Certain, single barrel whiskey might sound easy in idea—it’s drawn from only one barrel. However there’s extra to it than that. What’s vital is not simply the barrel, however the place that barrel spends its years maturing. Not each spot within the warehouse is similar, and whisky makers ceaselessly have their preferences. Whisky Advocate spoke to 6 grasp distillers from Kentucky and Tennessee to study their favourite places for searching up single barrels, and their solutions present simply how vital it’s. The variations in warehouse varieties—some are many tales excessive, others are only one tall story, some are product of brick, and others are crafted from metal— additionally develop into a consider how temperature modifications, solar publicity, and different parts influence the flavour profile of a single barrel whiskey.
Warehouse sort: Racked warehouses which might be constructed of varied supplies (brick, metal, and so on.) and temperature-controlled with steam (within the unique warehouses) and radiant flooring heating (in these constructed since 2018).
Whereas grasp distiller Harlen Wheatley is hard-pressed to choose a single favourite warehouse, he factors to Warehouse L as being amongst his most well-liked spots. “It produces among the most constant flavors from flooring to flooring,” he says. He’s additionally loved watching the distillery’s bourbon progress within the newer warehouses.
Warehouse sort: Single-story rickhouses with no local weather management.
4 Roses is without doubt one of the solely Kentucky distilleries with single-story racked warehouses—that means there’s much less temperature differentiation throughout the varied barrel places. It varies by about 8 levels from the highest rack to the underside. So for grasp distiller Brent Elliot, there’s not one explicit favourite location; he prefers that there isn’t an added dimension of variability in barrel growing older environments.
Warehouse sort: Seven-story and single-story rickhouses constructed of varied supplies (brick, metal, and so on.), with no temperature management.
“I spend a variety of time tasting out of the Bernheim warehouses subsequent to the distillery, and people ship an superior style profile, particularly for older whiskeys,” says grasp distiller Conor O’Driscoll. He provides that there are early indications that the newer Cox’s Creek warehouses (accomplished in 2016) are delivering incredible whiskeys, too.
Warehouse sort: Multi-story rickhouses which might be metal-clad and never climate-controlled.
In accordance with grasp distiller Chris Fletcher, all of Jack Daniel’s single barrel whiskey comes from the highest flooring of any given barrel home (there are 92 warehouses in whole). The oldest warehouses are a few of his favorites, notably these within the Coy Hill space that sits above the distillery. “There’s some magic in these older homes–lots of people right here additionally love a few of our homes farther to the west that sit in additional of an open discipline location, which get full solar publicity practically all day, and the whiskey tends to be very darkish and oak-forward,” says Fletcher.
JAMES B. BEAM
Warehouse sort: Multi-story rickhouses encased in metallic and never local weather managed.
At Knob Creek, single barrels are saved in both 7-story or 9-story rickhouses, and grasp distiller Fred Noe chooses releases from the middle flooring of the warehouse. Hundreds of sampling knowledge factors are used to pick out top-tier candidates for the only barrel program, and each pattern taken is screened for analytical and sensory requirements.
Warehouse sort: All kinds of warehouses, some constructed from brick, some from limestone, and others from insulated concrete; they’re all heat-cycled, with temperatures ranging between 60 and 85 levels.
Woodford is an oddity amongst different Kentucky single barrels—its single barrel releases are literally crafted from two barrels in order that prospects can create their very own taste profile. Grasp distiller emeritus Chris Morris likes to incorporate barrels from each decrease and higher flooring in his choices to indicate how the temperature extremes skilled throughout maturation create completely totally different taste profiles from the identical mashbill. “Decrease flooring barrels are extra grain and spice-forward of their taste presentation, whereas higher flooring barrels are extra wooden and sweet-aromatic ahead,” he explains.