Two Stars Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Available from Total Wine, Clear Springs Distilling Company, 86 proof, $17

I enjoy Total Wine; they have an amazing array of spirits and any other alcoholic beverages that you can think of, and it’s on my home to see family & friends. two-stars-total-wine

The last time I was there, I chatted with a few people.  They have staff on the floor to answer questions: one must appreciate a store that is still properly staffed – such a rarity in this day and age. He led me to a manager who a had a shopping cart full of open spirits available for tastings. Fantastic!

Two Stars is one of the house brands at Total Wine. On their website, it averaged 4/5 stars, with 29 reviews, so one would imagine that it’s a solid bet. Another reason for confidence is that the Clear Springs Distilling Company is a part of Buffalo Trace, owned by the Sazerac Company!

ttbonline.gov Dept of the Treasury : Document showing ownership Buffalo Trace

Unfortunately, I was disappointed: I wasn’t expecting much for $17, but this was not good. Amber hue. Young, harsh, and with a noticeable ethanol taste. No nose to speak of. What bothered me was the questionable reviews on the Total Wine website: There were a suspicious number of 4 or 5 star reviews, including a 5 star review which read

“On the nose vanilla and honey, on the tounge apricots and vanilla, and finishes smooth with lasting vanilla and a hint of oak. Lots of mystery, definitely low or no rye. Taste a little young until the finish. Very similar to W.L. Weller.”

Really? Just unbelievable. It’s almost like someone was trying to drum up business for one of their house brands. As such, I caution people to take the reviews with a grain of salt.

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