Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Jamaican Dark Rum Casks
Company: Wolf Spirit
Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery(ies)
Release Date: November 2022
Age: 14 Years
Mashbill: 84% Corn, 8% Malt, 8% Rye.
Color: Blonde Oak
MSRP: $150 (2023)
Wet oak | Molasses | Raisins | Rum cake | Undertone of caramel | Dash of vanilla bean | Very unique combination
Molasses | Chewy caramel | Heavy rum raisin ice cream | Aged tannic wet oak | Leather | Light white peppercorn | Heavy rum finish influence
Rum | Dry oak | Leather | Rye spice | Spiced raisins | Earthy | Rum forward
Utilizing Jamaican dark rum barrels to finish the bourbon, The Left Cross goes all in on its rum flavors delivering a whiskey that reminds you with every sip what it was finished in.
The Left Cross is the second limited edition release under the Puncher’s Chance brand by Wolf Spirit, out of Eugene, Oregon. According to the company’s press release, “The Left Cross is a reference to Jamaican heavyweight fighter Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock, a southpaw who, with a devastating left cross punch, battled the likes of Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. The left cross finishing blow became Ruddock’s much-admired calling card.” The bourbon is finished in freshly dumped 12-year-old Jamaican rum casks for 2-6 months.
Rum-finished whiskeys have been all the rage these past few years. It’s a barrel finish that definitely imparts its mark on the whiskey placed inside, and that is certainly the case with Puncher’s Chance Bourbon: The Left Cross. The sip is full of imparted rum flavors from the opening aromas to the last of its lingering notes in the finish. Most notable is the midpoint of the sip which is dominated by a rum raisin note which is its defining characteristic. While this rum finish borders on almost being too much, the base bourbon is able to shine through just enough to provide depth. However, there is also a wet oak note that is consistently noticeable in the nose and palate. This could be due to a number of reasons, the most probable is due to its high age along with the fact that Jamaican dark rum casks were used which may be well-used barrels in and of themselves. The price is certainly high, meaning The Left Cross will be best targeted to those who are a fan of dark rum or heavy rum-influenced finished whiskeys.