Whiskey Review Taconic Distillery Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review Taconic Distillery Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup

Up in the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley of New York State is Taconic Distillery, where they produce a rum (which may very well be the first spirit produced in America as a result of triangle trade with Britain and the Caribbean for molasses, bringing a cheap sugar by-product into the colonies) and a line of whiskeys using local spring water and locally sourced grains.

The distillery was originally begun in 2013 as a hobby under the name Millbrook Distillery (renamed Taconic as an homage to the local history in 2015). “Taconic,” meaning “in the trees,” partnered with another local business, Catskill Mountain Sugar House, a producer of maple syrup, to create bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup and the Double Barrel Bourbon from Taconic.

First, Taconic produces their house-style Dutchess Private Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey (the name being a nod to Dutchess Co, New York), and ages it for at least two years in new American oak. Then, the distillery decants it and sends those barrels over to Catskill so they can age a select amount of their maple syrup in those barrels to produce Taconic’s Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup. Once the maple syrup is aged, those same barrels come back to Taconic and are re-filled with the bourbon. After an unspecified period of time in the barrels, the bourbon is non-chill filtered and bottled. While technically a flavored whiskey, this is still bourbon at heart, just softened and sweetened by the additional aging process.

In the bottle is a darned fine whiskey, and unlike some other “flavored” whiskies, this isn’t cloying, overly sweet, or artificial in nature. It’s solid, if a little tannic, right out of the bottle, getting a little less aggressive after a few minutes in the glass. It is established that I am generally a purist when it comes to my bourbons; after several summers spent visiting Kentucky distilleries as a participant in Camp Runamok as well as spending years in the USBG and as a bartender, I have a great respect for the art of American whiskey distilling; but I am not mad at this bottle. It’s easy to appreciate, easy(ish) on the wallet, and works for the experienced whiskey drinker as well as those new to the game who are looking to expand their palate. Not bad, not bad at all.

Whiskey Review: Taconic Distillery Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup

Vital stats: Straight Bourbon Whiskey secondary aged in bourbon barrels used for aging maple syrup, non-chill filtered, bottled at 45% abv. Mash bill of 70% corn, 25% rye, 5% barley. Retails between $30 and $50.

Appearance: Dark, almost burnt toast leading into a soft, rich amber at the edges of the glass.

Nose: Definite sweet maple notes with a hint of vanilla, orange candy, and slightly smoky notes from the barrel. 

Palate: Immediate hit of astringency, slightly tannic, but in a good way. Maple and caramel, vanilla and white pepper.

The Takeaway

This is a great bottle at $30, and perhaps a little too spendy at $50. I’d get one and keep it on the back bar at the house and pull it out with a slice of apple pie for dessert. Not a sipper, per se, but it’s easy enough to drink neat or with a drop or two of water.

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