Abraham Bowman is a limited release product from the A. Smith Bowman Distillery which is currently owned by the Sazerac Company. Over the years Bowman has put out some eyebrow raising products under the line, some of which include an 18 year old cask strength wheated bourbon, a gingerbread beer finished bourbon, a vanilla bean infused bourbon, and the recently released Gingerbread Cocoa Finished bourbon. Eyebrow raising is probably an understatement because there is some wacky shit in that list for sure. I've had both amazing and bad experiences with the line but here today is another one that I would put in the LOL WTF category. From what I recall, the story here is that a local coffee roaster stored some of their beans in former Bowman barrels. Bowman then reclaimed those barrels and finished bourbon in them. It was limited to Virginia only but thanks to a friendly bourbon group I was able to get my hands on a bottle.
No Age Statement but 9 years based on distilled/bottled; 67.3% ABV; $73
Nose: Hot, woody, boozy coffee. I don't know if it's the ethanol or mash but there is a lot of angry, spicy heat. It smells like a barrel proof coffee liqueur.
Taste: Everything from the nose only with more coffee influence. It is a bomb of sweet woody flavors, heat, and coffee. Like the nose it tastes like a barrel proof coffee liqueur - it's really incredible how much coffee flavor this has just from being finished in barrels that once held coffee beans. The viscosity is about as thick as you'd expect a 9ish year old 134 proof whiskey which is to say it's chewy. Again not sure if it's the ethanol or mash but there is a lot of aggressive heat spice.
Thoughts: Whew, this one is a bruiser and not for the faint of heart. I've probably sampled out more of this bottle than I've drank and overall the crowd reactions seem split almost 50/50 on love/hate. The main negatives I can see are that it's hot, brash, and insanely coffee forward. As a whiskey voyeur/masochist who really enjoys aggressive cask strength bourbon, coffee, and sweet syrupy flavors, to me those characteristics are stars rather than flaws making this one of the craziest and most unique things I've ever tasted.
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.