Old Ezra Barrel Strength Could be Your Next House Bourbon Bargain

Old Ezra Barrel Strength
Old Ezra Barrel Strength 7-Year-Old Bourbon. Courtesy Lux Row Distillers.

Old Ezra Barrel Strength Bourbon, the newest release to market from Luxco’s Ezra Brooks label, is a bold, well-aged, and shockingly affordable whiskey that deserves a regular place on your shelf if you can get your hands on it.

This 7-year-old whiskey (a sourced product as Luxco ramps up its own distillation efforts) is the latest and greatest from the Bardstown-based distillers, out this month and meant to reintroduce what the Ezra name is capable of doing in the bourbon world.

Ezra Brooks is getting a lot of attention right now from the top, and it seems as if parent company Luxco planes to push them to greater heights as the company’s marquis bourbon. That’s fine with us, especially if the result is affordable bottles like Old Ezra Barrel Strength.

For us, this bourbon smacks of cinnamon and burnt sugar. It’s a spicy bourbon, but it finds a nice balance between its rye and corn content, particularly on the finish, where spice lingers before giving the final bow of the performance to sweetness. And at 117 proof, this is a cruelly deceptive bourbon. You’ll feel the heat a bit in your nose and along the sides of your tongue, but it’s otherwise reserved, and with a few drops of water opens beautifully to show more woody depth and oaky aromas. Here are their tasting notes, for reference:

Appearance: Deep caramel color

Aroma: Hints of leather, vanilla, oak and baking spices.

Taste: Strong notes of oak and black pepper with hints of tobacco, perfectly balanced with cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla to provide a long, warm and spicy finish.

At a suggested retail price of $40, at barrel strength, with a 7-year age statement, we know what product(s) this bourbon is meant to compete with, and we have to say it’s going to be interesting seeing this go up against some other 7-year barrel proof small batches in tastings, but we’ll leave the rankings for another time.

For us, Old Ezra is a well-rounded crowd pleaser that we’ll definitely be ordering in the future.

G. Clay Whittaker
Clay is Editor at Large of The Bourbon Review. He has written about whiskey, food, drink, and culture for Esquire, Playboy, Men's Journal, Popular Science, Southern Living, Maxim, among others.