This McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel (74) was selected for Wheated, a “pizza and cocktail place with a whiskey problem” in Brooklyn, NY. I haven’t had any finger Lakes Distilling products in over a year, but thanks to a friend we’re going to revisit one today. Though unlike the McKenzie Bourbon I had at ABC Kitchen in NYC last year, which used rye as its second grain, this McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel is a wheater. From what I understand these wheated bourbons are only available in their barrel program and are not a regular release.
Finger Lakes Distilling, located in New York, makes Pure Potstill, Bourbon, Rye and Honey whiskeys that use as much local grain as possible. In addition to new-charred oak they also utilize sherry and NY Chardonnay barrels to finish some of their whiskies and then reuse their bourbon and rye barrels for their Potstill malt whiskey. They’re an interesting little distillery and it’ll be fascinating to see how / if offerings like the McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel help them sustain and grow.
McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel Info
Region: New York, USA
Distiller: Finger Lakes Distilling
Mashbill: 70% Corn, 20% Wheat, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 4.5 Years
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel Review
Caramel, roasted nuts, maple, butterscotch, oak and vanilla with touches of powdered sugar, spice and orange candy. It’s an interesting and inviting aroma.
Caramel, oak, toffee, vanilla ice cream, peanuts and lighter notes of brownies, powdered sugar, spice and char. More depth and complexity happening on the palate and it opens nicely with water and air.
Long fade of cocoa, spice, toffee and fruit.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent balance, round body and a heavy oily feel.
The first time I had McKenzie Bourbon was at ABC in NYC. It was alright, but this McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel is a different beast entirely and is much improved over its younger, lower proof, sibling. When I first opened it I I liked the nose more than the palate, but by the time I’d had my 3rd tasting of it that opinion shifted and I found myself leaning more towards the flavor than the aroma.
The aroma comes off sweet and candied and doesn’t change much with the addition of water; it’s interesting but overly sweet for me. The flavor carries more of a “bourbon” character and is really what pulls the whiskey together with its rustic-meets-candy-shop character. The finish is pleasant, but isn’t remarkable. In a nutshell, this McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel may be a little disjointed, but it’s still pretty darn good.
SCORE: 86/100 (B)
McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 86
- Palate - 88
- Finish - 86
- Balance, Body & Feel - 85
McKenzie Bourbon Single Barrel is a darn tasty craft whiskey