Breaking Bourbon Award Winning Single Barrel Club picks are selected by Breaking Bourbon, and whenever possible with the help of Patreon supporters. The bottles are made available to Patreon supporters first by pledge tier. If any bottles remain after all supporters have had an opportunity to purchase, they are made available to the public on a first come, first served basis. Each barrel is sponsored by a retailer partner, who sells the bottles directly to end purchasers.
Retailer Partner: Seelbach’s
Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Tokaji Wine Casks
Age: 6 Years (Additional 4 months finishing in a Tokaji barrel)
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 16% Wheat, 6% Rye, 3% Malted Barley
Yield: 192 Bottles
Release Date: January 2024
“Breaking the Seel” #4 is our fourth edition in the series, following our first, second, and third editions of Breaking the Seel, which were released to our clubs previously.
We reviewed the first standard release batch of Penelope Tokaji Finished Rye in September, 2022 and really enjoyed it. Wanting to take the Breaking the Seel series into new areas, we all decided on a Tokaji finished bourbon blend for this fourth private release. Tokaji is still a rare finishing style when it comes to bourbon and American whiskey, and fits the mold of bringing something different to our clubs.
For those learning about Tokaji for the first time, Tokaji is derived from the Tokaj wine region in northeast Hungary and neighboring southeastern Slovakia. The first question you might ask is how to pronounce it, and there are a number of ways and sub-variations. In English it is pronounced “tow-kaa-jee,” but because the region is referred to as the Tokaj wine region (dropping the “i”), it is typically pronounced “toe-coy” where it is produced. The region covers approximately 43 square miles, of which about half of that area represents the size of planted vineyards. The style has a rich history, as Tokaji was a white wine originating from the Tokaj region in Hungary with historical reference dating back as early as 1635. Notably Tokaji wine became the subject of the world’s first wine appellation control in 1730, which is a legally defined and protected geographical indication primarily used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown, though other types of food and drink can be governed by this as well. Think “port” (a product of Portugal), “Bordeaux” (a product of France), and “Champagne” (also a product of France) for reference.
The Tokaji wines originating from the region are known to be rich, thick, and very sweet. We enjoy how this translates to whiskey finishing, as it adds layers of fruit, depth, and most notably sweetness which permeates throughout the whiskey. In this case, finishing a bourbon as opposed to a rye used for Penelope’s first standard release, tames some of the spice that was evident in the rye variation and allows the sweetness from the corn and wheat to come through in addition to the Tokaji finish. The flavor profile does not deviate too far from bourbon though, as it isn’t overly finished as finished bourbons can sometimes be. Anyone who enjoys a rich, higher proof, sweeter bourbon with ample fruit notes will find a lot to love with this one-time release.
We invite you to try this carefully curated finished blend, and in doing so consider the bourbon’s journey from start to finish as you explore its complex and nuanced flavor profile.
Nose: Orange peel | Grape | Honey | Light raisin | Sweet aroma overall
Palate: Ripe summer fruit | Raisin | Dry oak | Leather | Caramel | Sweet & full-bodied
Finish: Some heat up front | White peppercorn | Green grape | Caramel | Sweet transitions to savory seasoned oak | Lingering dry oak
Distillers, Producers, and Retailers: If you would like to be a part of this program and get your name in front of millions of bourbon enthusiasts, contact us.
Please note these bottles will not be sold by Breaking Bourbon, but will be sold by retailers we partner with in order to fulfill the orders and ship the bottles directly to Patreon supporters. Breaking Bourbon will receive no compensation from our partner retailers under these agreements (with the exception of a bottle from each barrel for editorial purposes). If you represent a retailer and ship to consumers and you’re interested in partnering just let us know!