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Early Times Bourbon Bottled in Bond Review [2021]

Last updated Nov 19, 2020 | Published on Nov 7, 2020


by Matty Sims

Early Times Bourbon Bottled in BondDetails
Mashbill79% Corn, 11% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Age4 Years
Size1 Liter
Suggested MSRP$23.99
DistilleryFormerly Brown Forman, purchased by Buffalo Trace in 2020
Prosbest value for price, flavor, and availability
Consfinish lacks complexity
InventoryDaily Bourbon

Early Times Bourbon is a historic brand. Here are some facts:

  • Founded in 1860 by Jack Beam (uncle of Jim Beam) in Early Times Station, Kentucky
  • Purchased by Brown-Forman in 1923 after closing during Prohibition
  • Sold as medicinal whiskey during prohibition
  • Released a Bottled in Bond Expression in 1942 (previously, it was 86 proof)
  • By 1953, it was the world’s best selling bourbon
  • In the 80s, the proof was dropped to 80 proof and changed from a Kentucky bourbon to a Kentucky whisky
  • In 2017, Early Times Bourbon was re-released as a Bottled in Bond product and sold only as a 1 Liter

When owned by Brown-Forman it was aged in their Shively, KY masonry warehouse. However, now that Early Times’ entire stock has been purchased it’s unclear where they will be aged at the Frankfurt property and how that might affect the flavor for future batches.

early times bourbon ad 1942

2020 is Early Times 160th anniversary making it one of the longest-running whiskey brands in American history. A bourbon lover can dream, but I would love to see this historic brand honored by Buffalo Trace by adding a premium expression into its Antique Collection.

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Early Times Bourbon Bottled in Bond Review

Early Times Bourbon Bottled in Bond in the Glass and Color

The color is copper in the glass and it’s got medium viscosity with solid legs in my Glencairn whiskey glass.

Nose – 84 Points

Early Times bourbon has a savory nose with elements of baking spice, oak, and charred brown sugar. I also get hints of banana bread and flaky, buttery pie crust.

Early Times Bottled in Bond Bourbon Pumpkins

Taste – 87 Points

More baking spice with caramelized walnuts and mid palate a nice chocolate chip banana bread. It’s a complex combination of the savory baking spice notes with the banana and sugar notes.

Finish – 84 Points

The finish is black pepper and baking spice with medium force. It’s a solid finish but not complex or original.

Verdict – Silver 85 Points

Let me say this for the people in the back — Early Times Bourbon is the best value in bourbon right now. It’s got the perfect mix of great flavor, availaibility, and price. It’s a staple in bourbon collection and it’s what I enjoy making cocktails out of as well as pairing with a cigar when the occassion arises.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.

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