Old Pogue Master’s Select came recommended to me after I told the woman helping me that I particularly liked the Old Forester I had last week. It seems appropriate to make a comment about Dirty Old Towns or something along those lines, but that would just be too obvious, wouldn’t it?
Old Pogue Master’s Select’s bottle is quite attractive. It’s simple, the typeface is elegant without being showy, and most importantly, it shows off the bourbon very well. Its not-overly-sloped slides and relative slender profile direct light pleasingly through the amber tones within. The hand-numbering is always a nice touch as well.
However, OPMS succumbs to the urge of burdening their product with over-wrought nostalgic tales in the little attached booklet. Stories of how OP is somehow the most authentic bourbon lead in to tales of the Civil War and early Kentucky settlers. Honestly, these kind of stories don’t mean a thing if your product isn’t good.
So let’s give this a try.
To the nose, Old Pogue Master’s Select comes across with dry hay and plenty of proof. Deeper in, there are elements of wet slate and generally a wetness (moss, bark, grass, etc) that belies the first impression of dry hay. I wish this weren’t so harsh, I feel like there’s much more I’m missing here.
On the palate OPMS is surprisingly sprightly. It definitely tastes quite green and a little under done, but that initial rush is exciting. It is definitely sweet, with elements of that hay from the nose, but them moves in to a slightly tart mango – all along with the clear impression this is green, corn whiskey. As these intitial impressions fade, there arrives a bit of a more savory sensation like a young, un-peated Scotch (barleyish) – a little bizzare actually. The finish is quite clean.
I really think that Old Pogue Master’s Select could do with more time in the barrel. The over all impression is largely that of immaturity and over-proof – even though it isn’t even 50%. Needless to say this has very little in similarity to the Old Forester I tasted last week.