Cyrus Nobel (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey
Review: Cyrus Nobel (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey 79/100
Review by Chip Dykstra(aka The Rum Howler)
Published September 21, 2016
Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey is a product of Haas Brothers who were established in 1851 and headquartered in San Francisco. According to their website, the Cyrus Noble brand was originally established in 1871 (in San Francisco), and is currently distilled (in Kentucky) according to the original family recipe.
The whiskey is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume and carries no age statement; however, according to the little booklet which is attached to the neck of the bottle the spirit in the bottle is five years old.
In the Bottle 4/5
To the left is my snapshot of the Cyrus Noble bottle presentation. I like the stubby long-necked bottle, which is easy to hold and pour without spilling. The cork topper (synthetic) gives me that satisfying ‘pop’ when I open it which is always a plus for me.
However, the label could feature a stronger colour scheme, and I find it curious that I cannot find an age statement upon the bottle. As indicated earlier, a small booklet which accompanied the bottle indicates the whisky is five years old, but it is my experience that most people don’t read those booklets.
In the Glass 8/10
When I poured the whiskey into my glencairn, I saw it had a light amber/gold colour. When I tilted the glass and gave it a twirl, slender legs developed which ran rather quickly down the inside of my glass. The light colour and the rather thin legs seem to indicate a younger spirit than the booklet around its neck would suggest; however it is perilous to draw too many conclusions from the visual appearance of a spirit. It may be closer to the truth to suggest that this bourbon is bottled without the addition of sugar additive.
The breezes in the air above the glass give me impressions of oak sap and a woody spiciness which is coupled with mild indications of both vanilla and butterscotch. Tall grassy meadows wave in the breezes beside the oak spice with orange peel and scents of green apple and cinnamon. There is a however, also a warning in those breezes with undercurrents of alcohol astringency and a building indication of woodiness creeping into the air.
In the Mouth 47.5/60
The delivery seems a bit sharp to me which is perhaps due to the high bottling proof of the whiskey. It is also a function of a somewhat grassy flavour profile which features both dry peppery wood spices and a winding flavour of cigarette tobacco. These grassy spicy flavours seem to ambush the sweetness of caramel within the dram. Impressions of almond and vanilla help the whiskey find its footing temporarily; but a building woodiness knocks it back down again. After a few attempts, I found that sipping was not preferred (not even with ice) as my palate longed for a touch more sweetness to help balance the overall flavour.
I decided to experiment with a few recipes. Mint Juleps and Bourbon and Cola Buckeroos work well with the winding grassy flavour of the bourbon; but I had less luck with classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned. In the end, I decided that the Cyrus Noble Bourbon was most suited for tall refreshing cocktails, and I have shared a recipe down below.
In the Throat 11.5/15
The finish is short to medium length which is a blessing of sorts because it is in the exit that the woody bitterness of the whiskey finds its greatest expression. Although I find the winding bitterness off putting when I sip the spirit neat, I did find that this same dry bitterness worked well in tall cocktails.
The Afterburn 8/10
I was a little disappointed with the Cyrus Noble Bourbon Whiskey. The spirit carries a bit of a premium price (about 45 to 50 dollars) in my locale; but it seems more like a mixing spirit than sipper. If you are partial to winding grassiness and strong woody flavours then the dram will appeal to you more than it did to me.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Summer Breeze Highball
2 oz Cyrus Noble Bourbon
3/8 oz Bols Triple Sec
2 oz Ginger-ale to fill
Muddle an Orange Slice with Bols Triple Sec in the bottom of a mixing glass
Add Bourbon Whiskey and stir
Fine strain into a tall glass filled with ice
Complete with ginger-ale
Garnish with a coil of Orange Peel
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)