Old Potrero Malt Whiskey Gets Special Port and Stout Finishes - The Whiskey Wash

Old Potrero Malt Whiskey Gets Special Port and Stout Finishes

By Nino Marchetti / September 22, 2017

The Old Potrero line of whiskeys, crafted by Anchor Distilling out of California, is among the oldest in American craft whiskey. First debuting in 1996, over the years its included bottlings emulating 18th century whiskey, rye and American single malt. Now the brand has come up with two special cask finishes, available only in California.

The first is Old Potrero Straight Malt Whiskey Finished in Port Barrels, bottled at 57.3% ABV and priced at $100 a bottle. Tasting notes for this expression indicate that “the nose on this finish has hints of stone fruit and port but also the spicy rye character that Old Potrero is known for. The front of the palate is rye spice with a subtle grassiness that transitions into a rich port, fruit skin on the mid-palate and finally finishes with a sweet kick of Old Potrero rye.”

The other is Old Potrero Straight Malt Whiskey Finished in Stout Barrels, bottled at 55.4% ABV and priced at $100. It is said of that long ago Fritz Maytag, founder of Anchor Distilling, had some apple brandy aged in once-used charred straight rye barrels. After that apple brandy was done aging, the brewery used those barrels to age a stout for about a year. The distillery got those same barrels back and added their 18th century-style whiskey to them for six months.

The  whiskey is not hidden in this cask finish, but highlighted. The roasted malts from the stout mix well with the spicy rye character found in Old Potrero and mellow into a slightly dark chocolate flavor that could only be found where you have both a brewery and distillery under the same roof. Finally, the apple brandy that had been sitting in those barrels getting deeper and deeper into the oak makes it self known by gracing the back palate for a slightly sweet, rich finish.

“The selection of barrels has always been a key ingredient to the Old Potrero expressions,” sayid Anchor Distilling Master Distiller Bruce Joseph in a prepared statement. “This 100% malted Rye Whiskey is aged in new, toasted, extra fine-grain American oak barrels, similar to our 18th Century style. With these special finishes, we explored the influence of wine and beer on the spicy flavor profile of the whiskey.”