Dark Arts French Oak Stave Finished Small Batch Bourbon (Batch 1)


Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished with French Oak Staves

Company: Dark Arts Whiskey House

Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Indiana distillery(ies)

Release Date: November 2023

Proof: 108Age: 6.5 Years

Mashbill: 60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Color: Caramel

MSRP: $90 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website


Red raspberries | Cranberry | Robust vanilla | French oak | Touch of tannic oak | Sweet dough


Sponge cake | Honey | Cream | Toffee | Toasted oak


Cinnamon spice | Sweet bread pastry | Nougat | Mellow French oak  | Touch of lingering heat


Taking a familiar base bourbon and adding a unique species of French oak for stave finishing helps differentiate this bourbon from the pack.

Dark Arts Whiskey House was created by Macaulay Minton and David Peet. Minton previously oversaw Wilderness Trail's single barrel program for 5 years. Peet runs the business side as CEO and also carries the title Master Distiller, even though, as the company points out, they don’t own a still, and Peet’s own profile has no mention of a distilling background. For now, Dark Arts Whiskey House is focused on blending, rebarreling, and finishing, with their website adding, “Inspired by the alchemists of old, our Master Blenders wield underutilized maturation and blending techniques to transform wood, fire, grain and water into liquid gold. Using equal parts mastery and belief in the unknown, we procure high-quality ingredients, create custom blends, and age them in unconventional barrels to craft unique and elevated whiskeys.”

Featuring a short and stout alchemist-like styled bottle and a label that also runs with the concept, Dark Arts French Oak Stave Finished Small Batch Bourbon is definitely anything but ordinary. Having aged with toasted Jupilles Fleur French Oak staves, the resulting whiskey is unique tasting but is careful not to overdo it either. Jupilles Fluer became a French royal forest in the 14th century and then a national forest in 1791 and its trees are known for their tight grain, which is highly sought after by barrel-makers in the wine industry.

Dark Arts French Oak Stave Finished Small Batch Bourbon is quite flavorful yet also manages to err on the mellow side. After a noticeable red fruit aroma, the palate lays out sponge cake, honey, cream, toffee, and toasted oak that work quite well together. The finish follows in a similar manner, with a sweet bread pastry, nougat, and mellow French oak, which nicely compliments the palate. With a manageable amount of spicy cinnamon and heat that follows, the bourbon as a whole is an enjoyable and well-balanced, tempered pour.  

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
360 video

Written By: Eric Hasman

March 11, 2024
photo of author
Available at these retailers
Dark Arts French Oak Stave Finished Small Batch Bourbon (Batch 1)
Also Check out
No items found.
Reviews By This Author
Recent Reviews
Recent Articles
  • Exclusive Content
  • new content summary
  • bourbon in the news
  • social media roundup
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyEthics PolicyCommenting Policy