Whiskey Review: Pinhook Collaboration Series No. 2 Bourbon

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. 

Pinhook is back with a new addition to their Collaboration series. The outfit take a “winemaker’s approach” to whiskey making with thoughtful barrel selection, small-batch blending, and bottling at the ideal proof to capture a whiskey’s unique qualities. So it only makes sense that their first collaboration was with a winemaker, André Hueston Mack of Maison Noir Wines. This batch highlights the talents of Garrett Oliver.

Oliver is brewmaster and Vice President of Brooklyn Brewery, with over 30 years of brewing under his belt. He first took the helm in 1994. He’s also the author of The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food, and editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer (the press’s number one seller in 2011) . In 2014, he won a James Beard Award for being an outstanding industry professional.

On top of all this, Oliver oversees brewing at Nya Carnegiebryggeriet in Stockholm, Sweden, and E.C. Dahls in Trondheim, Norway, sisters to Brooklyn Brewery. This New York magazine article gives an entertaining peak into his personality.

Brooklyn Brewery produces everything from lager (just had its 35th anniversary) and IPA to sours and seasonals. They recently released a line of non-alcoholic beers under the Special Effects label.

Unlike many a sourced whiskey, Pinhook discloses where their Collaboration Series No. 2 liquid was actually made: Still Austin in Austin, TX. It then spent four years basking in the Texas sun. This edition yielded just 3,500 bottles.

Proceeds from this bourbon benefit The Michael J. Jackson Foundation for Brewery and Distilling. Oliver founded the non-profit in honor of his favorite beer and whiskey writer, who developed a taxonomy of beer and helped to propel the craft beer movement into the mainstream. The foundation exists to uplift people of color in grain-based beverages by both funding scholarships to accredited technical programs and connecting grantees with industry mentors.

Pinhook Collaboration Series No. 2 Bourbon review

We review Pinhook Collaboration Series No. 2 Bourbon, produced by the whiskey brand in collaboration with brewmaster and Vice President of Brooklyn Brewery Garrett Oliver. (image via Pinhook)

Tasting Notes: Pinhook Collaboration Series No. 2 Bourbon

Vital Stats: made from 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% malted barley, clocking in at 118.9 proof. It’s aged four years. Find a 750mL bottle in many national markets at $99.99.

Appearance: This liquid is amber with a copper cast, which beads and slowly forms fat tears.

Nose: Sawn wood, caramel and sweet peppermint tickle the nose at first whiff. Stone fruit and pecan pick up next, joined by a hint of clove.

Palate: Fiery on the attack, fruit blooms into peach on the mid palate. Loads of spice coat the tongue – clove, cinnamon oil and black pepper. The spices linger on the finish with a brief whisper of chocolate before tannic bitterness is the last to go.

Whiskey Review: Pinhook Collaboration Series No. 2 Bourbon


This is a rich and chewy whiskey. If you like concentrated flavors and long finishes, this is for you. A drop of water helps to lift up the layers so you can really taste everything happening. I look forward to seeing what Pinhook does with this program, and what other esteemed collaborators they find along the way.

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Cindy Capparelli

In 2014 I founded Portland Bitters Project with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now our bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. I teach at two Portland colleges and visit private groups, distilleries and maker's spaces to spread the...