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Whiskey Shots: A Review of Watershed Blended Bourbon Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels

🥃90 proof

🥃A blend of Watershed's 4 year bourbon, their 6 year Apple Brandy Finished Bourbon and a high-rye sourced bourbon distilled in Indiana.

🥃750 ml bottle gifted by the distillery (but not influencing this review)

🥃Tasted using a Glencairn Whiskey Tasting Glass

Welcome, fellow whiskey enthusiasts, to another adventure on along my whiskey journey. Today, I visit the captivating realm of finished bourbons, immersing myself in the splendor of a distinct expression that has been lovingly aged in apple brandy barrels.


Finished bourbons are a testament to the boundless artistry and innovative spirit that permeates the whiskey industry. While traditional bourbons find solace in the embrace of new charred oak barrels, finished bourbons embark on a daring second aging process, nestled within barrels that once cradled another spirited elixir. This secondary maturation period allows the bourbon to intermingle with the flavors and nuances left behind by its barrel's previous occupant, birthing a truly unique and often unforeseen flavor profile.


The process of finishing bourbon is a meticulous one, where each secondary barrel is handpicked based on its storied past and the desired outcome of its flavors. Distillers tirelessly seek new and enchanting combinations that harmonize with and enhance the inherent characteristics of bourbon. Whether it be the tantalizing influence of wine barrels, lending fruity notes, or the opulent richness of rum barrels, infusing a hint of delectable sweetness, finishing opens a gateway to endless possibilities for whiskey aficionados to explore.


Attitudes towards finished bourbons have gracefully evolved over time. Initially met with skepticism, these deviations from the traditional bourbon-making process were questioned by purists, who pondered whether they compromised the essence of the spirit. However, as more and more distilleries dared to venture into the realm of finishing, attitudes shifted, embracing the boundless creativity and diversity it bestowed upon the whiskey landscape.


Today, finished bourbons are met with fervent enthusiasm and insatiable curiosity by whiskey connoisseurs. Many enthusiasts, including yours truly, relish the opportunity to expand their palates and immerse themselves in new flavor profiles that transcend the boundaries of traditional bourbon characteristics. This trend has ignited a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement, as aficionados eagerly await the unveiling of the next innovative expression from their beloved distilleries.


Now, let’s venture deep into the heart of my review – Watershed Blended Bourbon gracefully finished in Apple Brandy barrels. I will attempt to unravel the tantalizing aromas, flavors, and overall experience that this remarkable finishing process has bestowed upon this whiskey. Please join me on this magnificent exploration of the harmonious union between bourbon and apple brandy in this wonderful expression.


On the nose, the Watershed Blended Bourbon Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels greets me with the enticing aromas of cinnamon apples and caramel corn. The combination of these scents immediately evokes a sense of warmth and comfort, inviting me to further explore what lies within the glass.


As I take my first sip, I notice an intriguing reversal of flavors compared to the nose. The palate begins with the indulgent sweetness of caramel popcorn, coating my taste buds with a smooth and creamy texture. This initial burst of sweetness then gracefully transitions into an apple cider backbone, adding a refreshing and fruity layer to the experience. Just as I think the journey is complete, a lingering hint of cinnamon emerges, providing a gentle spice that perfectly balances the overall flavor profile.


The bourbon offers a moderate yet flavorful conclusion. The apple cinnamon notes that emerged on the palate persist, ensuring a memorable and lasting impression. This lingering combination of flavors leaves me with a sense of satisfaction, enticing me to savor the moment a little longer.


Overall, the experience with this bourbon is undeniably favorable. The interplay between the cinnamon apples, caramel corn, and apple cider backbone creates a harmonious balance of sweet and fruity flavors, with a touch of spice. The finish, though not overpowering, adds depth and complexity to the overall tasting experience.

Considering all aspects, I am delighted to award the Watershed Blended Bourbon Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. This expression showcases the artistry of finishing bourbons and exemplifies the creativity and innovation that whiskey enthusiasts so eagerly seek. Whether enjoyed neat or in a carefully crafted cocktail (such as the Mule I used it in), this bourbon is bound to captivate and impress. Cheers! 🥃

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