In February, I was at Treaty Oak with Aaron Goldfarb and the distillery rolled out some special bottles for a "Hacking Whiskey" event. These bottles were distillery only releases. Each barrel was an experiment or had a special finish to it to coincide with the book. We tasted the rye finished in Antique Waterloo Gin barrels and I was hooked! I've never heard of someone using a Gin barrel to finish a whiskey. These barrels originally held Rye Whiskey, then Gin, then back to Rye Whiskey. The evolution of a barrel is awesome.
This is the second barrel "hack" we have collaborated with Goldfarb on. These aren't your average barrel picks. We chase the funky and unique. Every now and then we hit a home run on one of these experiments. This is one of those times! Here are the details on this barrel.
Timeline of the Barrel:
- Rye whiskey spends 10-years from Schenley Distillery
- At the same time, Waterloo gin spends 24 months in a first-use char no. 3 American White Oak barrels
- Both barrels are dumped
- The rye whiskey is filled into the empty gin barrel to age for another 12-months
- Voila! Hacking Whiskey Gin-Finished Rye Whiskey is bottled.
The nose is complex with notes of black pepper, honeydew, mint and cinnamon. It's the first sip that this whiskey shines. There are sweeter notes but it keeps evolving. I get a cucumber water note that I've never had in a whiskey before. This finish brings out the best notes of rye and gin. I taste a little baking spice on the finish but it holds strong with herbal and earthy notes balanced by the sweetness.