I was slightly underwhelmed when I first reviewed Shenk's Homestead Sour Mash Whiskey 2022. Many seasoned bourbon enthusiasts swore by Shenk's, but on my first pour, it did not live up to the hype. Much to my pleasure, the second and subsequent pours were utterly different.
The second pour of Shenk's Homestead Sour Mash Whiskey 2022 was a noticeably better, more robust, and elegant tasting experience. Every note and phase of this tasting experience has been kicked up a notch in intensity, yet maintained a wonderful balance. I am getting a solid crème brûlée and creamy vanilla notes on the nose. The palate is much more flavorful, rich, and intense than my first pour. The buttery creaminess of the mouthfeel and the crème brûlée notes of the nose extend to the taste of this polished whiskey.
This change is extraordinary for me because, in my experience, 90-proof whiskeys tend to go downhill the longer they have been opened. Yet, Shanks is doing just the opposite. It is getting richer, creamier, and with more refined notes than my initial pour.
Shenk's 2022 is the first 90-proof whiskey that I have really enjoyed in a long time. I am typically only a high-proof drinker, and I purchased this bottle recently because I could get it at retail and assumed I could parlay it into a whiskey I wanted. Instead, I decided to open it, and I am glad that I did so.
Shenk's Homestead Sour Mash Whiskey 2022 may be the best 90-proof bourbon I have ever experienced.