“This shit sound like an intro
Jetson, give me that tempo, ooh
Told Pooh he a fool with this shit (He a fool)
Told her don’t let her friends know (Don’t)”
– Jack Harlow
NuLu – as the kids call it – stands for “New Louisville.” My trips to Louisville usually are the kind that are in and out. Being a new father makes my free time little to none. Rarely have I had the pleasure of time to stay in the city more than a night or two.
I have a few friends who have that precious commodity of time and a new love for bourbon. The part of Louisville known as NuLu has gained notoriety as a fun area in a city where the main attractions are a good car ride south and east.
One such friend is named Anthony. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Anthony has been singing the praises of a location called Evergreen. It has made Louisville more than a destination; it is now a repeat destination. Their selection of bourbon that can be poured is immense and legendary.
It is also the kind of secret spot that more people should know about when they visit Louisville. I have heard from many of the new people in the bourbon scene that they wandered into Louisville expecting to find the rare bottles of their dreams, only to be disappointed. Time and time again I hear this, and wonder what reality a lot of people live in.
Pushing that aside, I have also told people that instead of chasing and overpaying for “dream” bottles, they should seek out bars and places near them that offer amazing selections so that they can “overpay” for a drink at a bar, rather than invest in a bottle they will regret down the road.
Evergreen offers the chance to drink from the bottle of your dreams. Anthony will even tell you that some have been let downs, but there will be dream-makers that only strengthen your love for this magical elixir.
Anthony also doesn’t fall for marketing fluff or finished whiskies. He likes the basics and has built quite the impressive collection. So, imagine my surprise when he tells me about a NuLu double toasted that he bought during his last trip and was dying for another bottle of. Luckily for him and me, I know a guy.
The bottle Anthony was after is the first in our review. The label reads:
“Bourbon Whiskey Finished in French Oak Barrels
Experimental Finish Series”
The bottle that my buyer was talked into says:
Toasted Bourbon Whiskey Finished with toasted French Oak Staves”
One thing that still perplexes me is how a brand named after the most prominent neighborhood in the most well-known city in the entire state of Kentucky – which is the spiritual home of bourbon – decided to use sourced whiskey from… Indiana. I mean, I didn’t let it affect the score, but there are a few other things that irk me… like the price. I have long stood by the idea that I don’t mind brands built on MGP sourced product, so long as they justify the premium by blending or doing something like finishing it. Still, the $84.99 price tag makes think twice. Kudos for being transparent and putting the age of 4.5 years on the bottle, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. As always let’s let taste be the judge.
Nulu Experimental Finish Series French Oak Barrels “Justins’ House of Bourbon” Pick – Review
Bourbon Whiskey finished one month in French Oak Barrels. 117 proof (58.5% ABV). Barrel B734F.
Color: Iced Tea
On the nose: Rich oak with an even richer French toast. Carmelized plantain and a small tickle of pepper promise flavor.
In the mouth: Cardamom abounds. Savory and sweet. The heat takes over on big gulps and then peels away into drying tannins, sweet tea, and pepper.
French oak tends to have a drying effect in the mouth for me, but this first bottle did not have that. The tannins were pronounced, but there is enough sweetness to balance that out. The price on these will knock it down a point, but a very good bottle that explains why Anthony was on the hunt for this one.
If I understand the label correctly this was in a whole barrel of French Oak, which would make me think it would be drier than the one with just toasted staves. This is not my first time around with French Oak, as my review of Lucky Seven The Frenchman featured Kentucky whiskey finished in French Oak Barrels. That one set a high mark for me and this seems to be just a notch below it; while having a higher price tag.
Nulu “Miriam’s Double Trouble” Double Toasted Bourbon – Review
116 Proof (58% ABV). Barrel B543, bottle 147. 4.5 years old. $84.99
Color: Iced tea.
On the nose: Mahogany creeks as I walk down the halls of an old high school. The top floor is noisy with each step, but damn if it doesn’t puff up the scent of cleaning products, old books, and wasted opportunity. A touch of ocean air indicates a salty component on the nose.
In the mouth: White tea and white pepper are abundant up front. The drying effect of French oak takes hold. You wait for another note. A slight touch of warm caramel appears but never shows up enough to balance out the stingy oak or to make up for all those “business trips.” All the while, young corn and grain hang out. At first, it’s fun but now it’s time to grow up and that’s where it lingers in the finish and it’s just… exhausting.
As Anthony asked for two bottles for his neighbor and himself, the total came up similar to the price of Elijah Craig 18. Two for one trade, I proposed to call it even. So, who is the sucker? We will let you decide in the comments.