Classification: Straight Whiskey
Company: Brown Water Spirits
Distillery: Undisclosed Distillery(ies) in Indiana
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 3 Years
Mashbill: Undisclosed (Website states “rye-based”)
Color: Rose Gold
MSRP: $80 (2021)
Apricot | Melon | Honey | Licorice | Light spice | Lively & inviting
Raisin | Caramel | Orange peel | Baking spice | Viscous mouthfeel
Baking spice | Honey | Delicate tapering of flavors | Medium length
Brown Water Spirits’ O.H. River Aged Whiskey derives its name from Proprietor Orrin Henry “Hank” III. The company lays claim to aging their whiskey in a floating rickhouse. The first-of-its-kind, the rickhouse is built inside a barge that floats on the Mississippi River moored on the riverbank of Ballard County, KY. The company more fully explains their aging process on their website, with a focus on the unique aspects of motion, temperature, and humidity that impact how the whiskey ages differently than it might on land.
Adorned with its barge number, IN068518, River Aged Whiskey makes an enticing case for the idea of river aging. While Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon ages, or more accurately finishes, at sea for an unknown number of months, River Aged Whiskey barrels spend just about their entire life span aging on the Mississippi River. At only about three years old, youth is entirely missing from the flavor profile. Instead a sweet, more fruit-forward flavor profile with a velvety mouthfeel is present. A mouthfeel much like Jefferson’s Ocean Batch 2, which was believed to spend more time aging at sea than more recent batches, which don’t offer the same noticeable mouthfeel. While the concept is still largely unexplored, I’m excited to see how river aging impacts different base whiskeys on a go-forward basis.