Classification: Straight Rye Finished with Oak Staves
Company: Broken Barrel Whiskey Co.
Distillery: Owensboro Distilling Co.
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: NAS (Press release states the base rye is aged a minimum of 2 years before being finished)
Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Color: Light Copper
MSRP: $35 (2022)
Sherry | Grape | Red fruit | Rye grain | Nutmeg | Vanilla | Caramel
Pecan | Baking spice | Dried fruit | Oak | Faint cinnamon
Cocoa powder | Dry oak | Black cherry | Rye spice
Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. has gone all in on the stave finishing concept. Where some companies may treat it as a marketing tactic, Broken Barrel has made it their philosophy. They trademarked the term “Oak Bill,” which lists the staves used to finish each of their releases. It's featured just as prominently on their label as the whiskey’s mashbill, and they aren’t shy declaring, “barrels influence roughly 80% of the final flavor of a whiskey.”
Broken Barrel’s Heresy Rye features an Oak Bill of 40% ex-bourbon barrels (“still soaked from the previous tenant”), 40% new French oak, and 20% sherry cask oak. There’s little doubt the impact the staves have on this whiskey as the rye base is the least showy part of the whiskey. While it provides a fleeting moment of cinnamon, baking spice, and rye spice, the sherry stave is the most dominant with the French oak not far behind. The use of three drastically different stave types gives the whiskey a multiple-personality flavor profile that is erratic at times, yet never boring to sip. While some might dismiss the use of stave finishing, I applaud Broken Barrel’s tenacity to explore a segment of whiskey finishing that has plenty of room for growth and to ultimately prove itself among the wider whiskey finishing methods.