Thursday, February 2, 2023

High West Binny's Barrel Select American Prairie Bourbon Finished in Brandy Casks

- $45
- 101.6 Proof
- Finished 1 year, 1 month
- Barrel #18910
- Utah

Although they don't seem to be coming out as frequently as they once did, I still love finding new High West barrel selects on shelves. They've tried all sorts of finishes, including wine finishes, barreled cocktail finishes, and even finishes in barrels previously used to finish whiskey. And for the most part they've been really good!

The ones I've found I gravitate toward the most, however, are the brandy finishes, including Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados finishes. For whatever reason, it's a finish that High West has done well.  And while my preference tends to be their ryes, I wasn't about to pass up this bottle of American Prairie Bourbon finished in brandy casks for just over a year. 

The brandy influence is fairly heavy on this one. Right way I was hit with orchard fruits. It was a nice mix of peach and pear, along with some sweet but rich brown sugar. It was kind of like a pie, particularly with an added note of pecan pie filling. It smelled like a rich and delicious peach and pear pie (is that thing?).

Right in line with the nose, the flavor was packed full of cooked peaches and pears. I couldn't get over how fruit forward this bottle was. It was sweetened by the same brown sugar note I was getting on the nose, and it even had a little bit of cinnamon spice to kick it up a bit. 

I also got that pie crust note. It wasn't strong, and it didn't necessarily make the whole thing taste like a pie, but there was certainly a flaky, buttery crust flavor going on here. It also had a nutty note, but it leaned sweet like a candied pecan.

The finish was syrupy and sweet. Whatever minimal heat I got from the cinnamon notes didn't quite make it that far. It certainly coated my mouth but it left that feeling in my mouth like I had just eaten waffles with maple syrup.

I certainly liked the flavors going on here, but I feel like the bourbon itself got somewhat buried. This seemed to be dominated by the brandy notes.  Perhaps a rye would have held up better against the finish, and if I come across a Double Rye! finished in brandy casks, I'm sure as hell buying it. But this one didn't quite do for me what I had hoped it would.

Grade: B-

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