Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
In January of this year, Chattanooga Whiskey Company announced the release of their Chattanooga Silver Oak Cabernet Cask Finished Whiskey. This marks one of the newest releases from the Chattanooga, Tennessee distillery and is the third expression from their Barrel Finishing Series.
The Chattanooga Whiskey Company was founded in 2011 after challenging a pre-prohibition law that prohibited distilling in Hamilton County (Chattanooga, TN). Following an online campaign with the mission of bringing back “Whiskey to the People,” Chattanooga Whiskey Co. succeeded in becoming the first whiskey distillery in Chattanooga after more than a century.
In 2015 R&D production began in their Experimental Distillery, the first of its kind in 100 years. Shortly thereafter they released the first whiskey to be produced in Chattanooga in 100 years, Chattanooga Whiskey 100. In 2017 they launched their Experimental Single Batch Series with the release of Batch 001, a Tennessee High Malt Bourbon, which was the first aged whiskey to come from Chattanooga in 102 years. And by 2017 they opened the doors of their grain-to-glass Riverfront Distillery where the production of recipes from their Experimental Distillery got up and running.
While their Riverfront Distillery is not open to the public as of this writing, the Chattanooga Whiskey Co. does offer tours and tastings in their Experimental Distillery.
Bottled at 95 proof and non-chill filtered, Chattanooga Silver Oak Cabernet Cask Finished Whiskey is made from Tennessee high malt while using a variety of finishing casks. It consists of five single malt mash bills containing at least 25% malt each, featuring a range of toasted, roasted and caramel malts, one of which is a custom-toasted barley malt that was developed in coordination with Riverbend Malt House of Ashville, NC.
It’s aged a little over four years before finishing for over 18 months in Cabernet Sauvignon casks from Silver Oak Cellars. The barrels used to finish this expression come from Sonoma’s North Coast region of Alexander Valley. Details on the specific mash bills include:
- R18077 – Toast, Sage
- R18087 – Smoke, Cacao
- R18088 – Coffee, Caramel
- R18096 – Pastry, Thyme
- R18097 – Blackberry, Spice
According to the distillery’s official tasting notes, you can expect “notes of mixed berry, toasted oak, thyme and molasses, followed by a long, malty finish.”
Chattanooga Silver Oak Cabernet Cask Finished is a limited edition expression that is currently available at the Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery, through their online store, and in retail outlets, restaurants and bars across Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana, and Illinois.
Tasting Notes: Chattanooga Silver Oak Cabernet Cask Finished Whiskey
Vital Stats: 95 proof (47.5 ABV), 750 ml MSRP $59.99.
Nose: Lush floral and fruit notes hit the nose first, followed closely by flavor notes of butterscotch, slightly spicy vanilla, orange citrus, root beer hard candy, and soft oak.
Palate: On the palate are notes of buttery hard pretzels, spicy mustard, cinnamon, molasses, and green bell pepper.
Whiskey Review: Chattanooga Silver Oak Cabernet Cask Finished Whiskey
This is a highly satisfying straight malt whiskey with a smooth and silky texture that nicely segues into a medium to long finish with a pleasant influx of cinnamon and pepper notes on the back end. There’s an interesting range of flavors at play here that feel more approachable than complex. Flavor notes of mustard, root beer, pretzel, and spicy butterscotch, along with a black pepper and slight Slim Jim savoriness, all of which are unique and unexpected in a whiskey, ultimately work very well together.
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Jennifer Williams is a former Dallas, Texas bartender of 15 years where she developed an appreciation for patrons with a healthy respect for great whiskey. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2019 where she graduated from Portland State University as an English Literature major with a minor in Writing. While...