Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Wine Casks
Company: Gold Bar Bottle Company
Distillery: Undisclosed Texas Distillery(ies)
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: NAS (According to company website, first aged for 3-6 years in new American oak, then finished in Napa Valley French Oak wine barrels)
Mashbill: 80% Texas Corn, 20% Oklahoma Rye
MSRP: $60 (2021)
Raw wood | Pine-Sol | Vanilla | Dark cherries | Medicinal
Dark fruit | Toffee | Campfire smoke | Dark chocolate | Raisin | Cough syrup
Tobacco | Cigar box | Cherries | Lingering smoke
Gold Bar hails from San Francisco, with whiskeys blended by second generation Napa Valley winemaker Montgomery Paulsen. While the packaging screams “gimmicky” with its gold bar-like appearance, the whiskey inside is actually quite unique, shirking the foregone conclusion that the bottle's contents would be some run-of-the-mill sourced whiskey that tastes like many others on the market. Instead, what’s inside the bottle is an unusual two grain mashbill that’s distilled in Texas, aged for 3-6 years in new American oak, and finished in Napa Valley French Oak wine barrels. To my surprise the whiskey has undergone quite a journey resulting in a flavor profile that is anything but boring.
Unfortunately, the end result is a bit of an enigma. Possibly finished for too long in wine barrels, the resulting product takes on medicinal, almost chemical-like notes that are impossible to ignore. Flavors of chocolate, dark fruits, tobacco, and smoke provide a unique combination that teases enjoyment, but it’s the inability of these flavors to come together in synergy combined with the medicinal note that steers it off course. Gold Bar does succeed in making one thing clear however, never judge a whiskey by its packaging!