The Story: This isn’t the first experimental whiskey from Whiskey Acres and I sincerely doubt it will be the last. In fact, they have released a Maple Syrup Cask Finished Bourbon before. This time around, they’ve decided to bottle a cask strength version of this whiskey. The sample I received came in at 119.4 proof. It’s worth noting that this release is part of the distillery’s “Artisan Series” which means that it’s very limited, only available at the distillery while supplies last, and it comes in a 375ml bottle. These releases have developed quite a reputation and typically sell out fast. Nick Nagele, Co-Founder at Whiskey Acres, tells me “Rob, Jamie and I all tasted this at cask strength and knew we had something special on our hands. We’ve also had customers clamoring for a cask strength release. This was a perfect opportunity, as the cask strength really allows the whiskey to shine through, with maple undertones.” As an added bonus, Nick tells me they put the casks next to their boiler so they were under constant heat oppression.
Name: Artisan Series Cask Strength Maple Syrup Cask Finished Bourbon
Distiller: Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. (DeKalb, IL)
Bottler: Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. (DeKalb, IL)
Type of Producer: Craft Farm Distiller
Year Established: 2014
Bottling Proof: 119.4
Age: 2+ years in 25-gallon barrels. Then Almost 1-year finished in maple syrup casks.
Mashbill: 75% corn, 15% wheat, 10% malt (Standard WA mashbill)
Style: Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Maple Syrup Casks
Release Date: September 27th, 2019
Release Type: Limited Edition
Availability: Distillery only release
Whiskey Acres – Cask Strength Maple Syrup Finished Bourbon
Sugary and light at first with underlying notes of BBQ smoked meats. Adding some water brings out more of that mouth-watering smokey bacon/brisket. It reminds me of a candied bacon.
Light and sweet on the front of the tongue, spicy on the back of the tongue with a lingering heat on the roof of the mouth. The sweetness of the maple comes through a few moments after the finish. Adding some water brings out even more maple sweetness though it’s never overwhelming and interestingly most noticed on my lips. The sweetness of the maple subtly builds with each sip.
Light to medium viscosity.
A medium/long finish with lingering heat, a subtle soft sweetness, and a bit of tingling spice.
This is an interesting whiskey that I’m guessing the team at Whiskey Acres had some fun with. If you enjoy BBQ, bacon, and maple syrup (so 99% of you) you’ll likely enjoy this release. As I often find with their Artisan Series, these whiskeys are a nice twist on a solid base bourbon. The higher proof on this Maple Finished Bourbon begs to be tried in a cocktail. I imagine this will go very well with the sweetness of an Old Fashioned or the cherries in a Manhattan.