Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Red Line Whiskey LLC
Distillery: Sourced (from an undisclosed Indiana distillery[ies])
Release Date: December 2021
Age: NAS (5 years old according to the company)
MSRP: $90 (2022)
Corn Pops | Rice cake | Cedar | Green apple | Toasted oak
Toasted oak | Mild vanilla | Cinnamon sugar | Dash of allspice | Sweet
Cedar | Toffee | Mild cinnamon | Light pepper | Short to medium length
Poured from an indistinct bottle adorned with simple text that reads “Red Line,” the bourbon turns out to be more than you’d assume it to be. Its MGP base whiskey is straightforward and familiar, but its toasted barrel finish is where this whiskey shines. Redline Whiskey was founded by a father and son team with over 30 years of fine wine and liquor industry experience, and gave their whiskey its name from the “Red Line,'' which is the caramelized layer of sugars that develops just beneath the char of a barrel.
With toasted barrel finish whiskey the current “it” finish, many brands have released their version of it. But as we’ve seen, it's far from an automatic home run. What’s interesting is that there isn’t a common thread of what works and what doesn’t. In Red Line’s case, they’ve made it work. It appears the team knew just how long to finish this particular barrel, as the toasted finish is quite potent, but not overbearing. It’s a lighter oak adjacent if you will, replacing the traditional heavy oak, leather, and vanilla with cedar, toffee, and an overall sweetness. Despite mild complexity and a short-medium length finish, Red Line Toasted Barrel Finish nails its barrel finish and is proof that you don't judge a bottle by its label.