Review: Tommyrotter’s Napa Valley Heritage Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Award winning local spirits maker Tommyrotter Distillery recently released their first bourbon. The Napa Valley Heritage Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the first product in their new Masterwork Collection, a limited release series that showcases unique specialty spirits crafted through sourcing, blending and barrel aging.

Tommyrotter is my favorite local distillery and their gin, in my humble opinion, is the best gin available on the market and one of my favorite spirits to date. So now that Bobby Finan and the team at Tommyrotter are delving into whiskey, my expectations might be higher than they would be for a different young producer.

The Napa Valley Heritage Bourbon is a blended bourbon that has been finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from Napa Valley. It has been bottled at a full cask strength of 47.5% abv and has a deep, intense reddish brown hue.

The nose is vibrant. It pops with lots of sweet dark fruits and a raw maple sweetness. The palate continues those flavors, picks up a bit of ripe cherry, bright toffee, caramel and a warming vanilla spice. The finish is nice and medium-warm with those lingering caramel/vanilla flavors and hint of roasted oak.

This first foray into bourbon for Tommyrotter is a balanced and unique first step, with a nice blend of flavors. A lot of young distilleries push a whiskey through as quickly as they can, sometimes resulting in a grainy, astringent and a muddled amalgam of flavors. This batch from Tommyrotter is clearly not that. They definitely took their time, and put great effort into sourcing and aging this liquid – coaxing these flavors together into a very pleasant, cohesive fusion.

If this first addition to their Masterwork Collection is any indication, more delicious liquids are on the horizon for Tommyrotter.

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