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Old Elk Moves Its Bourbon Into Cask Finished Variants

The Old Elk Distillery out of Colorado has made something of a name for itself in recent years under the watchful eye of former MGP master distiller and longtime whiskey industry veteran Greg Metze. It is known in particular for its blended straight bourbon, and now it is taking this offering into the land of cask finished variants.

The new Old Elk Straight Bourbon cask finished line up, according to those behind it, consists of four releases that have been finished in “freshly harvested barrels from some of the most exclusive European producers.” Each finish is said to be “matured and harvested as a micro-batch,” and collectively they are pricing around $90 per 750 ml bottle.

“These products are a new level of flavor we’re excited to bring to our consumers’ glasses. Most of the flavor in a whiskey comes from the aging process and with the secondary aging of the cask finishes,” said Melinda Maddox, Beverage Director, Old Elk Distillery, in a prepared statement. “By resting our liquid in these various casks, we’re able to keep the liquid our fans know and love today and enhance the flavor with the cask of another world-class product.”

Old Elk Straight Bourbon cask finished line up
Old Elk Straight Bourbon cask finished line up (image via Old Elk)

Details on each release are as follows, including some official tasting notes:

  • Old Elk Straight Bourbon Sherry Cask Finish: The ten-year-old Spanish sherry cask adds a hint of dried fruit, which melds into a nutty dry and floral finish. (109.7 ABV)
  • Old Elk Straight Bourbon Port Cask Finish: With casks from Portugal, the port finish brings out a smoother, luscious taste of deep rich, ripe fruit. (108.4 ABV)
  • Old Elk Straight Bourbon Cognac Cask Finish: Old Elk’s high-malt mashbill is matured in world-class cognac casks to yield an expression of perfect harmony in a glass. [Tasting notes from Mel to come] (109.4 ABV)
  • Old Elk Straight Bourbon Armagnac Cask Finish: Also from France, Armagnac is the rebel of the region. This secondary maturation leads to a more rustic and full-bodied whiskey with dark fruit notes and a brooding finish. (108.3 ABV)

Plans call for a national limited release, with these expressions being available at select retailers in the U.S.

5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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