Happy Warrior Cask Strength Bourbon Is Wine Cask Finished

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Long Island Spirits is one of the many players in the burgeoning New York craft whiskey scene. They hold a relatively unique position geographically, being the first distillery on Long Island since the 1800s.

They are still new to the whiskey game, with multiple sourced bottlings out currently as well as spirit aging in barrels at the distillery. Though their current products are sourced, they are still unique in their use of ex-wine barrels for finishing. It is in this vein that they recently introduced Happy Warrior, a cask strength version of their Rough Rider bourbon.

Happy Warrior Cask Strength Bourbon, as the name implies, is a big, bold and in-your-face American whiskey which clocks in at 114 proof. This is quite the step up from the regular Rough Rider, which is at 90 proof. According to the distillery, Happy Warrior is aged in:

55-gallon new American oak for a minimum of 4 years [and] mingled in a small batch with older bourbon. Then second maturation [occurs] in French Oak Casks for 3 to 6 months – Merlot and Chardonnay Casks washed in aged brandy. [The] aged brandy [is] distilled by Long Island Spirits from local wineries.

Limited tasting notes for this bourbon suggest it is “floral to the nose, with an incredibly smooth and well-rounded sweet flavor. Complex hints of caramel, vanilla and with a wonderful warm finish.” It can be enjoyed neat or over ice and looks to be pricing for at least $70 per bottle.

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Rough Rider, by the way, is the distillery’s homage to former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt. A native Long Islander, he assembled in 1898 “the United States First Volunteer Cavalry known as the Rough Riders. This disparate group of men shared one common purpose – the pursuit of adventure, independence and excellence.”