Taconic Distillery Double Barrel Maple Bourbon Review
A traditional bourbon with a syrupy twist. I now have a go-to dessert bourbon.
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barreled with Maple Syrup
Distillery: Produced by Taconic Distillery in partnership with Catskill Mountain Sugarhouse
Age: NAS, but thought to be aged at least 2 years and then a few additional months with the syrup barrels
*Before I dive into the review, here's a quick rundown of how this bourbon is produced.
Taconic distills and ages their own bourbon whiskey, then sends the empty barrels over to Catskill Mountain Sugarhouse where they fill them with maple syrup. That syrup is aged for a few months, then sold as bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. Those empty barrels are then refilled with Taconic New York bourbon and NY State Organic Grade A maple syrup and aged for a few months to create the finished product.
It's fairly dark for a bourbon, as you might expect. The color is similar to a light artificial syrup.
Immediately, you can tell this is no standard bourbon. The nose is sweet, and the maple is upfront. That said, it still has traditional bourbon notes with plenty of spice and a nice, oaky undertone. The ethanol is muted a bit by the sweetness, but this is clearly still a well-proofed bourbon. The nose is inviting and has me ready to dive in for a taste.
The first thing I notice here is the mouthfeel. It's viscous and immediately coats your tongue and the sides of your mouth, clinging to all of your taste buds. The sweetness hits first, but there's more here than just maple. There's a lot of vanilla and I'm reminded of fresh baked sugar cookies. Once the sweetness mellows out a bit, some tannins come forward and there's a hint of a malty note. Corn and pepper round out the palate nicely. It's not overly complex, but the sweetness adds a really nice characteristic and is the star of the show. The proof is inviting and makes for easy drinking. I'd love to see what a barrel proof version of this stuff could do.
The finish is longer than I expected. I suspect part of that is due to the thick mouthfeel that sticks around. There's very little burn on the initial finish, but a slight tingling lingers on and on.
Bourbon that is finished in other casks, and especially bourbon that's blended with something other than whiskey can be very hit or miss. It's high-risk, high-reward as these processes can create amazing flavors when done correctly, but can lead to a drain-pour bottle when they go wrong.
Taconic got this one right. This bottle is a great marriage of a traditional straight bourbon with a perfect amount of syrupy sweetness. If you want a straight forward, classic bourbon, this is not the bottle for you. If you're feeling a little more adventurous and want to try something different, you'll enjoy this bottle. Think of it as a dessert bourbon and pull it out when you want something a little sweeter than a traditional pour, but that still packs a punch. I'll be going back to this one frequently over the holidays.
This bottle was provided at no cost by Taconic Distillery. Thoughts and opinions are my own.