Saturday, June 29, 2019

Barrell Dovetail Whiskey Finished in Rum, Port and Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Barrels

- $100
- 124.34 Proof
- Indiana and Tennessee

Certainly finished whiskeys have been done before. And certainly finishing combos have been done before, such as Jos. A Magnus.  However, this one had a bit more draw to me than others. For one, it's barrel strength, something you don't see a whole lot of with finished American whiskeys, for whatever reason. Plus, this particular finished whiskey has been particularly well-received and regarded in online reviews--again, something you don't see a whole lot of with finished American whiskeys.

I tend to be a fan of finished whiskeys, particularly port-finished, and so I took the gamble on a pricey bottle to find out for myself. I will say up front, I was not disappointed nor did I have buyer's remorse, despite the hefty price tag.

The nose seemed to really favor the Cabernet over any of the other notes or finishes. I got a lot of that earthy and dry dark fruit and berry. This was a pleasant surprise. Given the rum and port finishes, I was half expecting something almost syrupy sweet. Instead, I got a nice mix of raisin and blackberry that had this sort of jammy note to it, but again, without being sweet (which I realize make little to no sense, but I don't know how else to explain it).

It was, however, very sweet in flavor. On the palate I immediately got a lot of dark fruits--plum and raisin, and again the jammy blackberry. Only this time it was very much a sweet jam. It is very dessert-like, and if you're not in the mood for something sweet, it may not hit you quite right. I thought it was delicious for what it is, though.

It also had a certain amount of bread or cracker-like quality that, along with the blackberry, reminded me of blackberry pie. It even had a nice, warming spice on the end, kind of an allspice note.  My initial impression was that this was similar to Magnus, but done much better, which is certainly attributable to far more than the proof.

Everything seemed to work very well together. The heat from the high alcohol content added a warmth and depth that seemed to make the flavors from the various finishes really lay heavy on my tongue. I'm not a huge fan of rum finished whiskey, and I actually didn't really notice the rum finish very much, which I particularly appreciated. Towards the end, though, the rum notes seemed to come forward, as I started to get notes of anise and molasses, and the blackberry seemed to fade.

While those last couple pours weren't as enjoyable as the first, this was nonetheless a great overall bottle that I really enjoyed. I would say that you'd have to be in the mood for this, as it may not necessarily scratch that bourbon itch, but yet I found myself going right back to this one regardless of my mood, simply because it was really good!

Grade: B+/A-

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