Classification: Blend of Straight Bourbons Finished in American & French Oak Alicante Bouschet Casks
Company: Hinterhaus Distillery
Distillery: Sourced from undisclosed distilleries in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and Houston, Texas
Release Date: October 2022
Age: NAS (According to company website: Blend of 80% 3 year Indiana bourbon and 20% 4 year Texas bourbon)
Mashbill: 75% Yellow Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
Color: Deep Red Mahogany
MSRP: $45 (2023)
Red raspberry | Blackberry | Plum | Maraschino cherry | Very potent
Blackberry jam | Elderberry | Rhubarb | Red raspberry jam | Vanilla
Dry tobacco leaf | French oak | Plum | Fig | Black pepper pop with lingering effects
Its color doesn’t lie, this is one intense red wine finished bourbon.
Located 4,000 feet above sea level in the Sierra Mountains of California, Hinterhaus Distillery “shines a spotlight on the bounty of the region that has attracted generations to [its] rugged landscape.” The distillery is run by a husband and wife team Nate and Bonnie Randall. They produce vodka, gin, and liqueurs distilled from local Northern California wines, and finish their sourced bourbon in a number of used vineyards’ casks that are locally produced.
The first thing you’ll notice about Hinterhaus Calaveras Finish Bourbon is its color. This deep red mahogany coloring is uncommon for most finished bourbons, but before you suspect color additives - which the team must have expected - the label clearly states “No Color Added.” The bourbon gets its color from finishing for an undisclosed amount of time in used Alicante Bouschet casks. The red-fleshed grape variety originated in France, but California has become a major producer of it in recent years. It is often used to embolden other red wines but has since broken off as its own singular style. Hinterhaus Distillery looks to embody the grape’s original purpose by using both American and French oak to bring a finish to its bourbon that isn’t meek in the slightest.
Big, bold, and powerful scents of berry fruit are impossible to overlook. Red raspberry and blackberry combine with plum and maraschino cherry for an extremely potent aroma. The palate mirrors the nose, with blackberry out front, adding elderberry, rhubarb, and red raspberry jam that forms its berry-filled base. The finish takes a detour, adding dry tobacco, french oak, and plum with a sprinkling of black pepper for pop. Hinterhaus Calaveras Finish Bourbon is made for the red wine finished bourbon lover. It’s one of the most intense wine finished bourbons I’ve ever had and begs the question,” Is this meant to compete against a wine finished bourbon or a bourbon finished wine?” The line certainly gets blurred with this release and the answer may be different depending on the drinker. There is definitely a place for a wine finished bourbon like Hinterhaus Calaveras Finish Bourbon, as it continues to be one of the most popular types of finished whiskey. The base bourbon blend does take a back seat to the finish, though that is somewhat to be expected. If you’re curious how far a wine finished bourbon can be pushed, Hinterhaus Calaveras Finish Bourbon responds with, “Challenge accepted!”