High Bank Distillery June Barrel Select Releases Reviews

Sunday Evening Review


“Twice as nice” is something we have all heard. This week I get to see if that holds true in a couple different ways as I review 2 different whiskies from High Bank for an upcoming release. High Bank is doing a limited release of Whiskey War Barrel Select Spanish Madeira Wine Barrel Finished and 2nd Aged Sangiovese Wine Barrel Finished. Let get into it and see what this is all about.


Make sure you put in the comments any bottles that you would like me to review.


NAME – Whiskey War Barrel Select Spanish Madeira Wine Barrel Finished


PROOF – 113.5


AGE – non-age stated but was told 3 years in the original whiskey barrel and 18 months in the wine barrel for a total of 4 ½ years


COLOR – Beef Bourguignon (1.8 old oak on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)


NOSE – Balsamic reduction, dark cherries, vanilla extract, pipe tobacco, toasted oak, and cinnamon sticks. Very luxurious nose with deep and dark notes. One of those pours you could just nose for hours.


TASTE – The same balsamic reduction note to start but as it lingers changes over to a grape jelly. Other than that, the nose doesn’t lie. You still get the dark cherries, vanilla extract, pipe tobacco, toasted oak, and cinnamon sticks. The Madeira barrel has a pretty big influence with both the wine notes but the sweetness that you get is coming from the Madeira barrel.


FINISH – I would call this a long finish. I hadn’t mentioned it but this whiskey coats the mouth and the finish lingers with the grape jelly note as well as aged oak and dried tobacco.


NAME – Whiskey War Barrel Select Second Fill Sangiovese Wine Barrel Finish


PROOF – 120.5


AGE – non-age stated but was told aged 27 months in the wine barrel for a total of 5 years of aging


COLOR – Autumn Straw (1.2 chestnut, oloroso sherry on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)


NOSE – Ginger, cooked honey, vanilla wafers, apple pie spice, there is a wine note but is so faint I can’t distinguish what style I am smelling.


TASTE – This has all the traditional Whiskey War Barrel Proof notes of a gingersnap cookie which not only includes the ginger but the vanilla, Brulé sugars, baking spices but there is this whisper of a wine note that swirls though that adds a slight complexity and holds the 120.5 proof at bay. Not to say there isn’t a Kentucky hug at the end but with a high rye mash bill along with 120+ proof, if not done right, could absolutely torch your palate and this does not.


FINISH – I would call this a medium to long finish. Certainly not as long as the Medeira finished but certainly hangs around a good bit. Ginger, cinnamon and rye spice stay until the end.


REVIEW – First want to thank High Bank Distillery for providing these samples to review.


The Madeira finished is really something special but I would say that if you don’t like sweet red wines along with whiskey then this may not be a fit. If you got the chance to taste or get High Bank’s Midnight Cask Barrel Proof then this is that on steroids both in over all experience and flavor. The flavors are deeper and richer and then the mouth feel along with a nose that should be made into a candle, you have something that you want on your shelf. This would pair extremely well with a steak when everyone heads for the red wine, pull this out instead.


The 2nd Fill Sangiovese finished is for those whiskey drinkers that appreciate the subtly of a finished whiskey where the finishing barrel doesn’t have to punch you in the face with the flavor profile that it is trying to be installed into the original whiskey.  If you are a lover of the Whiskey War Barrel Proof and want additional aging and wine nuance added into the juice, then this is for you.


FINAL COMMENTS – From High Bank Distillery about the releases:

Our Barrel Select program is one of my creative outlets as a distiller. It’s an awesome opportunity to experiment with unique barrels and various aging techniques to achieve flavor profiles outside of our typical Whiskey War line.

The limited releases are fun for our distillery team and fans of High Bank. We really enjoy hearing feedback on which batches are fan favorites and the unique notes and flavor profiles each bottle offers.

– Co-founder and Master Distiller Adam Hines

All bottles will go on sale Friday, June 10th at 11AM. Online purchases only. Limit 1 bottle of each product per person. Pickup at our Grandview location only (1051 Goodale Blvd.).


Obviously this is not a gin review nor do I confess to be an expert but I have come to enjoy High Bank’s Statehouse gin on warm summer days as it taste like Sprite. Add a cube and you are good to go. Along with the whiskey releases they are also releasing a Statehouse gin release that used the Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrel from the Barrel Select Whiskey Batch #2. The gin was aged in that barrel for 27 months and comes in at 82 proof. It has all the citrus (Sprite) notes that you know from Statehouse but not as sharp and then adds this pleasant sweet cooked down grape along with a toasted oak note to it. This may be my summer drink for 2022.



To find out more you can check it out here – High Bank Distillery June Releases


You can look at all the past Sunday Evenings Reviews and I would still love to hear what your personal reviews are from each of the whiskies reviewed.