Whiskey Review Round Up: Infuse Spirits Broken Barrel Whiskey Single Oak Series - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review Round Up: Infuse Spirits Broken Barrel Whiskey Single Oak Series

Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples by Infuse Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Infuse Spirits founder and creator Seth Benhaim named his company as such because of his initial focus on infusing vodka with “only natural, real ingredients”. Following its launch in 2012, Infuse was well-received and made a splash at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, with Best-in-Show and Double-Gold awards.

The distillery since broadened its offerings with a line of bitters, and also expanded beyond fruit-and-spice infusions to include several award-winning whiskeys. Benhaim has crafted a distinct approach to Infuse Spirits whiskeys, which are defined by its “Oak Bill” process — using a variety of oak barrel staves for maturing and finishing processes.

Following reviews of three Infuse whiskeys earlier this year, The Whiskey Wash then reported this fall about the recent launch of Infuse Spirits’ limited edition Broken Barrel Whiskey Single Oak Series, which now fall under the rebranded name of “Broken Barrel Whiskey Co”.

The three whiskeys in this most recent line up were created as distinct, one-of-a-kind expressions of single oak-infused whiskey blends and include Mizunara, Isle of Peat and Cask of Amontillado. 6,000 bottles of each were produced and retail for $50.

This Single Oak Series quickly earned several awards, including a Double Gold Medal in the Wheat Whisk(e)y category for Isle of Peat at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and a Silver Medal for Cask of Amontillado in the Other Whisk(e)y category.

Here, we dive into this trio — all of which, it’s worth adding, have uniquely and intricately-designed labels with imagery and language themed to what went into each bottle.

Infuse Spirits Broken Barrel Whiskey Single Oak Series

Broken Barrel Whiskey’s line up (image via Infuse Spirits)

Tasting Notes: Broken Barrel Mizunara

Vital Stats: The mash bill is a blend of five-year-old Kentucky rye (6%) and malted barley (7.5%), and four-year-old Indiana corn (86.5%) — matured with rare, virgin Mizunara oak staves from Japan, and bottled at 100 proof.

Appearance: Wildflower honey gold.

Nose: Just-ripe pear and nutty undertones.

Palate: A gentle, peppery warmth throughout is balanced with stone fruit and crusty sourdough. The finish is subtle and dry – definitely reminiscent of Japanese whiskey – with a hint of oak hanging around.

Final Thoughts: I most enjoyed this delicate whiskey neat. It’s simple, but not boring, and an easy, light sipper.

Score: 3.5/5

Tasting Notes: Broken Barrel Isle of Peat

Vital Stats: This blend of one-year-old Indiana wheat (54.5%) whiskey and one-year-old single-malt whiskey (45.5%) – also from Indiana – was matured with hand-broken, charred oak staves from Islay Scotch barrels. According to press materials, the staves were submerged in the blend and aged for at least 30 days. This expression was bottled at 110 proof.

Appearance: Cognac leather and caramel hues.

Nose: Stewed strawberries, caramel, oak and grain.

Palate: An initial touch of honey-on-toast sweetness on the tongue is taken over by a blast of heat in the throat, warming all the way down with a lingering finish of smoke, toasted spices and char.

Final Thoughts: Despite being aged with peated stays, it isn’t too hefty or overpowering — the other characteristics come through, and its easy to return to. It might be a nice marriage for American whiskey and/or bourbon drinkers dipping their toes into Scotch territory, or vice-versa. Unique and enticing.

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: Broken Barrel Cask of Amontillado

Vital Stats: This blend of 12-year-old American whiskey (5% malted barley) and five-year-old corn whiskey (95% Indiana corn) was aged with Amontillado sherry barrel staves, and bottled at 110 proof. Fun fact: according to press materials, this whiskey was crafted with the eponymous Edgar Allen Poe short story in mind.

Appearance: Rich and ruddy, mahogany.

Nose: Leather and dark cherries.

Palate: A flash of spice quickly gives way to toffee and an earthy damp, with notes of sweet sherry and dried plums peeking through. It’s smooth and well-rounded from start-to-finish.

Final Thoughts: The sherry isn’t overpowering — it’s just enough. This is an easy and approachable whiskey, more than holding its own neat, with a few drops of water to open things up further or with a small rock.

Score: 4/5