Classification: Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Sherry & Cognac Casks
Company: Distiller’s Way, LLC
Distillery: Sourced from MGP
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: NAS (5 years per company’s website)
Mashbill: Unspecified blend of two mashbills:
60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
Color: Reddish Amber
MSRP: $75 (2023)
Red raspberry | Vanilla custard | Chocolate covered cherries | Floral undertone | Light overall
Sugary-sweet upfront | Raspberry jam | Brown sugar | Nutmeg | Dark chocolate | Soft yet rich flavors | Elegant
Sweet dark cherries | Light milk chocolate | Raspberry | Crisp with lingering allspice note
Starting with a two bourbon blend and then finishing in multiple barrels marries flavors to elegant and satisfying results.
Doc Swinson’s began in 2017 by the folks at Distiller's Way, a company that helps birth bourbon brands for whiskey startups. As they tell their story, the team came across a particularly special group of barrels that they decided to release themselves. The Doc Swinson’s Collection grew from there and the brand has built a loyal following thanks to their many finished whiskeys and experimental blends.
The process used to create this whiskey is fairly involved considering the base blend is derived from a blend of two mashbills, and then transfers casks multiple times which is more complicated than the label suggests. First, the two bourbons are blended in a blend tank, then divided three ways into ex-oloroso sherry butts, ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry butts, and ex-Cognac puncheons. After resting for at least 11 months and up to 2 years (varies by finishing cask), they are re-combined in an ex-Cognac marrying foeder for an undisclosed amount of time. According to Doc Swinson’s master blender Jesse Parker, this method is used by heritage blenders.
The resulting whiskey is quite elegant, and marries its finishes seamlessly. It’s light and approachable on the nose, which has floral undertones accented by red raspberry, vanilla custard, and chocolate covered cherries. The palate ramps up the intensity dramatically, starting with a sugary-sweet mixture of brown sugar and raspberry jam that’s complemented by dark chocolate and nutmeg. Finally, the finish brings together dark cherries, milk chocolate, and raspberry with a crisp ending that’s followed by a lingering allspice note. Overall it’s a very well done finished whiskey, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys finished whiskeys.