Region: Bottled in Frankfort, Ky
Age: 4 + years
The Barrel Cellar Score: 89 Points
Review Date: 09/22/2022
About the Bourbon: The Pinhook bourbon selection I am reviewing today is a blend of three barrels that were produced with a Castle and Key custom mashbill. It’s distilled by MGP distilling in Indiana and bottled by Castle and Key in Frankfort, KY.
The Pinhook brand produces “micro-blends.” This format results in small batches and unique offerings with every release. It also allows for the strengths of each custom barrel to shine through instead of getting lost within the mix of potentially dozens or hundreds of other barrels.
I enjoyed the whiskey for this review using a set of Prestige diamond whiskey glasses.
Color: Golden Amber
Nose: Toasted sugar, oak, cinnamon, honey, potato skin, and apple.
Palate: Black licorice, roasted peanut, toasted sugar, dusty road, and smoke. Drop a couple of ice cubes in and notes of green apple and celery leaf emerge.
Finish: Black licorice, charcoal, and black pepper.
Assessment: My bottle of Pinhook Kentucky Straight Bourbon was a challenging one to review. The dominant flavor profile is black licorice, which is pleasant, but it tends to drown out the rest of the flavor profile. What makes this bourbon most interesting is how the other flavor notes manage to emerge on the palate before swiftly disappearing behind the licorice flavor note so demanding of my attention. Unique and strong character notes define this bourbon; it’s bold with a full body and has a layer of smokiness that seems to hang around on the palate for an eternity.
Adding a couple of ice cubes allowed the bold and dominant flavor notes to loosen up a bit, and allowed the bourbon’s more spicy notes to shine through. The ice amplifies the black pepper notes, and adds a hint of celery leaf which brings an interesting dimension. As the ice melts the bourbon sweetens a bit with notes of vanilla emerging
Overall this is a solid bourbon choice. It is one of the boldest bourbon’s I’ve had, and is definitely the fullest bodied bourbon I’ve reviewed (although nearly every single barrel batch will be different). You’ll need to be a fan of black licorice, but at approximately $50 a bottle, it’s a great purchase.
The Barrel Cellar gives Pinhook Kentucky Straight Bourbon 89 points.