For part 10 of the finished whiskey series I am going to take a look at 4 offerings from Broken Barrel out of LA. The folks there were kind enough to send me 4 120ml samples of their whiskies. Broken Barrel takes various whiskies, dump them into a steel tank where they are finished with different types of barrel staves.
Since I received these for free I will not be reviewing them but will just offer some tasting notes and thoughts.
Age: Blend of 4 and 5 year
Abv: 100 proof
Nose: Cornbread, vanilla, nutty notes, faint oak and honey
Taste: More of the same from the nose with cornbread, vanilla, honey and nutty notes but with some nice spice notes kicking in toward the end
Finish: Long finish with warm spice balanced by sweet vanilla and honey.
Age: Blend of 5 and 12 year
Abv: 110 proof
Nose: Very unusual with big dark fruit notes, maybe cherries and plums?
Taste: Leather, earthy notes, dark grapes and warm spices with just a little bit of cornbread. Very nice mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium length with rich chocolate, dark fruit and warm spice notes
Age: 1 year
Abv: 116 proof
Mashbill 70/21/4 Corn/Rye/Malted Barley
‘Oak Bill’: 80% Cabernet cask, 20% French oak
Nose: Young and harsh notes with subtler red wine notes underneath.
Taste: Rich dark fruit notes, clear wine influence, warm baking spices and subtler sweet vanilla and caramel notes. Thick mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium to short and slightly harsh finish but with more of the nice red wine notes from the taste.
Age: 1 year
Abv: 110 proof
Nose: Very unusual nose with wheat bread, malt and faintly smoky notes.
Taste: Starts with butterscotch and wheat bread then jumps to smoke and young malt notes. Viscous mouthfeel.
Finish: Long, lingering with smoke, baking spice and just a hint of sweetness to balance them.
The Mizunara starts out tasting like you would expect from a good corn whiskey but it gets more interesting as it goes with a very nice finish, presumably from the Mizunara finish. I would guess this is a blend of MGP and Heaven Hill sourced corn whiskies. It’s definitely a step up from Mellow Corn though. Overall I enjoyed this one even if it did taste a little grain forward. I think a version of this that was just a few years older or maybe just finished longer would be a step up in terms of reducing the youthful corn notes and adding more of the complexity from the Mizunara oak.
The nose was nothing I would expect from American whiskey. Overall this was super heavily influenced by the finish in a very good way. The leather notes make me suspect the 12 Light Whiskey portion is from MGP. I really enjoyed this one with the big fruit and leather notes as well as the finish which had a chocolate note for me.
The nose really revealed the youth but the taste was a big step up unfortunately the finish was young and a little hot again. I think the flavors other than the young grain were solid though and an older version of this could be quite nice.
I was pretty skeptical going in on this one with a blend of young wheat and malt whiskies finished with peat staves but I was very pleasantly surprised. Flavor notes I associate with all 3 things came through clearly with wheat bread and butterscotch from the wheat whiskey, distinct malt characteristics and a smokiness throughout that did not overpower the other flavors. I do think a little more age would have helped but this is definitely a very interesting dram.
I enjoyed all 4 of these samples though to different degrees :) I’m definitely curious to try more finished corn whiskies after this and I think the finishing does a lot for them. I hope the folks over at Broken Barrel have some stocks aging and I look forward to seeing what they can do with some older whiskey.