Early Times Bottled In Bond is a new, affordable, release from Brown-Forman and no it’s not the same recipe as Old Forester. They’re close, but Early Times uses a different ratio of grains to give it a bit of a differentiator. Often known as a bottom-shelf-brand it’s about time Early Times gets some love from its owners.
In Brown-Forman’s Words: Early Times Bottled In Bond
“Early Times Bottled-in-Bond is crafted with pure water, a mash bill composed of 79% corn, 11% rye, and 10% malted barley, fermented with a proprietary yeast strain and carefully distilled. It is matured for a minimum of four years in new charred oak barrels, resulting in a classic, smooth bourbon, rich in taste and character.”
Fred Minnick has a nice quick write up about this whiskey that I recommend taking a look at after we do the Early Times Bottled In Bond review. In his write up he mentions that this is a tribute to the 75th anniversary of this whiskey which has some historical significance to it despite its current placement in the bourbon pantheon.
Early Times Bottled In Bond Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Mashbill: 79% Corn, 11% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: At least 4 years
Early Times Bottled In Bond Review
Classic Bourbon: Caramel, oak, dark fruit, peanuts, vanilla, cinnamon and bits of oil and molasses cookies. Nice… quite nice.
Classic Bourbon: Caramel, peanuts, oak, dark fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and bits of brown sugar and toast. Tasty.
Long fade of brown sugar, dark fruit, oak and dark sweets.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, medium body and a warm velvety feel.
Early Times Bottled In Bond is a tasty bourbon that comes across in what I’d call a truly classic bourbon profile. This could easily be called “the standard definition of bourbon” and be totally accurate. It’s deep, oaky, sweet and spicy without being overly complex of demanding. It’ll work well in cocktails and it’s easy to drink neat. What more do you need in a sub $25 bourbon?
Yes Wild Turkey is still my favorite bourbon distillery and yes I do like the WT 101 more than this, but the Early Times Bottled In Bond delivers like a quintessential bourbon. It hits all the notes and leaves you wanting another glass without being overbearing. I’m seriously digging on this and if it ever makes it to the West Coast I’ll be picking up a bottle.
SCORE: 87/100 (B+)
*Disclosure: This Early Times Bottled In Bond sample was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.