Pinhook 5 year Single Barrel (The Bottle Shop Pick) Bourbon Review
This experiment is really starting to hit its sweet spot.
Type: Straight Bourbon
Age: 5 years
Honey and vanilla jump out first, even a little marshmallow. There's a nice note of barrel char and another bit of wood that's closest to cedar. Spicy rye rounds out the nose.
Honey coats everything nicely at first, then the rye spice brings a stout kick. The barrel char from the nose definitely hangs around but there's a good dark fruit note as well that I can't quite nail down, maybe cherry? With additional tastes, the stronger, bolder elements become more prevalent and the sweeter notes slide to the background.
This is a medium finish. It's not overly hot at first but it hangs far longer than expected. The vanilla from the nose comes back here, but rye and cinnamon are the star as it slowly fades.
I previously tried the 4-year Pinhook Vertical Series offering and this one is notably different. I'm not sure if that's due to this being a store pick, or if the standard offering would have the same effect, but you can tell this distillate is hitting its sweet spot. Whereas the 4-year has some telltale signs of being a younger whiskey, there is none of that here. There are big, bold notes of honey and vanilla, charred sugar, cedar and oak. Rye and cinnamon bring a hefty kick to the party and really round this out into a solid overall bourbon. While there is nothing overly unique that makes this take the leap into special territory, this is a solid offering that has most of what I look for in a bourbon. If you haven't tried Pinhook yet, it's time to give it a look.
This is a general guide of what I consider each score range
4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.
4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.
3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.
3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.
2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase, but may not buy another.
2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.
1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.
0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away.