Hancock’s President’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey Review

Jim Casey02/02/23
Hancock's President's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey Review

(photo by Outsider)

Hancock’s President’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is yet another product from Buffalo Trace Distillery’s spirited arsenal (Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Weller, E.H. Taylor, etc.). Yet, the hard-to-find bourbon receives no mention on Buffalo Trace’s website. Instead, parent company Sazerac houses the description on its site among dozens and dozens of products. Weird. Rumored to come from BTD’s mashbill #2 (12-15% rye), Hancock’s President’s Reserve shares its grain recipe with Blanton’s Single Barrel, Ancient Age, and Elmer T. Lee. Not exactly a lightweight, Dude.

Let’s get sipping to see if President’s Reserve is a stately pour.

(photo by Outsider)

At a Glance

  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
  • Location: Frankfort, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Age: Not Stated
  • Mashbill: Not Stated (BTD #2 rumored)
  • Proof: 88.9
  • MSRP: $50
  • Website | Instagram | Twitter

Hancock’s President’s Reserve: What We Say

Noseethanol, cherry wood, cinnamon, milky
Palatetannins, green oak, metallic fruit punch, thin
Finishmedium-short, green oak, cinnamon, musty grass
What You Can Expect to Pay$50-$100
Buy It: Now, Soon, Later, NeverNever
Outsider Rating68/100
(photo by Outsider)

Light ethanol greets the nose. A deeper dive doesn’t reveal too much more. There’s a waft of bitter cherry wood smoke, a little cinnamon, and some slight milky sweetness. However, the ethanol dominates, which is surprising for President’s low proof (88.9). Unfortunately, the palate doesn’t provide a boon here, either. The first sip yields straight tannins. It’s green, green oak all the way down. There’s also a medicinal quality, but Robitussin would be unfairly flattering. The bitter green oak continues on the medium-short finish, with a touch of musty grass and a flicker of cinnamon.

President’s Reserve can’t be this bad. Taking a break. Gonna revisit this juice tomorrow.

Well, I was wrong. A second sipping reveals nothing new—other than a little metallic fruit punch on the palate. The best part of this bourbon is the photogenic bottle. There’s no depth. No complexity. In the absence of depth or complexity, I still expect a tasty sip for $50—or at the very least, an unoffensive one.

What Sazerac Says About President’s Reserve

This Single Barrel Bourbon is deep amber in color, the nose is light and sweet, with traces of mango and papaya. The body is full, and the palate shows a nice, if simple, balance of honey, clover, a slight fruitiness, and a dash of spices. The finish is long and warm.

Recommended Sip

Don’t waste your money. If gifted a bottle, use it for Batch Old Fashioneds during a gathering of people you’re not interested in seeing again.

Instead of Hancock’s President’s Reserve, Try

(photo by Outsider)
  • Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace
  • Location: Bardstown, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Proof: 90
  • MSRP: $30
  • Full Review

Buffalo Trace is about half the price, and twice as easy to find as Hancock’s President’s Reserve. On the nose, palate, and finish, BT is superior in every way.