SBC #53: Chattanooga Bourbon “Smooth Criminal”

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

Company: Chattanooga Whiskey Co.

Distillery: Chattanooga Riverfront Distillery

Age: 4 Years, 2 Months (Fill date 10/17/2017, dump date 12/17/2021)

Proof: 120.2

Mashbill: 74% Yellow Corn, 13% Pale Malted Rye, 7% Caramel Barley Malt, 6% Honey Malted Barley (#3 char, toast profile "25")

Yield: 186 Bottles (Short barrel)

Release Date: February 2022

Single Barrel Club Rollout Schedule

$25 - Thursday 2/3/2022 @ 2PM ET

$14 - Friday 2/4/2022 @ 2PM ET

$7 - Monday 2/7/2022 @ 2PM ET

$3, $2, $1 - Tuesday 2/8/2022 @ 2PM ET


For this pick, we partnered with Seelbach’s, which was founded by Blake Riber, also the creator of Bourbonr and the Bourbonr Facebook group. An online-only retailer with a twist, we interviewed Riber to discuss how he’s running his shop differently than everyone else. “Unlocking Craft Spirits” he calls it - seeking out up-and-coming craft distilleries and learning about their process and tasting through their products to find hidden gems.

We’ve been following Chattanooga Whiskey Co. for some time now, and were fortunate to have the opportunity to select this barrel for the Single Barrel Club. It’s technically our second Chattanooga single barrel pick, and we had the honor of teaming up with Bourbonr/Seelbach’s, Dad’s Drinking Bourbon, and to select the first barrel pick ever released from Chattanooga Whiskey back in May 2020.

Since that very first Chattanooga Whiskey Co. pick back in 2020, the distillery has ramped up single barrel offerings, but just a bit. The demand for them is still quite a bit higher than their supply, and it’s an important reminder that Chattanooga Whiskey Co. started distilling just seven years ago, and is still in their infancy as a distillery. They have a knowledgeable team capable of creating fantastic products (in fact they made our Best Craft Whiskey list two years running), but it’s an exciting time as they are still just learning what they’re capable of producing, they’re heavy on experimentation, and their team seems genuinely excited about what they’re doing.

In a coincidental chain of events, with thanks to Ryan Wilson (sportswriter, co-host of Pick Six, and friend of Breaking Bourbon), we connected with Will Brinson from CBS Sports NFL Pick Six Podcast where the topic of bourbon, and specifically Breaking Bourbon, comes up from time to time. It turns out Will isn’t only a bourbon fan, but also lived in Chattanooga for some time. We had slated to have him join us for a pick, and this was the perfect opportunity.

We were also fortunate to have Tim Piersant (Founder & CEO) and Grant McCracken (Head Distiller) of Chattanooga Whiskey Co. join us for the selection. They offer a wealth of knowledge and with so many unique details attributed to each of their barrels offered for selection, offered insights and details from the particular barrels as we tasted.

The pick was recorded live on November 23, 2021. You can watch the selection unfold below. Bottles from this pick will be available to our Single Barrel Club beginning on Wednesday, February 2. Because it’s a short barrel, we expect these bottles to go quickly!

Coming up with a nickname for this barrel was pretty easy, and we’ll give credit to Will Brinson for tossing it out there when we tasted the barrel samples to make the choice. The bourbon creeps up on you like a ‘Smooth Criminal,” referring to its sweeter, more easy drinking nature but still acknowledging the fact that it’s got plenty of proof and potency. If you really want to get into the mood when you crack a bottle of it, turn up your volume and click here.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Light chocolate | Fresh baked bread | Light caramel | Custard | Medium intensity

Palate: Malty | Roasted nuts | Rich chocolate | Characteristically sweet | Smoooooth (yeah we went there!)

Finish: Light baking spice | Tapering sweetness | Caramel chews | Chocolatey malt undertone Medium to long

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!

Written By: BB Team

February 1, 2022
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