Ezra Brook’s Distiller’s Collection Bourbon Review

Ezra Brook’s Distiller’s Collection Bourbon is a unique program created by Lux Row Distillers that gives employees, restaurants, grocery stores, retailers and the “Regular Joe” the opportunity to pick and bottle their own Ezra Brook’s bourbon. Each barrel yields about 180 – 240 bottles, and they release a version of this bourbon about every 3 weeks, as demand requires.

For employees, a cask-strength single barrel is selected, a Barrel Ambassador or the Master Distiller may assist. After the barrel is chosen, water is added to bring it down to 107 proof for final tasting analysis. The employee’s signature is placed on the label and the empty barrel is given to the employee as a souvenir.

Lux Row has also made this process available to anyone or any establishment that wants to participate. After contacting the distillery, they will receive 3 sample bottles from 3 different cask-strength barrels, along with instructions of how to add water to bring the proof down to 107 (the proof that all Ezra Brook’s Distiller’s Collection Bourbons are bottled at.

After making their final selection, they are invited to visit the distillery in person to finalize the label and bottling process.

Series: Distiller’s Collection
Private Barrel Pick: Haggen Barrel Select
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 6 years
Proof: 107
Proof Designation: na
Filtered Status: Charcoal Filtered
Mash bill: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Char Level: 3
Barrel Entry Proof: 125
Distillate Source: Heaven Hill
Distillery: Lux Row Distillers
Company: Lux Row Distillers
Bottled By: Lux Row Distillers
Distilled/Aging Location: Bardstown, Kentucky
Master Distiller: John Rempe
Barrel Filled on: 11/21/2017
Release Date: 2023
MSRP: $35
Secondary Market: ??
Availability: Released as single barrel picks for many establishments

Ezra Brooks Distillers Collection
Ezra Brook’s Distiller’s Collection Bourbon Review – Haggen Barrel Select

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.


The beads quickly began to form after about 5 seconds, the tears began to fall at about 10 seconds, and the first legs (tears) reached the bowl of the glass after about 25 seconds.

These quickly forming and falling legs suggest a light mouthfeel. We will have to see if that’s true after actually tasting it.


Mild caramel, mild vanilla, sweet oak, barrel char, perhaps a little tobacco, and dark fruits. Note potent in aroma, but gentle, soft notes of what is in the glass.

The Reviews Below are Mostly from the 2016 Batches

There are no reviews for the specific Haggen Pick that I am tasting, so I chose other Ezra Brook’s Distiller’s Collection picks to give a somewhat similar comparison.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

The Bourbon Guy: Leads with oak notes. Beyond that are notes of nutmeg, spearmint, and vanilla.

Drink Hacker: Classic vanilla and toffee notes are prevalent, and there’s a bit of youthful ethanol and raw corn sweetness. The outsized wood notes, mostly fresh cut lumber, are perhaps the biggest thing that sets the aroma apart.

Bourbon Culture: Some typical Heaven Hill bourbony scents of caramel and vanilla. The high proof means you don’t have to strain to find other notes that are interesting like a handful of raisins, candy corn and some interesting rye notes like star anise and citrus rind. There’s also some baking spices that make this smell like a freshly baked coffee cake.


Semi-sweet, mild caramel & vanilla, brown sugar, some mild dark fruits, leather, sweet oak. Simple, basic bourbon flavors. Not complex or deep, but satisfying for the MSRP.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

The Bourbon Guy: Nutty with notes of mint, nutmeg, and oak.

Drink Hacker: The palate is definitely bolder and richer, however, with more oil and a syrupy texture. The familiar apple notes are there but baked and heavily spiced and quite warm at this proof. The mid-palate sees plenty of spice cabinet and black pepper. Score: B+

Bourbon Culture: I always associate Heaven Hill with a nutty taste, so it’s no surprise to me that I’m tasting some almond brittle at the start, but the spice in this one, like a very sharp cinnamon and ground peppercorns can’t be ignored.

The spice on the tongue is quite unlike the usual sweeter character of typical HH offerings. But that’s a good thing if you like your bourbon to have that spice.

Sweetness comes secondary, but there is still many notes of toffee, wherthers candies, grainy sweet corn and some citrus peels (mainly orange). Score: 6.9


Medium-short finish with mild caramel and baking spices, a little oak.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

The Bourbon Guy: Warm and of medium length. Notes of mint, caramel, and nutmeg.

Drink Hacker: Cinnamon, caramel sauce, and a bit of cocoa find an easy balance.

Bourbon Culture: For being so young, I’m not getting a lot of raw ethanol notes that could stick around and burn as you were trying to enjoy it. There is sticky toffee sweetness, oak spice and tobacco.


The mouthfeel is light and fades quickly to dry. It doesn’t coat the mouth like olive oil or cream would (i.e. like very viscous, rich bourbons do), but more like 2% milk, if that makes sense.

The Burn

4 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is a bit lower (5% to 9%) than what I would expect it to be. I would guess this to be around 100 proof, not 107 proof.

Tasting Summary

For $35 bucks this is a good pour and well worth the money. It is easy to sip neat and would work very well in a cocktail. If your daily drinker averages under $60 then this should be on your shelf. If your daily drinker averages over $60, then this might sit on your shelf for a long time, simply because in that price range you probably have some more complex, more flavorful options.

My Rating

The higher the score the better the whiskey is in my opinion. For reference, my best rated bottle so far is the George T. Stagg 2022 (138.7p) with a score of 9.7.

Score TypeScoreExamples
Likability Score6.71.0 – 10.0
Availability Score31-Rare, 2-Hard to Find, 3-A Little Hunting, 4-Easy to Find
My Tasting Notes

A blank version of this tasting notes wheel is available in both a color and a black & white version in the member’s area.

Ezra Brook's Distiller's Collection - Haggen Barrel Select Tasting Notes
Notes and History

Ezra Brooks was founded in 1957, and in 2018 it moved to Bardstown, Kentucky. Lux Row Distillery is the parent company and they produce a variety of products including: Ezra Brooks 99 Bourbon, Ezra Brooks 99 Bourbon Cask Finished (in Port casks), Ezra Brooks 99 Rye, Old Ezra 7 Bourbon, Old Ezra 7 Rye, Rebel Bourbon, David Nicholson, and Blood Oath.

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