16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon Review

16 Year Old Collector's Item Bourbon Review

There’s just not a whole lot about this 16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon online. The only real information I could find is that Dowling has a tumultuous history. Owned by a number of different people and at one point being just bottlers.

The Dowling brand appears to now be owned by Heaven Hill, but unfortunately I don’t have any info on where this whiskey came from. Being Bonded the DSP should be listed, but I didn’t write it down and it’s not on the label or in any of my photos… anyways, on to the 16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon review.

16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Bottled By: Dowling Distillers
Mashbill: at least 51% corn
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 16 (53-69)
ABV: 50%

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon Review

Ruddy caramel

Dark fruit, oak, char, citrus, mineral water, caramel, vanilla and a bit of spice. Fairly standard and… well… standard.

Dark fruit, oak, vanilla, caramel, musty, cinnamon and some soap. That soap note gets me every time; I’m immediately transported back to the first time I said SHIT in front of my parents and got a mouthful of it.

Medium soapy fade with bits of oak, dark fruit and vanilla.

Decent balance, medium body and a soft feel

16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon is really interesting, but not amazing – which surprises me. I was expecting a whole lot more out of this, but after three glasses I was still just kinda so-so on it; partially because of the soap. The aroma is nice, the palate is flavorful before it turns a bit soapy and then that soapiness stays through the finish. The oak is also remarkably light for a 16-year-old; tasted blind I would have thought this was around 4 years old.

Still, it was pretty cool to try. I know how easy it is to get jaded about things after a while and I try my hardest not to. There are some whiskeys that excited me back in “the day” that no longer do it for me and I see that as a natural progression. It’s difficult at times, especially at certain levels of tastings, but that’s when I have to sit back and remind myself that whiskey is supposed to be fun, drinking with your friends is supposed to be fun, and while this particular whiskey was so-so the evening I got to try it was a blast.

SCORE: 83-86/100 (B, consumed at a tasting)

Thanks to SKU for the evening and Adam for the whiskey.

16 Year Old Collector's Item Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 85
  • Palate - 86
  • Finish - 83
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 84


16 Year Old Collector's Item Bourbon is so-so, but it gets enhanced by the company you’re in.

16 Year Old Collector's Item Bourbon Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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2 Responses to 16 Year Old Collector’s Item Bourbon Review

  1. Wow, never saw that one.. Pretty sarn cool. Will miss Dusty Thursday on SKU’s page. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you with these tastings.

    Why oh why when I turned 18 in 1980 (legal age in Texas back then) did I not have the foresight to buy up an entire, bourbon aisle?LOL

    • Ha, right? Hell, even in 2003 when I turned 21 I wish I knew what I do now. So many opportunities left behind; would have been worth taking out a loan just o clear shelves and sit on them. I’ll do my best to keep up Dusty Thursday the best I can in the grand tradition of SKU.

      Cheers Weller_Tex!

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