Review: Abraham Bowman Vanilla Bean Flavored Whiskey

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Abraham Bowman Vanilla Bean Flavored Whiskey
Abraham Bowman Vanilla Bean Flavored Whiskey

Abraham Bowman Vanilla Bean Flavored Whiskey (45% ABV, 90 Proof, $69.99) – Most flavored whiskeys are more about the flavor than the whiskey, but A. Smith Bowman shows that you can complement good whiskey with good flavors. Solid oak leads the nose on a flavored whiskey that smells like whiskey. Of course under the oak is vanilla, as well as toffee, cinnamon, and marzipan.

The entry is softer and less oaky than the nose, with creamy vanilla mixed in with cinnamon and oak. The flavors are nice, but they aren’t very strong. What’s not there is the syrupy sugar we’ve come to expect from flavored whiskey – a welcome¬†absence. The oak spice ramps up a bit into the midpalate where the whiskey dries some¬†and ends with fairly dry finish.

Using complementary flavors in a flavored whiskey is smart, and so is not adding tons of sugar. Lots to respect here in a solid flavored offering. Initially only available in Virginia in limited quantities, but we hope that A. Smith Bowman will consider a larger distribution for this whiskey. 84 points

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Points
84
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+Geoff Kleinman, is the founder, and managing editor of DrinkSpirits.com. He is a nationally recognized spirits columnist and staff reviewer for Whisky Advocate Magazine. Geoff's work has appeared in dozens of major magazines including Playboy Magazine, Black Book, and Mixology Magazine. He is a current sitting judge for the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, the founder of the Society of Modern Journalists, holds BAR certification from the Beverage Alcohol Resource Group, is a Certified Cognac Educator, and a Kentucky Colonel
  • Tanstaafl2

    Just tried this whiskey and compared it to a single barrel John J. Bowman store pick that has been generally well regarded. Both were excellent bourbon but I could not find enough that was distinctive about the Vanilla Bean finish to make me feel like the additional cost was particular worthwhile. It has been generally hit or miss with some of these recent Abraham Bowman finishes for me. The Gingerbread beer finish had a big nose (although that has faded with time once opened) but seemed to have little impact on the bourbon. The two different port finished bourbons have been the best of the recent offerings by far for me.