Red Line Elements Waterford Store Pick Amburana Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon
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When you taste spirits for a living it’s rare that a whiskey makes you sit up and take notice. Red Line Elements Amburana Finished Bourbon absolutely blew us away, and this Private Barrel offering is far and away the most exciting whiskey we’ve been able to offer this year.
Let’s start with “Amburana”. What is that exactly?
Amburana Oak is a very rare and expensive Brazilian Oak that gives whiskey an incredibly rich and aromatic quality that is big on cinnamon and baking spice that shines through in this bottle along with a smooth backbone of caramel and toffee. It exudes warmth and comfort – a true sipping bourbon.
Unlike whiskey finished in port, sherry, or cognac barrels, the flavor of this finish is coming entirely from the wood. Distilleries usually release a very small amount of Amburana finished whiskey because they only have a tiny number of barrels to use for finishing. When they release it, they usually label it as "Cigar Batch" or "Cigar Barrel" and it's incredibly limited in production, and exorbitantly expensive.
One such recent release was the Penelope Rio. Only a handful of bottles made it to Wisconsin, so pretty much everyone (including us) missed out on it. We have a trusted customer who was able to taste it side by side with this Red Line Private Barrel. He preferred the balance of the Red Line to the more pronounced spice of the Rio. Your mileage may vary, but we thought that was quite an endorsement!
When Red Line launched in Wisconsin earlier this year, we brought in as much as we could, and promptly blew through our initial allocation in a matter of days just by opening up a bottle and tasting it out.
Because of that success, Red Line offered us the first crack at a Private Barrel in Wisconsin. We couldn’t say “Yes” fast enough. We tasted through several barrel options, and selected the one that we felt best balanced the complexity of the Amburana with the purity of the bourbon.
Red Line is run out of Paducah Kentucky by the father and son team of Taylor and Brad Morley. Over the last few months of putting together this barrel, we’ve had the chance to get to know both of them, and there are few people in the spirits industry today as committed to tradition and quality as they are.
Brad has decades of experience in the wine world, with residencies at some of the best producers in the US and Europe. His son Taylor, who is Red Line’s Master Blender, has studied with some of the icons of the Bourbon Trail. They geek out about terroir, grain sourcing, types of oak, and food pairings - in short, they are Waterford People.
Our Private Barrel is bottled at cask strength (115.5 proof), and is a blend of 75% Corn, 21% Rye, and 4% Malted Barley. Red Line is currently sourcing whiskey from Midwest Grain Products (MGP) in Indiana, which boasts some of the best stores of aged whiskey in the country. Most of the whiskey they’re sourcing is at least 5 years old, with some getting upwards of 10 years old.
This is among the very best barrel picks we have done, and we promise you don’t want to miss it.