I had a long chat with one of my close friends about the merits of port barrel finished bourbon and we determined that if done correctly they are excellent, but even done correctly they do have a fairly unique quality to them that honestly isn’t for everyone. This brings me back to an earlier point that I have made on other whiskey tastings which is that “your favorite whiskey is the one that you enjoy drinking the most” so unless you try something new you can’t honestly say that you have formed a valid, well founded and substantiated opinion.
The Woodford Reserve distillery bourbon tourists of today know there facility as a lovely site for enjoying whiskey and years ago they underwent a multimillion dollar restoration to give it more modern production capability. The man who oversaw this, Dave Scheurich remained at the helm from 1994 until he retired in 2011. He is back now though, working with Boondocks (which is a non-distilling producer) making American Whiskey.
Boondocks American Whiskey is owned by Royal Wine Corp., a family owned company behind a large number of wine brands. They also serve as an importer and distributors of spirits, such as whiskey, which helps give them the necessary industry connections to source whiskey for this new project. It is to Scheurich, who came out of retirement, that they’ve turned to for overseeing these new bottlings. I’m sure this little tidbit is what helped them acquire the port barrels needed for the finishing process.
With that having been said I also have to add that this interpretation is truthfully exquisite and Boondocks 8 year old straight bourbon whiskey finished in port barrels has many wonderful qualities worth mentioning. It has a truly fantastic mouth feel. Soft and subtle, warm and vibrant with a creaminess you’d expect with longer barrel aging. There’s a wonderful oak barrel infused nose with a fruity and semisweet warm balanced finish consisting of honeycomb, an herbal complexity with currants, vanilla bean and almost a liquid smoke characteristic coming through on the nose that may be coming from the port barrels. I bet this would be excellent with something smoked over charcoal on the grill. Maybe a smoked brisket or pulled pork tenderloin with sweet heat from a brown sugar based dry rub. This bottle also has a fairly long and smooth finish. A great sipper that I highly recommend if you find yourself wanting to branch out on something new with port barrel finished whiskey. Then there’s the album…what more can I add about the enigmatic guitar axeman Jimi Hendrix Talented beyond measure. This was a nice break in my evening.