Over the holidays, I spent some time with my parents and extended family in Irving, Texas. My parents had recently hosted several parties and had a few left-over bottles of whiskey that had been used to make Manhattans. Of course, I wanted to try the whiskeys neat, which resulted in my first encounter with Tom Sims Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The stuff has been aged for four years, so, for a bottom shelf bourbon, I’m intrigued.
Appearance. Like many bourbons, Tom Sims sports a medium amber color and leaves decent legs on the side of the glass. So far, so good.
Nose. Things start getting a bit dicey at this point. For the first three or four whiffs, all I smelled was alcohol. After searching (and searching) for something more, I discovered hints of oak, toffee, and caramel, but I had to hunt for them.
Taste. There really are some nice flavors in this stuff; unfortunately, they’re not the only flavors to be found. The nice flavors of vanilla, baking spices, and caramel were offset by acetone and a bitter woody flavor.
Overall. Despite the up-front (in-your-face) aroma of alcohol, Tom Sims Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey drinks rather smoothly and shows promise; however, I am left remembering the bad more than the good – probably because the finish highlights the unpleasant bitter flavors. I won’t be drinking this stuff neat again for a few years.
I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5.