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Weird Barrelhound Whisky Aims To “Bridge Bourbon And Scotch Worlds”

Barrelhound WhiskyIt is a pretty well established fact in the whiskey world a good number of ex-bourbon barrels end up overseas as aging vessels for Scottish whisky. The Scotch, in turn, comes back to us in bottles for purchase and consumption. A pretty open and shut case of trans-Atlantic trade, unless of course you are the new Barrelhound whisky just announced by spirits giant Pernod Ricard. I say this because this new release is designed to “bridge the bourbon and Scotch worlds.” Why would you want to do that?

Barrelhound Whisky, pricing around $30 per 750 ml bottle, will at first be available in New York and Washington, D.C. It is said to have been “distilled and matured in Speyside, Scotland and … bottled in Paisley, Scotland.” During its aging process it was “predominantly matured in American Oak casks to create a new, slightly sweeter whisky.”

This blended Scotch is said to be a mix of “many malts, including those from two of Scotland’s oldest and most remote distilleries.” It is further described as “a new breed of whisky made by a new breed of whisky maker” by those behind it, with one Pernod Ricard official even going so far as to say that “in a market dominated by American whisky, we feel that Barrelhound brings something different and exciting to the category. Its foundations stem from some of our finest Speyside malts which create a truly unique taste profile.

“While born in Scotland, this U.S. bound whisky is ready to offer whisky lovers an unexpected new breed of scotch that is great on the rocks or in cocktails.”

How this all translates into taste, from what little tasting notes I can source, is that one gets “delicate sweet notes of vanilla and honey. It finishes with complex notes of oak and spice. It is smooth, non-peaty, with a sweet bourbon-like finish.”

So perhaps there you have it – “non-peaty” and “sweet bourbon-like finish.” That doesn’t sound appealing, and this product leaves me scratching my head in wonder – I say it is best for bourbon to remain bourbon and Scotch to remain Scotch. This will be a curious one to review if we get hold of a bottle.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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