About – “The Cream of Kentucky brand was originally introduced in 1888 by I. Trager & Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. Just prior to the end of Prohibition, the brand was acquired by the famed Schenley Company and subsequently re-introduced in 1934. Through the 1930s and 1940s Cream of Kentucky grew to become one of the leading bourbon brands, with renowned artist Norman Rockwell provided much of the award winning artwork for the brand during its heyday. Cream of Kentucky is now owned by J.W. Rutledge, and Jim has recently purchased a limited supply of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey he feels is worthy of the rebirth of Cream of Kentucky Bourbon as a premium whiskey.” This is the brand started by Jim Rutledge former Four Roses master distiller. 12.3 Year old is the third release of Cream of Kentucky. It is bottled at 102 Proof and costs around $129.
Nose – The nose is fairly complex and carries a lot of traditional bourbon notes caramel, leather, honey, oak, vanilla, and are all blended very well together.
Palate – Sweet and buttery coating the entire mouth very nicely with baking spice and vanilla coming in along with a strong oak influence. The finish is on the longer side of medium starting as bitter oak before moving to baking spice. There is a slight tend of something vegetal on the back end.
Score – B-
Verdict – It is a good whiskey, but there isn’t anything that really jumps out to me. Would have scored slightly higher without the vegetal note on the back end. That is just something I don’t find appealing. I don’t feel bad about the price paid for this bottle, but don’t see myself grabbing another or likely grabbing future releases without tasting them first.