Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Toasted French Oak Casks
Company: B.R. Distilling Company
Distillery: Green River Distilling
Release Date: Ongoing
Mashbill: 70% Corn, 21% Rye, 9% Malted Barley
Color: Dark Gold
MSRP: $40 (2023)
Red currants | Cranberry | French oak | Fresh oak | Leafy greens
Raisin | Plum | Prune | Toast | Marshmallow | Vanilla
French oak | Leather | Molasses | Milk chocolate | Baking spice
Toasting their French oak barrels helps add an extra dimension which is often absent with many French oak finished bourbons.
Blue Note Bourbon is located in Memphis, Tennessee and currently sources their whiskey from Green River Distilling. Blue Note recently explored French oak wine barrel finishing with their Blue Note Las Notas release, but Blue Note Crossroads instead toasts their French oak barrels for extra emphasis on a wood-focused finish. The company provides little information beyond sourcing their finishing barrels from Tonnellerie Radoux, a central France cooperage. This small cooperage has been in business since 1932 and is known for their quality casks.
Many brands have either a French oak or toasted finished bourbon on the market, though it's less common to see the two combined. Using toasted French oak barrels creates a bourbon that is decidedly mellow yet still flavorful. The toasted aspect of the finish hits first. It's gentle and offers a smooth delivery of raisin, plum, prune, and marshmallow. It quickly transitions to its French oak side providing a manageable bite of French oak. Toasting the French oak barrels ended up producing flavors that work really well in conjunction with each other, although as with many French oak finishes, the base bourbon’s flavors tend to get drowned out. The inclusion of a toasted finish with Crossroads provides a small, but welcomed extra dimension to the whiskey and is well worth its asking price. Overall, Crossroads works and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more toasted French oak finished bourbon released by more producers in the near future.