From Barrel to Bottle – The Birth of Spring44’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey
A whiskey tasting isn’t for the faint of palate.
But the auspicious beginnings of these deliciously dapper guys…
had to start somewhere, right?
Spring44 Straight Bourbon Whiskey
After receiving fifty barrels of six-plus-year-aged bourbon whiskey from Kentucky’s finest rack houses,
Spring44 founders, Jeff Lindauer, Jeff McPhie, and Russ Wall joined forces with the company’s CFO, Robin Marisco, Chief Ethanol Savant, Rob Masters, Production Manager, Ryan Jackson, and brand ambassadors, Sean Kenyon, Ezra Pattek and Tim Cooper for a two-day stint of popping corks,
hammering open barrels
and sipping countless samples of the barrel-aged bourbon.
On Day One of the tasting, I walked in on a sort of Spring44 family dinner moment, but the main course wasn’t roasted lamb or honey smoked ham. It was straight bourbon whiskey, man.
Don’t let this one course “meal” fool you though. There were flavors abound at every sip. Whiskey is punch of flavor, as it is one of the more complexly tasting spirits, which is what made the tasting such an adventure.
With every new barrel came a promise of something different – vanilla, cinnamon, earthy, cherry, nutmeg, caramel or a number of other delicious palate pleasers, which were gathered by a swirl of the liquid, a sniff of its aroma and a taste of the essence.
With many refined palates in attendance, the subtlest of aromas and flavors were picked up on and recorded in individual notes — a sort of personal bourbon journal — if you will. Notes were compared and discussions ensued around the table, as each sample was placed into a category of sweet or spicy.
The tasting lasted late into the night, but after much deliberating, a select number of sweet barrels and spicy barrels were chosen.
(Pictured is Sean Kenyon analyzing one of the many whiskey samples. He is a Spring44 ambassador and part owner of Williams & Graham, one of Denver’s most innovative bars and restaurants – also home to craft mixology. Definitely worth a visit, especially for an original spring44 cocktail).
This blend was then cut with Spring44’s very own natural rocky mountain spring water.
From the womb of the barrel to the body of the bottle and all the stages in between, out came a 90 proof, 750 mL bottle of Spring44 Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It entered this world screaming with a spice that kicks and a sweetness that soothes.
Spring44 Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Its brother, the single barrel bourbon whiskey, although born from the same process, evolved a little differently.
Out of the fifty barrels sampled, a few in particular were able to stand on their own. They had enough flavor, right amount of sweet and plenty of spice to move straight to blending with Spring44 water, the key ingredient and finishing touch to this silky smooth bourbon.
The bourbon’s faint hint of vanilla had me singing Sweet Vanilla to the tune of “Sweet Melissa” by the Allman Brothers the rest of the night. No joke, I couldn’t get the song out of my head.
No complaints here though. I’d say the song compliments the whiskey well. But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself, and let us know what you think!
Schedule a distillery tour and be one of the first to try these new babies. I’m betting they will whisk ye off your feet.