Whiskey Review: Laws Whiskey House Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon Batch 2

, | March 3, 2023

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.

It’s common for distillers to age whiskey in casks used in the aging and storage of other liquors. In most cases, the choice of barrel is only meant to influence the tastes which the whiskey absorbs during aging. It’s of interest, then, when a distiller takes the next step and also draws influence from the brewing methods used to create the barrel’s original contents.

The Laws Whiskey House Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon begins life as a selection of the Denver-based distiller’s Four Grain Straight Bourbon. This selection is then aged for two years in a cask previously used to age Cognac. After this aging, the creators go beyond the barrel and draw from the traditional methods of brandy producers. The Cognac-cask aged whiskey is moved to a massive barrel called a foeder which contains the remains of previous batches. Batches are drawn from only a portion of the foeder, leaving behind a majority of the blend. More Cognac-aged bourbon is added to top off the mixture and the distillation cycle continues.

This blending method draws from solera aging, a process used in the production of brandy. It’s meant to ensure reliable quality while still allowing for quirks to evolve between batches. Today’s whiskey is only the second batch to come from this foeder. It is part of a small release, with a larger portion of the whiskey left behind to mix with future barrels of Cognac-aged whiskey.

Soon, a portion will be drawn to create a third batch and the cycle will continue.

So many whiskeys are discrete products. Barrels are selected, spirits are aged, and the final product is bottled in its entirety. The concept of a solera aged whiskey, of a perpetual blend which spins off samples but never ends, is appealingly unique. Sipping this batch, I can imagine the massive mother blend taking on the qualities of new barrels. With each batch, the remnants of the oldest casks will take on the character of deeper aging while new additions will maintain the median flavor.

New batches will be picked like fruit off of a living vine, and I’ll be curious to see how future batches compare to this offering.

Laws Creek Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon Batch 2 review

We review Laws Creek Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon Batch 2, finished in-ex Cognac casks before being moved to a massive barrel for secondary solera-style aging. (image via Laws Whiskey House)

Tasting Notes: Laws Whiskey House Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon Batch 2

Vital Stats: 47.5% ABV. Mash bill: Undisclosed. 95 Proof. Suggested Retail: 79.99 USD.

Appearance: Straw gold, with strong legs.

Nose: The scent has an understated body of stewed black tea. Sniffing deeply, I can pick up undercurrents of allspice that open up the leafy smell of the tea.

Palate: The whiskey opens with the strong taste of sandalwood. Searching beyond the body, there is a citrusy, slightly tangy quality to the sip reminiscent of lemon candy or rhubarb. Letting the initial flavor pass, I can finally detect the vinous taste of Cognac accompanied by a soft hint of ginger.

Whiskey Review: Laws Whiskey House Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon Batch 2


The intrigue of solera aging drew me to this spirit, but I’m aware that I’m still tasting an early batch. While this lineage may take on a more distinct character over time, the current batch has a taste still within the typical range of bourbons. While it is certainly still a pleasant experience, I’m hoping future batches will develop a more unique profile.

As it stands, this is an enjoyable whiskey that I would be happy to drink neat or use as a mixer. With its tangy profile and solid ABV, I could see it as a great compliment to a sugary drink like a Manhattan or a mint julep.

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Taylor Shiells

Taylor is a writer, researcher, and whiskey enthusiast. He came to Portland in pursuit of higher education, and found himself staying to pursue the Pacific Northwest's wide range of olfactory offerings. He's a fan of craft beer, farm to table food, indie perfume, and, most of all, whiskey. While he...