Cask Finish Series: Amburana
Amburana casks are challenging to work with, as they impart strong cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla spice notes. True blending expertise is required to enhance the bourbon with Amburana and maintain balance. The Barrell Craft Spirits blending team created a bourbon blend of two mash bills with different char levels finished in Amburana casks. A vatting of individual casks without finishing was layered in to add depth, richness and complexity, ensuring the bourbon shines through first and foremost.
Rather than working with cubes, spirals, staves, or other oak alternatives like many producers, Barrell Craft Spirits’ Chief Whiskey Scientist Tripp Stimson sourced true 53-gallon barrels made from sustainably harvested amburana wood to finish bourbon. It took a full year of R&D to hone in on the right timing and conditions that would create just the right balance of flavor concentration, layering in those heady tropical spice notes without losing the delicious flavor of the bourbon itself.
The wood's strong impact within a short time frame demands a level of expertise that goes far beyond just filling it with bourbon, waiting a few months, and then bottling. Barrell Craft Spirits' approach involves the delicate art of blending and small adjustments to proof, temperature, and other conditions that allow the amburana contribution to shine while complementing the natural attributes of the bourbon, rather than overpowering it.
Indiana: 5, 6, 7, & 10 years old
Kentucky: 5 years old
DERIVED MASH BILL:
Malted Barley: 4%
A blend of straight bourbon Whiskeys
Further matured in Amburana barrels
Bottled in Kentucky
116.42 proof cask strength bottling
An intense baking spice character centered around cinnamon fills every nook and cranny of the tasting experience. It’s a veil through which one experiences the aromas of chocolate, walnut, and toasted sourdough. The palate also has a narrative driven by cinnamon and spicy ginger beer with cameos from marmalade, tarragon, and hefeweizen. A healthy splash of water foregrounds passionfruit, goldenrod, and honeycomb.
Nose: Cinnamon, and a lot of it. Along with other baking spices, it suffuses nearly every other aroma. Heavily spiced horchata, café de olla, and banana bread all feature it. Apple fritters and cracker jacks toe the line between sweet and savory.
Palate: The texture is rich and buttery. Here, too, those oak-derived spices predominate, with licorice root joining the assemblage. Pumpkin pie is reinforced by masala chai and ginger beer. More traditional bourbon flavors of tarragon, verjus, and lemon meringue pie keep the oak in check.
Finish: An array of citrus peels welcomes in cider apple and dirty martini. Sweeter than the palate, notes of hefeweizen and dark cuban rum persist on the tongue thanks to some grippy tannin.
With a splash of spring water
The sweet and savory balance begins to teeter. As sweetness gains the upper hand, one finds white chocolate, honeycomb and graham cracker. Then it seesaws the other way revealing sugar-snap pea and skillet cornbread. A bit of the underlying whisky surfaces here to show off honeydew melon, passionfruit, and jasmine. The palate paints a botanical portrait with strokes of lilac and chive blossom. It’s anchored in loamy soil with a salty streak along the finish.