Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Orange Curaçao-Gin Casks
Company: Four Gate Whiskey Company
Release Date: September 2019 (Kentucky and Tennessee Only)
Age: Blend of 5.5 and 12 year bourbon
Mashbill: 5.5 Year: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley - 12 Year: 74% Corn, 18% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
MSRP: $200 (2019)
Bill Straub, founder and Editor-In-Chief of ModernThirst.com, and Bob D’Antoni started Four Gate Whiskey Company in 2018 with the intention of exclusively being a non-distiller producer (NDP). Their plan isn’t like many other NDPs, who sell sourced whiskey while their own whiskey comes of age. The duo doesn’t have a distillery, and they don’t plan to distill. Instead, they are focusing on sourcing barrels to create very small batches - for example Batch 1: 1,732 bottles, Batch 2: 2,402 bottles - and finishing them in a unique way. The company plans to release 2-3 batches per year.
Their plan also includes consulting with the “best-regarded experts in the field on the effects of barrels” for their input on selecting barrels and blends. They have already worked with Brian Haara, aka Sipp’n Corn (author of Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America), Owen Powell (founder of Louisville Bourbon Hounds), and Louisville Bourbon Hounds administrator and experienced barrel picker, Craig Rupprecht.
Four Gate Whiskey Batch 2: Outer Loop Orbit Tasting Notes:
Nose: Gin, concentrated lime juice, orange, fresh cut wood.
Palate: Citrus, gin, Orange Curaçao, mild oak, light cinnamon.
Finish: Hot, punchy, mildly dry, lemon, mild oak, juniper.
Overall: Wow this is interesting. On paper this seems like a bad idea, but surprisingly, a lot of fun to drink. Was it $200 fun? Probably not, but if you’re looking for unique, this is exactly what you’ll get. I’m surprised Four Gate bottled this at such a high proof as it comes across very hot, and its intense gin influence is definitely an acquired taste. Speaking of, I’m quite taken aback by the intensity of the barrel finish. Throughout the sip, very little of the bourbon manages to pull through the Orange Curaçao-gin finish. Perhaps a better balance between its parts would help pull this together a bit more. I would have loved to have tasted this with more oak and vanilla pulling through against the heavy citrus. Yet as is, this is about as unique as they come.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Four Gate Whiskey Company. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.