Pinhook is a non-distiller producer that bottles sourced bourbon at Castle & Key distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Robb Gibb, one of the writers of this blog is a big fan, me not so much. Generally speaking, they have been bottling bourbons sourced from MGP in Indiana, which can be very good, but I find most of their releases to be too young and bitter. Their most recent rye released was distilled at Castle & Key. However, Hokus Pokus got a few bottles in of the Collaboration Series No 1. This is a ten year old bourbon sourced from Wyoming. I have to admit, I haven’t tried Wyoming Whiskey Company’s lower proof offerings, so this is a first for me. Wyoming Whiskey Company was originally a local venture but is now owned by the Edrington Group (aka McCallan.)
Interestingly as well this has a wheated bourbon mashbill consisting of 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent barley. These barrels were purchased in 2012, and possibly moved to Kentucky at that time. The collaboration moniker is due to Sean Josephs, Pinhook’s master blender, working with André Hueston Mack, a fairly renowned wine sommelier. According to the back label, only 573 bottles were produced in batch 2, which consisted of five barrels. This is apparently cask strength at 115.2 proof. I paid $125 for this bottle.
Color is a very solid dark amber. On the swirl in a thin film and thin legs, which is surprising given the proof. The nose is wonderful traditional bourbon nose with particular emphasis on bread notes, dark fruits, and vanilla. On the palate, the mouthfeel is thick and luscious despite the thin film on the swirl, and the flavors are near perfect for an aged wheated cask strength bourbon – rich baking spices, vanilla creme brulee with a heavy char, English pipe tobacco, and just the right amount of oak tannin. Finish is long with the baking spices and oak lingering and lingering.
This is an amazing bourbon. This whiskey really shows off how truly good long aged high proof wheated bourbon is. This is right up there with Old Rip Van Winkle, Pappy 15, and William LaRue Weller. If I were to taste this blind with William LaRue Weller I don’t know that I would be able to tell the difference, although this would have to be truly blind with me not being able to see the color or the swirl. This flavor profile is really on point.
This bottle will be leaving my kitchen bar where it has sat for a week and will be heading to the elite shelf in my living room with the Pappy, BTAC, Old Carter, and other limited release bourbons are. If you can find one of these at retail, happily pay the $125 for it and run like hell before this starts getting flipped on the secondary market. And I will definitely be on the hunt for a bottle of this to see how it compares.