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Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Single Batch Series Batch 035: Centenary Cask




Whiskey Review: Chattanooga Whiskey Batch 035: Centenary Cask

Tasting Notes:

Straight bourbon whiskey finished in Oloroso sherry cask in a solera style, bottled at 100 proof, and priced at $69.99.
The influence of the Oloroso sherry cask is immediately apparent, with warm reddish-amber notes intermixed with some golden-brown. The legs inside the glass are robust, and the viscosity is easily noticeable.
Warm, buttery aromatics greet my nose as I near the glass, suggestively pushing into my nostrils influences of butterscotch, baked bread, vanilla, old oak, apple pie, banana, and chocolate pudding.
A lot is happening here, especially given the mash bills of what’s in the blend. Dancing side by side to a nice, rhythmic whiskey beat, one gets brown sugar, vanilla, baked apple pie, dried raisins, oak, some peppery spice, and a touch of coriander.
It is a sweet and dry spice mix hitting the back of the throat as this goes down, leaving an inviting sensation that takes its sweet time fading off.
I want to like this more than it is capable of letting me – the ideas behind this release and its solera influences are noted, but it just isn’t hitting all the right notes for me. Still, it is an intriguing expression that showcases creativity in this limited release.
Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Single Batch Series Batch 035 Centenary Cask review
We review Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Single Batch Series Batch 035 Centenary Cask, made from whiskeys drawn from a rare Oloroso Sherry puncheon managed in a solera style. (image via Chattanooga Whiskey)


Editor’s Note: The party behind this whisky gave us a review sample. Per our editorial policies, this in no way influenced the outcome of this review. 

Among the Tennessee whiskey distilleries not known as Jack Daniel’s or George Dickel, one that stands out with a diverse and attractive set of spirit offerings is Chattanooga Whiskey. Founded in 2011, Chattanooga is known for its Chattanooga Whiskey 91, Cask  111, and 99 Rye, as well as its Bottled in Bond Vintage Series and Barrel Finishing Series.

One of their more recent releases, which I’m reviewing today, is the Experimental Single Batch Series: Batch 035: Centenary Cask. Centenary is an annual release in this series, described as an evolving blend of experimental pot-distilled mash bills married and finished in a rare, 100-year-old Oloroso Sherry puncheon. It is refilled in the solera style, with each 100-gallon batch released being different from the last while containing traces of whiskeys from previous fills.

For Batch 35, the third Centenary release, Chattanooga Whiskey added two unique barrels into the mix, including the distillery’s “Barrel 91” recipe (mash bill: yellow corn, malted rye, caramel malted barley, honey malted barley) and a singular recipe made with a wide variety of malted barley and rye (mash bill: yellow corn, pale malted rye, pale malted wheat, honey malted barley, caramel malted barley, caramel malted rye, chocolate malted rye).

These barrels were married together for a year in the antique cask, and then 100 gallons were removed for bottling before new barrels were selected to top up the solera-style barrel once more.

“Blending may be the final creative act of the distiller, allowing us a chance to further develop harmony and  complexity in the final whiskey. What makes the Centenary Cask so distinct actually lies within its constraints,” said Levi Zehrung, Experimental Production Manager, at the time of this whiskey’s release. “Because the size of the Oloroso cask limits the blend to about 3-4 barrels, each barrel must therefore be carefully  chosen to work well together and to balance the bold, antique notes of Oloroso.”

Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Single Batch Series: Batch 035: Centenary Cask is aged over four years, bottled at 100 proof, and priced at $69.99 per 750 ml bottle.

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