Age: 5yr, finished in seasoned barrel for 12m
Distillery: Traverse City Whiskey
Mashbill: 100% rye
Nose: Allspice, Apricot, Black Pepper, Blackberry, Caramel, Cloves, Ethanol, Fig, Rye Grain, Artificial Lemon, Peaches and Brown Sugar
Taste: Metallic/silky mouthfeel. Black Pepper, Cloves, Rye, Licorice, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Green Tea, Blackberry, Chocolate, Fig, Floral, Raisin, Strawberry, Toasted Oak.
Finish: Medium length. The tannins from the second barrel provide a lot of “barrel spice” with no real defining note at first; spiced chocolate, blackberry, and peach then greet the palate – showing off a good blend of the base rye whiskey and the wine finish; rye grain, sweet strawberry, licorice, and clove round out the finish for a nice little wave of spiced notes blended with sweet dried fruit.
Overall: Let me start by pointing out something – they specify on these new releases that the whiskey is aged in *seasoned* barrels. What that means is they have used said finishing liquid to recharge or season the barrels to help provide more influence. This is very common and should not be seen as a negative.
At 97.5 proof, this sits exactly where it should. The wine influence is apparent, but not overdone and I am very much surprised by how much I enjoy this. Cab-Franc grapes tend to lend to spicy earth notes and touches of dried fruit, this is an excellent showing of that and pairing a 100% rye whiskey was a good decision. I don’t believe a bourbon would have had the same effect. The grain, licorice, and citrus notes of the rye whiskey meld well and make for a nice base layer.
Whether you enjoy wine finishes or not, I’d highly recommend this one.
Value Rating: 8/10
Total Score: 7.6/10