France 44 is the proud owner of three new single barrels of bourbon and rye! We have luckily received two Cask Strength Whistlepig 10 Year Ryes (that are really 13 year but who’s counting) single barrels that could not be more different from one another, as well as a 1792 Single Barrel handpicked by Master Distiller Harlan Wheatley who you may know as the man behind Buffalo Trace and Barton Distilleries. These will be limited bottlings only offered in-store and not online to start, so get them while you can!
This past May, France 44 graciously received an invitation to go out and visit the Whistlepig Farm in beautiful Vermont to sample single barrels and our Liquor Buyer Tom and Beer Buyer Bill jumped at the opportunity. They took in the beautiful scenery, ate wonderful homemade food (including one of the Whistlepig pigs, but that’s another story), and drank some awesome rye whiskey. When it came to taste through the single barrels, a few important notes emerged. Number one was that they were not tasting ten year old barrels–they were in fact 13 years old! So yes, while Whistlepig 10 is their flagship, it is important to note that that is the youngest whiskey in any batch. Number two was that there were two clear stand out barrels that could not be any more different from one another. One single barrel clocked in at 110.9 proof, boasting big vanilla and herbaceous rye spice that was well balanced and mellow. The other was much more monstrous, clocking in at 122.6 proof with deeper tones of red cherry and baking spices of cinnamon and clove. Less creamy than the lighter barrel, but much more rounded and dark. These barrels are like night and day from one another, so we split the difference and took both! Only about 20 cases of each available, get them while you can!
Our 1792 Barrel is a whole different animal. We were offered two options: taste through samples, or have the legendary Harlan Wheatley pick us out a gem. Anytime a master distiller offers to pick out a barrel, you take it. Harlan has been at the helm of Buffalo Trace since 2005 meaning he has overseen Buffalo Trace throughout the bourbon craze of the past decade, and was recently put in charge of Barton, Buffalo Trace’s sister distillery, to oversee their operations as well. The barrel he chose for us is bursting with brown sugar, maple, cherry, and green apple. The bad news is that this barrel was definitely a leaker, only yielding 19 six packs–about half of what usually comes out of a barrel, so this will definitely be a limited time offering. Here’s hoping we get our hands on another one quick!
We will have all three of these for a limited time, and soon enough we will have a few more gems, including an Elijah Craig 11 Year Barrel, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Stave Selection, and High West Double Rye in Moscatel barrels, and a few others we’ll surprise you with down the road this fall and winter. Stop in and talk whiskey with us anytime!