Whiskey Review: Temperance Trader Chinato Barrel Bourbon

Bull Run Temperance Trader Chinato Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

With new distlleries popping up almost as fast as new cell phone apps, it may seem as though everything that can be done has been done before.  Bull Run Distillery in Portland, Oregon, however, has proven there are still avenues left to explore.  Their latest innovation: Temperance Trader Chinato Barrel Aged Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Hand crafted and bottled at almost 90 proof, this whiskey playfully caters to cocktail lovers through finishing in ex vermouth barrels.  Bull Run gets these barrels from Oregon’s Cana’s Feast Winery, having used them for their Chinato d’erbetti sweet vermouth production.  In a fantastic cycle, Bull Run returns their ex vermouth (now ex whiskey) barrels back to Cana’s Feast for re-use, in a symbiosis that creates both deeper whiskey and richer vermouth.

In the glass, a light gold shimmers with medium legs.  The nose is complex, and left me buried there for several minutes gathering all the layers of tawny port, bitter almond and honey, with hints of anise.

The first wash over the palate is woody and sweet, with a small burn and medium tannins, followed seamlessly by dried fruit and fresh pressed orange juice.

The finish is medium and warming with ginger, toast and oak, and the lingering fullness of vanilla.

Sipping this slowly, it proved versatile, pairing just as well with a simple supper of fluffy potato pancakes with creme fraiche and red onion chutney, as it did with home-style spiced fig bars and the last of the season’s blackberries.

I rate it 89 points, proving there are still innovations possible in the whiskey world.  I’m happily ready for the next. You, meanwhile, can pick up a bottle of this bourbon online from a range of retailers at an average price of $75.

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Tish Lester

Tish Lester is a former restauranteur whose love of good flavors led her to the world of whiskey, where she is an avid participant, having attended nosings, tastings and master classes throughout Europe and the United States. She has recently discovered the truth that for every moment in our lives,...