Review: Lucky Seven Bourbon – The Jokester and The Hold Up
Lucky Seven Spirits was founded by college buddies Michael Lahalih and John Pals, and the company’s name refers to their common love of the movie. The Lucky 7 name comes from “the infamous Stage 7 on the Warner Brothers lot, where some of the greatest movies in cinema were filmed, such as Casablanca and My Fair Lady. The warehouse-sized stage produced so many award-winning films that the industry started calling it Lucky Stage 7.”
Lucky Seven offers two expressions, both sourced from an untold Kentucky distillery (so not MGP stock). The pair carry age statements of 6 and 12 years old, respectively, but otherwise nothing is known about the sourcing.
We received samples of each of the pair to taste. So let’s roll the dice.
Lucky Seven Bourbon The Jokester 6 Years Old – This is a delight right from the get-go, with an immediate rush of cherry that makes me recall Baker’s 7 Years Old. The wood on the nose isn’t insignificant (which muddies the aromatics a bit), but it’s tempered by mint, some barbecue burnt ends, and a significant baking spice note. The palate offers more clarity, tempering the heavier barrel notes and allowing a mix of sweet and savory elements to emerge. The cherry note soon fades, but it leaves behind a floral character, almost potpourri at times, with a brooding dark caramel and vanilla note. Some chocolate clings to the finish. Great stuff, and not badly priced for the quality. 95 proof. A- / $60
Lucky Seven Bourbon The Hold Up 12 Years Old – This expression doubles the age statement and bumps the proof by 5. This is a single barrel series that includes the barrel number in the release, but our sample vial didn’t include that information, so I’m not sure what barrel this was drawn from. It cuts a much different profile throughout: Much heavier with wood on the nose, this has that classic “old bourbon” profile of barbecue smoke, barrel char, and lots of cloves. Meaty on the palate, with a gentle vein of dark chocolate, it’s austere and restrained with more clove hitting hard on the finish. All told, it’s a brooding whiskey that feels like it’s intended to be “serious,” but which has had a lot of the fun stripped out of it. 100 proof. B / $90