Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Used French Oak Wine Barrels
Company: B.R. Distilling Company
Release Date: November 2022
Proof: 120.2 (Barrel Strength)
Age: NAS (5 years per company website)
Mashbill: 70% Corn, 21% Rye, 9% Malted Barley
Color: Dark Mahogany
MSRP: $60 (2023)
Cherry | Brandy | Stone fruit | Balsamic vinegar | Potent
Plum | Black Cherry | Molasses | Cola syrup | French oak | Fruit gives way to French oak
Strong French oak | Pepper | Vegetative | Black currants | Mild tannic oak | Ramp up of heat with a slightly dry aftertaste
A bold red wine finished bourbon with an even bolder French oak backbone.
Blue Note Bourbon is located in Memphis, Tennessee and currently sources their whiskey from Green River Distilling. Previously called O.Z. Tyler Distillery, while Green River Distilling isn’t a household name just yet, they were purchased in 2022 by Bardstown Bourbon Company. Green River’s bourbon isn’t as widespread as Bardstown Bourbon Company or MGP, but we enjoyed their inaugural release. This means Blue Note’s base Green River bourbon provides a solid foundation which Blue Note has built a brand off of.
Blue Note Las Notas is a new collaborative release with Jean-Claude Berrouet, a well respected French winemaker of the last 50 years. Blue Note in collaboration with Berrouet takes his used Las Notas wine French oak casks to finish their bourbon for 1 year.
Blue Note Las Notas is an extremely potent French oak finished bourbon. Blue Note doesn’t specify which Las Notas red wine casks they use but there is a strong stone fruit current running throughout this bourbon. One of my favorite things about this finished bourbon is that its wine finish is well integrated - which is key to any successful finished bourbon. Its French oak influence is unmistakable and very potent. This may be the bourbon’s biggest contentious aspect. Some will find it overbearing, but fans of French oak will find it nicely dialed in. There is a good deal of fruit upfront which gives way to French oak and a slow ramp up of heat and spice. There is also a notable lack of sweet notes here, instead taking a page from a dry red wine’s playbook. Blue Note releases Las Notas as a single barrel, so the intensity and what type of red wine casks used for finishing could be different from barrel to barrel. As far as red wine finished bourbons go, this is up there in pure potency.
The bottle in review is from barrel number 10 and was selected by Corks.