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Review #4 - Old Pogue Master's Select

Updated: May 21, 2020

Old Pogue Master’s Select is a brand that dates back to 1869. After shutting down for an extended period after World War II, the brand was off market until a revival by members of the Pogue family in 2005. The family built a distillery in 2012 and to begin producing their own product, however, current distillate is not yet old enough to meet the standards set for Old Pogue Master’s Select. Instead it is contract distilled to their specifications which is aged for 9 years. It looks like their currently aging stock will make it to market in the very near future (2021 gets their own aging barrels to 9 years), so keep a look out.

I have recently come across a bottle that is a few years old based on the price I paid. Current MSRP is ~$100 while I reimbursed this person for their cost at $40 which is more reminiscent of the 2010 to 2012 timeframe. Unfortunately, that’s about as close as I can get to a guesstimate on this bottle’s age. I’ve previously sampled Old Pogue a couple of years ago, and it’s been on my list to obtain my own bottle ever since, so when this opportunity to get my own bottle presented itself, I jumped on it.

This pour sat in a glencairn for 10 minutes prior to tasting, in which time I guarded against fruit flies like a maniac. Also accompanied by one of the sweeter cork pops I’ve heard – figured that was notable, see Instagram link with video. Scores are between 1 (not great) and 5 (exceptional).

Old Pogue Master’s Select

Age: 9 years

Proof: 91


Chocolate and caramel. A couple of swirls turns into mint and spice until that’s all I get anymore, it’s likely that this has a high rye content in its mashbill. 3


Thin at first but the longer I hold the more oil begins to appear. The chocolate begins to come back as well as some nuttiness, but there’s a sweetness developing that’s like taking a bite out of a candy green apple. Like after you finished a warhead. Changes just as much as the nose on sips 3 and 4 to where that’s all I get now. 4.5


Spicy and a little hot for its 91 proof. Caramel sweetness returns after a bit but the very next breath brings the heat back. 3

Total: 3.5

Overall, I’d say this is a pretty good bourbon. I call the Nose and Finish average, but the Mouth on this one was really intriguing. It took me a bit to get to warheads, and you may think that’s a bit of a stretch if you tried it, but the sweet/sour green apple that I was getting is definitely easily relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed this pour and I don’t see this bottle lasting long. The increase in MSRP is bit worrisome for me, but I am interested enough to get a second bottle should I happen across one, and I will be actively searching for one as soon as Old Pogue starts putting out their own distillate.


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