Canadian By Nino Marchetti / May 14, 2017 Masterson’s Rye Whiskey is generally a pretty well received, 10-year-old sourced rye whiskey for those looking for such a thing. Those behind it haven’t been resting on their laurels in terms of developing new variants to keep drinkers interested, however, and recently unveiled three new barrel-finished offerings in a line expansion.The new Masterson’s Barrel-Finished Expressions, according to those behind them, allow consumers to choose enjoying the Canadian rye that’s been finished in either American, French or Hungarian oak barrels. Each of the oak barrel types imparts its own flavor characteristics to the mix, and we’ve included official tasting notes from each of them at the end of this story.“Masterson’s 10-Year Rye reflects our micro-craftsman approach to rye whiskey,” said August Sebastiani, president of 3 Badge Beverage Corporation, in a prepared statement. “Our Masterson’s Barrel-Finished Expressions are limited in production, and offer an unparalleled tasting adventure with rye. We were thrilled to recently receive the ‘2017 Canadian Whisky of the Year’ award for the American Barrel-Finished Rye Whiskey.”Plans calls for each of these expressions to price around $79 and be available in limited quantities. A burnt orange neck strip label with “American Oak,” “French Oak” or “Hungarian Oak” distinguishes the barrel-finished ryes.American Oak – After ten years of aging, the whiskey is finished in 80% tight grain American oak barrels sourced from Quercus Alba in southern Missouri. These barrels were air-dried outdoors for two or more years allowing the natural fungi (moss) on the barrels to grow which ultimately releases more vanillin. Typical descriptors of American oak can include toasty vanilla, baking spices and a rich and creamy mouth feel. No coconut overtones or green astringent bitterness should be present from improperly seasoned wood.French Oak – After ten years of aging, the whiskey is finished in fine grain French oak barrels. These barrels were air-dried outdoors for two or more years allowing the natural fungi (moss) on the barrels to grow which ultimately releases more vanillin and reduces tannic astringency. Appreciated for its complexity and undeniable quality, common descriptors of French oak can include sweet wood, toasted almonds, grilled meat, cinnamon, cigar box and mocha. The structure tends to build midpalate due to the fire bending techniques that penetrate the toast deep into the inner stave.Hungarian Oak – After ten years of aging, the whiskey is finished in fine grain Hungarian oak barrels sourced from the slow growing Quercuz Petraea. These barrels were air-dried outdoors for two or more years allowing the natural fungi (moss) on the barrels to grow which ultimately releases more vanillin. The development of superior flavors is aided by plenty of rainfall, the presence of definite four-season climate, and soil profiles. Hungarian oak delivers a delicate balance accentuating vanillin and nut flavors. Flavor is surrounded by sweet wood overtones and finishes with a smooth round mouth feel.