Looking to connect? I’m on Instagram or you may reach out to me via Email or Discord if you’d like to discuss bourbon, request reviews, or anything else.
Here we have the first of three beautifully packaged bottles in the Traverse City Whiskey Co. Finish Series. This Sherry Barrel Finish bourbon showcases the 36% rye bourbon (sourced from MGP) at five years old, that has spent nearly a year resting in a Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry cask.
I found the labeling to be somewhat confusing as the largest text draws the eye immediately to the fact that the whiskey is finished, but if you want to know what kind of whiskey you’re drinking (bourbon or rye) it’s in much smaller font along the backside of the label. I should mention that this information is also available on the boxes (as seen in the first image in the intro). I’d just like to see producers remain as transparent as possible in their labeling, and having the product clearly labeled as “straight bourbon finished in seasoned sherry barrels” on the front label would scratch this itch for me.
Speaking of the back label, this is where we learn that seasoned barrels were used for this product. A seasoned (or recharged) barrel is a barrel that has been refilled, at least in part, with it’s original liquid. Basically, some sherry (presumably PX Sherry) was added back to this barrel and moved around or rolled etc. to allow some liquid to integrate with the wooden staves of the barrel. The liquid is then dumped, or should be, and what’s left is a barrel that is considered seasoned.
Starting with three of our award-winning whiskeys, we further aged them using various wine casks, and captured fond memories of folks’ time here in Traverse City in a bottle. Here in Northern Michigan, we don’t just distill whiskey; we distill the spirit of Traverse City itself.
Chris Fredrickson, President Traverse City Whiskey Co.
Each time I dig into a sherry finished bourbon or rye, I can’t help but wonder if I’m finally going to find something that reminds me enough of High West’s Midwinter Night’s Dram (while hopefully being a bit easier to track down). I’ll curb that excitement for now–as this is the first review of three–but just know, dear reader, that I’m thinking about it!
As I mentioned in the intro to this piece, Jay and I checked out the entire Finish Series on the Whiskey Raiders Podcast if you’re interested in our very first impressions, and a bit more dialogue on these bottles.