For part 11 of the finished whiskey series we’re coming to Texas for some sourced whiskey aged and finished in Texas. Treaty Oak is a distillery in Dripping Springs with a great venue, delicious BBQ and a solid cocktail bar. They also produce whiskey and gin as well as sourcing. Their Red Handed series is their sourced whiskey and this particular release is sourced from Heaven Hill and a distillery in Virginia, in my opinion it’s most likely Bowman Brothers, and aged for some time then finished in a Madeira barrel here in Texas. On one of my visits to the distillery I had a bit too much to drink and came home with a handful of bottles. So let’s see what some Texas heat and a Madeira finish can do.
Age: NAS - 2 years for the regular Red Handed Bourbon according to their website
Abv: 95 proof
Price: $65ish? I can’t remember
Nose: Strong oak notes with sweet dark fruit, young corn grain and faint spices.
Taste: Rich dark fruit, corn, heavy oak and a touch of salt. The oak becomes slightly bitter toward the end. The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side.
Finish: Long hot finish with baking spice and cinnamon backed by oak and something sweet I couldn’t place.
Well that was a wild ride. I enjoyed the dark fruit notes from the Madeira and the heavy oak notes from the time aging in Texas but it was clear that the base spirit was very young and the whiskey finishes really hot. I do think the idea of sourcing and then aging for a bit here in Texas, like what Smoke Wagon is doing in Nevada, is a solid concept and a wine finish can definitely help a younger spirit but 2 years is just too young and these tricks couldn’t overcome that. Throwing in the missing ‘straight’ designation from the label and I’m definitely not going to be looking for another one.
TL;DR: The Madeira influence is nice but the base spirit is too young.
5 - a whiskey with notable strengths but also held back by some flaws
Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money