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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

OHLQ Announces OKI and Crown Royal Exclusives - Arriving Week of January 29

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control (OHLQ) has announced single barrel selections from O.K.I. and Crown Royal. The expressions are O.K.I. Single Barrel Bourbon ($79.99 + tax), O.K.I. Single Barrel Rye ($79.99 + tax), and Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel ($54.99 + tax). 

For this release, the State has 12 barrels worth of product from O.K.I. (4 barrels worth of rye and 8 barrels worth of bourbon) and 15 barrels worth of Crown. 

O.K.I. Rye Single Barrel (95% rye mashbill)

  • Barrel #113 - 117.9 Proof - Caramel and vanilla on the nose open to flavor notes of ripe banana and rye spice.
  • Barrel #114 - 118.3 Proof - A joyful spun sugar flavor is accented by notes of cherry licorice and vanilla.
  • Barrel #115 - 117.2 Proof - Sweet and floral notes of rose and citrus develop into a deep grape flavor made complex with tannins and soft spice.
  • Barrel #116 - 116.0 Proof - Aromas of blueberry, caramel, and vanilla carry through to buttery flavors of baking spice and blueberry muffin with tart cherry notes that ease into a long finish.

O.K.I. Rye Single Barrel (60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley mashbill)

  • Barrel #246 - 114.3 Proof - Mild nuttiness introduces a smooth, sweet, late fruit flavor that warms to a soft, long finish. 
  • Barrel #248 - 112.7 Proof - Dried orange and rose petal flavor notes blossom into a long finish. 
  • Barrel #252 - 114.0 Proof - A slightly herbal flavor of sweet iced tea is made complex with hints of coffee.
  • Barrel #255 - 112.7 Proof - Aromas of leather and oak develop to a flavor of vanilla and toffee with woody notes.
  • Barrel #250 - 114.5 Proof - An inviting aroma of caramel carries through to a buttery, toffee flavor.
  • Barrel #253 - 115.7 Proof - A sweet nose opens up to a woody flavor accented by drizzled honey.
  • Barrel #256 - 111.5 Proof - A complex aroma reveals a sweet, caramel flavor with notes of spice. 
  • Barrel #257 - 112.7 Proof - Caramel and pleasant spice develop into a cascade of distinctive flavors.

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel (103 Proof, 51.5% alcohol)

  • Barrel #38 - Almond Croissant - Notes of sweet red velvet cake introduce a full-bodied palate with creamy nuttiness.
  • Barrel #41 - Cherry Old Fashioned - Bittersweet notes of flamed orange peel add complexity to a palate of vanilla, warm spices, and rich, dark cherry.
  • Barrel #42 - Apple Crumble - Notes of oak, old-fashioned oats, and vanilla enrich a fruit-forward flavor profile of bright, juicy apple with home-baked warmth.
  • Barrel #51 - Sea Salt Caramel - The nostalgic flavor of bubble gum and spun sugar is tempered with mild salinity to create an appealing sweet-salty taste.
  • Barrel #56 - Cinnamon Sugar Toast - Warm cinnamon and nutmeg flavors mingle with notes of espresso and buttered toast to deliver a palate reminiscent of a relaxed breakfast.
  • Barrel #115 - Mystery Barrel - An OHLQ “bonus” barrel - we invite you to uncover the mystery by sampling the barrel and sharing your own tasting notes.
  • Barrel #192 - Elephant Ear - Sweet, simple notes of confectioner’s sugar are balanced with creaminess for a palate with pastry-like appeal. 
  • Barrel #193 - Lemon Biscotti - Bright citrus notes mingle with rye spice to create a biscotti-inspired flavor.
  • Barrel #196 - Frosted Snickerdoodle - A cinnamon cookie palate finishes with sugar-drizzled notes. 
  • Barrel #197 - Vanilla Cream - Notes of fresh walnut round out a vanilla and cream cheese frosting flavor profile.
  • Barrel #198 - Banana Chocolate Ripple - Playful chocolate banana notes are given complexity with accents of marzipan, walnut, malt, and rye spice.
  • Barrel #199 - Maple Butter - A fresh-tapped maple flavor sparkles with bright notes of candied orange peel.
  • Barrel #226 - Candied Lemon Scone - Cream and confectioner’s sugar notes bring bakery charm to a candied lemon flavor profile.
  • Barrel #237 - Caramel Espresso - A salted caramel macchiato flavor profile gives coffee shop appeal to this well rounded expression.
  • Barrel #250 - Ginger Snap - Notes of honey and warm baking spice bring dimension to a vanilla and black tea flavor profile.

My Take

First off, I'm calling nonsense on the names of the Crown Royal barrels. There is no way there is that much variation between these barrels... especially when they have all been brought to the same proof level. 

In terms of if you should buy this, for the O.K.I..... $80 is a lot to pay for a blend, especially with no age statement. For the Crown, it's more moderately priced, but comes in at a lower proof and also doesn't contain an age statement. On this, I'd say pass on the O.K.I. and maybe on the Crown if you see it in your every day shopping... I wouldn't be hunting for either of these. 

What do you think? Drop a note in the comment box below. 

Source: OHLQ

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