[Whiskey Consensus] Kentucky Senator Release 2 William J. Deboe 6 Year Bourbon Review
August 21, 2021
from Whiskey Consensus
A little background
After successfully releasing a limited run batch of 15-year old Kentucky whiskey named after Alben Barkley (a senator/vice-president from the Bluegrass State), the folks at Kentucky Senator LLC are back at it with a 107-proof, 6-year old Kentucky bourbon release. Release #2 is named after William J. Deboe, who served in the U.S. Senate for six years right at the turn of the century. This release is limited to approximately 1300 bottles, and was distilled from a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. Kentucky Senator Release 2 has a retail price of $109 per bottle.
(Tasted neat from a Glencairn Glass)
Notes of french vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and banana rise from the glass after letting sit for a few moments. A little tingle of heat is found deep in the glass, but this is an otherwise approachable nose.
The palate opens with fruity notes of banana and caramelized plantains, followed by a slow simmering heat on the mid-palate accompanied by a gentle build up of black pepper and mind that spreads across the whole palate with a short chew.
I’d consider the mouthfeel on this pour a medium to thick mouthfeel. It feels a little more viscous than I expect from a 107 proof pour, but it doesn’t bond to your palate the way barrel proof pours can. After the swallow, a nice heat hits the mid palate with notes of doughy custard, black pepper, and banana pudding topped with pecan pie.The heat and flavor both diminish slowly, taking their time before finally concentrating at the rear corners of the palate and slipping away.
I like this pour. I think the 107 proof mark allows for a fair balance of flavor and heat. The strong palate was particularly appealing, although I think from start to finish this was a solid experience. As I see it, the only downside to this release is the price point. At approximately $110 per bottle, that’s a steep ask for a 6 year-old, 107 proof bourbon. Don’t get me wrong, Kentucky Senator Release 2 is a solid batch of whiskey with some neat history attached to it, but there are a lot of comparable bottles at more competitive prices that I think will make this a hard sell.
NOTE: The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Kentucky Senator Spirits LLC. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.