Age: #97 5-years 2-months;
#103 5-years 2-months;
#106 5-years 2-months;
#674 4-years 4-months;
#736 4-years 4-months
Source: Castle & Key Distilling
Blend: Five barrel blend (97, 103, 106, 674, 736)
Tasting Notes: Butterscotch and maple fade to clove and white pepper. The palate is black tea, peach cobbler and baking spice. This leads to a long finish of black tea and honey.
Process: For this selection Jay West from r/bourbon and Whiskey Raiders, Sean Josephs from Pinhook and myself (Blake from Seelbach's) met in Jacksonville, FL for an in person blend. After the success of our 2021 True Small Batch the expectations were high! This selection is to create a special blend for r/bourbon, Seelbach's and Pinhook fans. It's also a way to pull back the curtain on the blending process. Often, distilleries and brands skip over this in their marketing. As I've mentioned before. The blending process may be the most crucial part of having a quality product in a bottle. Here's how we create this blend.
The process started a couple of weeks before our meeting. Sean looked through the Pinhook barrel inventory. He pulled a range of barrels with varying profiles and age. All barrels were distilled and aged at Castle & Key. They ranged from 4 to 6-years. Our blending process started with 8 different barrels. We each tasted through the barrels and characterized that barrel in three to five words. I.e. #97 toasty, fruity, spice, balanced. From there we started to work on barrel combinations. I.e. this fruity barrel with a short finish could work with the spice barrel that lingers on the palate. This process could take days if you let it. We found a strong, balanced base of three barrels. It was our foundation. On it's own it was sweet, spicy with nice tannic notes. Now, it was time to add barrels with more depth and nuanced flavor. As you can imagine, this took some time! In the end, some of the barrels we loved on their own didn't add much to the blend. A barrel that we thought was flat added richness and mouthfeel. This five barrel blend is a complete bourbon I hope you enjoy it!
Additional Info: Pinhook "True Small Batch" showcases our unique blending and proofing philosophy through specially commissioned micro-blends of 3-6 barrels of our custom mashbill. This bespoke small-grade blend results in a deep, complex whiskey greater than the sum of its parts.