American By Nino Marchetti / July 23, 2015 Eastside Distilling, out of Portland, Oregon, is known in whiskey circles mostly for its sourced Burnside Bourbon. The distillery is now taking its sourcing knowledge into the larger whiskey frontier, unveiling two new offerings to further expand its brown spirits portfolio.Barrel Hitch American Whiskey and Barrel Hitch ‘Oregon Oak’ American Whiskey, according to Eastside, are part of a new brand, Barrel Hitch, that was created by the distillery’s master distiller Melissa Heim and its chief branding officer Carrie Earles. The idea in forming this new label, as opposed to sticking with Burnside, was to “make a premium American whiskey enjoyable by all” that’s said to be “extra smooth and approachable as well as reasonably priced.”The non-age statement Barrel Hitch American Whiskey, of which official tasting notes are below, was bottled at 80 proof, while the ‘Oregon Oak’ variant was bottled at 88. The latter saw as well an additional four months of aging time in special barrels made from Oregon oak wood, reportedly imparting “a distinctive savory spice flavor to aged spirits that cannot be produced from barrels made from other oak varietals.”Both new Eastside whiskies should be available in Oregon in the coming weeks, with the rollout to other states planned to soon follow.Barrel Hitch American Whiskey: Tasting NotesNose: Crushed wheat, corn husk and lightly toasted white oakFlavor: Clean grain with subtle earthy, grassy notes. Covers entire palate with a comforting spice similar to cardamom. The oak opens with dessert tannins like vanilla and lends the subtlety of honeycomb. The flavor takes a pleasant turn towards dry, cured oak and warm caramel. This is a wonderfully balanced sipping whiskey that is low octane and truly original.Barrel Hitch ‘Oregon Oak’ American Whiskey: Tasting NotesNose: Vanilla, buttered biscuit, cognacFlavor: Immediate dessert tannins with a medium octane punch. Lingers on upper palate with white oak, caramel, coal and vanilla. Flavor remains with you long after you’ve enjoyed your sip.