Andddd here we go again, lockdown 2.0 my friends, to be completely honest with you, what got me through the first lockdown in Los Angeles, was playing a lot of golf and looking forward to writing for my blog.

I know the moment doesn’t scream “spending a lot of money” for a bottle, so I’m bringing back the ‘Drinking on a budget’ series. Some of the best spirits I found during this whole madness were actually… really affordable.

Hayes Parker bourbon

Price tag doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality (though it usually does and should). Take as an example the whiskey I found for this week’s review: Hayes Parker. At only $9.49 (yes, you read that right), at Total Wine and More, this bourbon definitely is the cheapest one I have ever reviewed but the impression was a great one.

Produced by TerrePURE spirits, a brand label of Terressentia, a whiskey tech company, that’s trying to accomplish a new way to “age” their bourbon. They believe they can reproduce the changes in temperature, pressure and humidity (the traditional way to age whiskey) in the lab; cutting down the aging process from years to HOURS!!!

Hayes Parker bourbon in a etched-crystal mixing glass

Upfront, the effort is inobvious at best. My first impression was a light color that is indicative of a barely-aged bourbon.
After that, there is more than meets the eye.
Notes of oak and molasses impress on the nose, and though the body is very light for whisky, the flavors dance on the tongue and impress and an unexpected level.
A maple syrup taste dominates the front while a surprising burst of dryness and spice appear as the spirit clears the tongue and palate.

Nothing lingers particularly long, but there is sophistication there that doesn’t necessarily belong at under $10 a bottle.
Held next to spirits under….$60? I would give this a B- but, compared to spirits in its price range? Solid A, maybe better?
Who knows what potential this holds with more “tech” aging or just barreling from here for a couple years.
Either way, here and now, this is a rock-solid effort for the price, and I am covid-thankful for it!!!!