While there were a limited number of barrels to choose from with this batch, I played around with potential blends for the last six months obsessing about every possible combination. This batch was aged in Warehouse C, the largest warehouse on site. I decided to focus this batch heavily on the fifth floor to provide a strong backbone of barrel-derived flavor. To round out the blend, the remaining 21% of the batch used barrels that came from the first floor. Those barrels had a subtle sweetness to them which helped balance the dryness from the barrels aged on that warmer fifth floor.
As I was building out and blending this batch, there were a couple of barrels from our fifth floor that were destined to be dumped that I just couldn’t let go. There was nothing wrong with those barrels – they tasted really good. So good in fact, that it made us dream of a potential single barrel offering. Only time will tell if that dream becomes reality, but until we know that answer I plan to keep them sitting tight in our rickhouse.
Overall, we had a loss of 32.7%, which was higher than projected.
Once the bourbon was dumped, we sent it through some simple filtration to remove all barrel char from the bourbon. Bottled-in-bond spirits by law have to be bottled at 100 proof. Because chill floc generally does not appear in the bottle at that high proof point we chose not to chill filter our Ben Holladay bourbon.
Finally, I’m very pleased with how this batch turned out and very proud of our team for getting to this point. Countless people have put in early mornings or late nights, and I am thankful to everyone who contributed to this project. In order to get to this day, we had to rebuild and relearn our heritage of distilling and aging bourbon at our historic facility. I think I speak on behalf of everyone on our team when I say that it is both exciting and humbling to be writing the next chapter in the legacy of DSP-MO-5.