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.
Traverse City Whiskey Co. was founded in Traverse City, Michigan in 2012 by friends Chris Fredrickson, Jared Rapp, and Moti Goldring. Fredrickson’s grandfather had a license to distill on the family’s cherry farm. When the friends happened upon the old distilling license, it inspired them to create a new distilling venture in Northern Michigan.
Traverse City Whiskey Co. began like many modern whiskey operations have; they sourced a portion of their initial brands from MGP in Indiana. They have created a diverse line of products over the past decade, including bourbon, rye, flavored whiskey, and even gin. Demand for the products from this Northern Michigan distillery has grown since its founding. So in early 2023, they broke ground on a new distilling operation to help expand their offerings.
The new facility will be a serious upgrade from the current capacity of Traverse City Whiskey Co. The current distilling operation can produce three barrels a day. When the new distilling campus opens in 2024, it will expand capacity to produce seventy barrels a day. This increase in production will be a blessing as many of the current products have become hot ticket items.
In 2023 multiple Traverse City Whiskey Co. brands won Double Gold at the San Francisco World’s Spirit Competition. Those brands were the Barrel Proof Bourbon Whiskey, Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey, and Sherry Barrel Finished Bourbon. The Sherry Barrel Finish is one of the Finishing Series; a limited edition offering of whiskeys finished in a selection of wine casks.
The Finishing Series, which I’m reviewing here, includes three brands; Cab Franc Barrel Finish, Port Barrel Finish, and, as previously mentioned, the Sherry Barrel Finish. These whiskeys have all been crafted to bring out the differences between the whiskey and the barrel used in the finishing process.
Today I’m checking out The Cab Franc Barrel Finish, a 100% rye whiskey finished for nine months in Cabernet Franc barrels.
We review the Traverse City Whiskey Co. Finishing Series Cab Franc Barrel Finish, a 100% rye whiskey finished for nine months in Cabernet Franc barrels. (image via Traverse City Whiskey Co.)
Vital Stats: 100% rye whiskey finished for 9 months in Cabernet Franc barrels, 97.5 proof (48.75% abv), 750ml, $59.99 MSRP
Appearance: The whiskey shows off warm amber and bright auburn hues
Nose: Aromas of honey, rye spice and bright stone fruit
Palate: On the first sip there is an immediate rush of rye and cooking spices. The finish leaves notes of honeysuckle and peach skin.
Whiskey Review: Traverse City Whiskey Co. Finishing Series Cab Franc Barrel Finish
This whiskey is good but can be a bit hot. The flavors are still impactful and the pairing of rye and Cab Franc work very well. There is a slight imbalance to the whiskey but it does not take away from the finished product in any serious way.
Joshua Wilford has been in the restaurant business for the past two decades. His tenure in the industry includes working in leadership roles at bourbon bars in and around Kentucky as well as half a decade in the iconic Multnomah Whiskey Library. He has also received certifications from The Wine...