade and Bow 22 Year Old is only available in 15 states, and you can also find it at the Stitzel-Weller distillery. The SRP is $550, but a quick look online shows this bourbon going for well above that, sometimes for as much as $1,000. But hey, that’s still cheaper than a bottle of Pappy 23.
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