Classification: Bourbon Whiskeys Finished in Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum, and Sicilian Amaro Casks
Company: Barrell Craft Spirits
Distillery: Undisclosed distillery(ies) in Tennessee
Release Date: October 2020
Color: Deep Rose Gold
MSRP: $90 (2020)
Ripe pear up front | Floral | Light vanilla & caramel in the background | Exceptionally fragrant
Ripe pear | Mix of dark fruits | Anise | Sweet molasses | Baking spices | Rich & full of flavor with a dynamic shift from fruit to sweet-spicy notes
Tobacco | Seasoned oak | Hint of aged oak | Slight dryness | Medium length
The release is comprised of only 3,700 bottles, and is a blend of three straight bourbons, separately finished in Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum, and Sicilian Amaro casks. While each of these individual finishes has been done before, they are still just making their way into bourbon finishing and as a result are rather rare. Moreover, the combination of blending these three finishes into a single blend results in one of the more interesting creations ever attempted with bourbon. Like the unique name for this product, which was inspired by company founder Joe Beatrice’s mother’s formal name, the resulting flavor profile is as unique as it sounds.
I was initially shocked by Armida, as it delivers a combination of flavors I can confidently say I have never experienced in a whiskey. In fact, I had to revisit a number of times to ground myself in what I was experiencing, and in-so-doing found myself really enjoying this intriguing blend. As you journey through this whiskey from its aroma to its palate and finally to its finish, you realize it’s on an entirely different level. The integration of the three separately finished bourbons not only exposes, but rather highlights qualities of all three finishes in a rather potent form. Despite the gripping intensity of the finishes however, the underlying bourbon offers just enough structure to tie everything together. Armida is such a complex and unexpected combination of flavors it will challenge even the most experienced whiskey drinkers.