Whiskey War Barrel Select Batch #3 and #4 Reviews

This week you will be getting a special two-fer for your Sunday whiskey review enjoyment. This week I go over the 2 whiskies that High Bank Distillery will be releasing this coming Saturday. Barrel Select Batch #3 Pino Noir Barrel Aged and Barrel Select Batch #4 Double Double Oak Barrel Aged whiskies are the latest releases of High Banks Barrel Select series. Let’s find out what are sure to be very interesting additions to the series.


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


NAME – Whiskey War Barrel Select Batch #3 Pino Noir Barrel Aged


PROOF – 116.75


AGE – non-age stated (but distillery disclosed that it is a total of 4 years old with 10.5 months of that spent in a Pinot Noir Wine Barrel)


COLOR – aged cherry desk (1.5 auburn, polished mahogany on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)


NOSE – Cherry taffy, honeysuckle, sweet oak and crème brulé


TASTE – Grape jelly, aged oak, cinnamon, clove, wine barrel tannins


FINISH – I would call this a medium finish. The barrel tannins and cinnamon ride out until the end


REVIEW – This hits you with that jelly sweetness right up front and then quickly moves into oak and spices before the wine barrel tannins take over. I did go back and compare this against last years Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Select and the Pinot Noir Barrel Select has less wine influence than the Cab did. This is a spicy whiskey where the wine added both an upfront sweetness but also the unique wine barrel tannins at the end. The whiskey still is the foundation of this pour but the Pinot Noir barrel added the accents.


NAME – Whiskey War Barrel Select Batch #4 Bouble Double Oak Barrel Aged


PROOF – 115.5


AGE – non-age stated (but distillery disclosed that it is a total of 5.2 years old with 21 months of that spent in a second new oak barrel and then another 6 months in a third new oak barrel)


COLOR – antique brown leather chair (1.6 mahogany, henna notes on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)


NOSE – Smells instantly like you walked into an old rickhouse. Dark brown sugar, browned butter, aged leather and a touch of pecan.


TASTE – Aged oak, caramel, very slight bit of chocolate, barrel spice, rye spice, cinnamon, aged leather and cigar tobacco.


FINISH – I would call this a long finish. The oak, barrel spice, rye spice and leather last and last for a long finish.


REVIEW – The distillery tells me it is 5.2 years old but if I didn’t know that I would think this is an overaged bourbon. It drinks more like a 15+ year whiskey. The oak influence is undeniable but there is just enough caramel sweetness to make it an enjoyable pour. It really reminds me of an Elijah Craig 18 year but replace the cherry cough syrup that EC18 has in it with a caramel sweetness instead and a high proof.


FINAL COMMENTS – Adam Hines, master distiller at High Bank Distillery, is obviously intrigued with what barrel finishes will do to his San Francisco World Spirits Competition award winning Whiskey War Barrel Proof. The wine barrel finishes seem to be where he is finding his niche as last year’s Barrel Selects that were finished in Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon sold out quickly and were highly praised. This Pinot Noir will certainly be the same.


If you know Hines then you know his love of the product that comes out of double oaking whiskey. He went ahead with a Spinal Tap method and turned it up to 11 with the double double oak this year. This dark and bold whiskey will sure to be one that is talked about for some time.


I appreciate High Bank Distillery for giving me these samples to review. You can reserve your bottles of both of these this Saturday, November 19th at HighBankCo.com/barrel-select-whiskey. There is a limit of one per person per product.