Four Gate Split Stave By Kelvin – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in New American White Oak Toasted and Charred Casks

Four Gate Whiskey Company is a non-distiller producer founded by Bill Straub, founder and editor in chief of ModernThirst.com, and Bob D’Antoni, a successful Louisville entrepreneur who is also an LSU alumnus. They are sourcing bourbon and rye and then finishing the bourbon in casks procured by Kelvin Cooperage. Their whiskies have so far been released at cask strength, and the bottles sell for $175 or more.

I recently picked up the Split Stave release, which is Kentucky Straight Bourbon finished in new casks, with a twist – some of the casks are toasted, some are charred, and then broken apart with the staves reassembled mixing the toasted and charred staves together such that the interior of the barrel looks zebra like. Double oaked with a twist. The whiskey itself is a blend of 5 and a half year old low rye (10%) recipe bourbon and a twelve year old bourbon that is also low rye (18%). Using Modern Thirst’s own mashbill chart, we can deduce that the twelve year old is likely 1792 Barton, and the five and a half year old bourbon is likely Heaven Hill. This cask strength bottling is 115.6 proof.

The color is a really nice reddish amber. That twelve year old bourbon was probably very pretty to start with, and the extra cask finishing probably added to the wonderful color. Seriously thick long legs on the swirl. A very classic bold bourbon nose, with vanilla, caramel, and oak. On the palate, this bourbon is very oak forward, followed by dark fruits, particularly black cherry, dark chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, and baking spices. On the finish, the oak continues and the candied cherries decrescendo in favor of of the baking spices which linger.

This is a top shelf bourbon as far as the flavor profile. However, this is a very pricey bottle at $175. Catherine also tried it and said it was good but she said she is not sure it is $175 good. On the other hand, I am thinking I might buy another bottle even at that price. The flavor profile is on the level with cask strength Kentucky Owl and Old Carter, and the price of those are comparable.

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