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Jackie Zykan’s latest departure from Old Forester for a whiskey startup despatched shockwaves by the bourbon world, and I swear you possibly can nonetheless really feel them.
For many who missed it, Hidden Barn was based by Zykan and Nate Winegar and Matt Dankner of Colorado’s 5280 Whiskey Society, and whereas they get their very own Kentucky-based operations up and working, they’re placing out a spirit created from distillate sourced from the Neeley Household Distillery, an operation that’s been round since 2015 however which I’d by no means heard of till in the present day.
Some materials from the corporate:
Within the spirit of doing issues the laborious approach, Grasp Distiller Royce Neeley touches each step of the method from grain to growing old, personally hand-collecting wild Kentucky yeast, fastidiously monitoring a 5-day fermentation utilizing conventional cypress fermenters, and personally distilling and hand-cutting the double pot distillation.
The Whiskey Made the Onerous Manner sequence was fermented utilizing wild yeast and is double pot distilled. It was collected at 127 proof, and entered the barrel at 110 proof. The seven barrels characterize among the first tons to mature beneath the watchful eye of Neeley. To keep up the integrity and viscosity of the liquid, the bourbon is screened for sediment and sees no further filtration.
Hidden Barn Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch #001 is offered at an undiluted batch proof of 53% ABV and provided at a recommended retail worth of $74.99. The preliminary providing shall be accessible in Kentucky, Colorado, Florida and California, with extra distribution anticipated earlier than the tip of the yr.
The mashbill for this whiskey is 70 % corn, 20 % rye, and 10 % malted barley, and it’s proofed with native Kentucky water. No age assertion right here however the firm says maturation is 4 to five years in barrel. Seven barrels made.
Let’s dig in to batch #1 of the product formally often called Hidden Barn Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Small Batch #001 Whiskey Made the Onerous Manner Collection, lets?
Seasoned drinkers of craft bourbons will discover loads of acquainted character right here. It’s distinctly corny on the nostril, however heavy laced with Bit-O-Honey, butterscotch, and molasses — and with a wholesome slug of oak within the combine. There’s a lot of warmth at full proof, although water is of course an efficient tempering agent (albeit one which dulls the sweeter components on the nostril). The palate belies some youth, with a ton of peanut shell coming throughout virtually like peanut butter at occasions. Once more the wooden is intense and ruddy right here, although notes of chocolate and toasted grains add some degree of nuance, together with a pinch of mint, some baking spice, and a tiny trace of cherry. Water sadly dulls the spice and sweetness significantly, bringing extra tannin and lumberyard character into the fold. With or with out water, the end is concentrated virtually completely on wooden, which this whiskey doesn’t want extra of.
Finally, it’s reasonably innocent — although distinctly undercooked — and I hoped to get pleasure from this much more than I did. It positively doesn’t really feel like something Zykan has performed previously, feeling a bit like a Hail Mary shortcut to get one thing into the market, even whether it is simply seven barrels of product to get the corporate’s identify on the market. (Pay attention laborious and you’ll hear the fits discussing the technique.) In fact, that’s the issue with a whiskey firm: Whiskey takes an extended very long time to mature, and till then, you both have to take a seat in your palms or launch sourced product. Hidden Barn is taking an enormous gamble in sourcing craft distillate as a substitute of MGP or another giant producer for this launch, and kudos to them for making an attempt one thing totally different. Sadly, the outcomes listed below are nonetheless shaky, and I doubt that many early patrons are going to agree that there’s $75 in worth available on this inaugural bottling.
106 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1.
B / $75 / hiddenbarnwhiskey.com
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