- 99.6 Proof
- Finished 6 mos.
- Barrel #25183
I am an absolute sucker for the various unique finishes that High West gives us as part of their private barrel program. Some of my favorite whiskeys over the years have been these bottlings, including a number of different wine finishes and an Armagnac finish that was absolutely amazing.
This is the first I've seen of a Spanish Brandy finish, though. Obviously different locations are going to provide different grape varietals. It's obviously seen in wine, and, while I don't profess to know a whole lot about brandy, I certainly see it there as well. The differences from American brandy to French brandy can be pretty significant. I've never tried Spanish brandy, that I know of, and maybe I'll have to make it a point to remedy that.
In the meantime, this Spanish brandy finished rye offered all sorts of deliciousness that tells me I'm missing out. On the nose I got brought back to memories of hot apple pie topped with caramel sauce. It had the fruity notes, the baking spices, the pie crust notes and, of course, that sweet and rich caramel note. I could have sat on my couch nosing my glass all night it was so good.
The flavor, while it wasn't strictly limited to apple pie and caramel notes, was nonetheless just as good. It still had the rich and sweet caramel notes, and up front I still got a lot of those baking spices. It also provided a bit more heat, almost like a blend of cinnamon and chili spice.
Instead of apple, though, I was getting a lot of dark fruits. I got sweet and rich blackberry notes, as well as vibrant plum notes. Perhaps that's where the baked apple notes from the nose went. Those dark fruit notes also provided a bit of welcome tartness which helped offset the sweet caramel notes.
What I think I loved most about this bottle, though, was the finish. It was full of cinnamon spice that lingered in the back of my throat. But, it had this sort of cinnamon chai tea latte flavor to it, perhaps even a bit of a horchata note, that was absolutely delicious. I kept pouring glass after glass just so I could continue to enjoy that finish!
I want more of this, but sadly it's gone. That said, on my next trip to the liquor store I think I'm going to have to inquire about a nice Spanish brandy if this is the kind of influence their barrels are going to have on whiskey.