Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Toasted French Oak and Maple Syrup Barrels
Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed distillery(ies) in Kentucky
Release Date: September 2023
Age: NAS (Website states 4 years, 6 months)
Mashbill: 78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye
MSRP: $80 / 750mL (2023)
Maple sugar candy | Light toffee | Charred oak | Light syrup | Buttered pancakes | Whiff of vanilla sugar | Vegetative | Interesting combination of scents
Pine sap | Light sweet syrup | Gentle rye spice | Faint brown sugar | Toasted oak | Light citrus rind | Clove | Mellow
Peppercorn spice | Cinnamon spice | Rye spice | Light syrup | Oak | Tad of leather | Light lingering peppery spice
A combination of French oak and maple syrup finishing barrels provides for a unique twist to your typical Kentucky bourbon.
For those who are unfamiliar, Seelbach's is an online-only spirits retailer that “is dedicated to unconventional spirits.” Seelbach's Private Reserve Batch 5 is a follow-up to the company’s inaugural Private Reserve release, which was released in 2021. For this batch, the company states that they “sourced 4-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon from Bardstown, KY. Those barrels aged for 6-months in the Florida heat before they were dumped. After that, we selected blended a total of 10 select barrels. This base blend filled two toasted French Oak barrels and two ex-bourbon Maple syrup barrels.” The bourbon's final form ended up being a final blend of 60/40 Toasted French Oak to Maple syrup barrels.
Any bourbon that uses maple syrup barrels as part of their finishing composition would be expected to instantly evoke notes of sweetness. Seelbach's Private Reserve Batch 5 certainly delivers on that expectation, but thanks to a combination of adding French oak barrels to finish the whiskey, the overall sip isn’t overly sweet. Opening with sweet scents of maple sugar candy and light syrup, more unusual scents such as buttered pancakes and vanilla sugar help form an intriguing aroma. The midpoint brings a transition to a distinct spice note that helps to balance out the sweeter notes that appear and produces a mellow palate that never sways too heavily in any one direction. Wrapping up on more spice-heavy notes, the bourbon gravitates away from previous sweeter components and ends on a more traditional path. Overall, this is another nice showing from Seelbach’s, which produces a fun sip for their Private Reserve Batch 5 bourbon that fans of unique pours will enjoy.
The bottle being reviewed is number 978 out of 1064.