This has long been a cherished whiskey for me so I decided to review it. I'll admit right away that this is my favorite. I like that it's still bottled at an "honest 90 proof" but has such low astringency that it's dangerously drinkable. Looking at the bottle, I'm always impressed by the bold dark color of the spirit. It looks almost ruby-like. This is due, not to the addition of caramel coloring, as you'll find in shittier whiskey, but rather is due to years of careful aging in quality charred oak barrels.
As for the price, this is probably about $10 cheaper than Jack Daniels, and just as good, if not better. Ezra Brooks doesn't blow money on advertising and sponsorships of all kinds. They invest in finding the best oak barrels and grains. The result is an incredibly rich and smooth drink.
On the nose, fairly standard, but eventually a formidable complexity ascends. Floral and charming, I'm ready to sip.
The taste is light to medium. There's no overpowering syrupy corn oil taste clouding the delicious grain notes as you'll find even in more expensive whiskeys. Ezra Brooks has a light, clean "mouthfeel" and just enough of a burn to let you know you're drinking whiskey. On the finish, delicate liquorish emerges. Sweet and refreshing, I love taking that first breath after downing a sip and savoring the lingering sweetness. I give this blend a rating of 89.
There's also a small-batch blend that I haven't found yet, but you better believe I'm looking!