As a whiskey blogger, I’m thrilled to see “one of us” create a whiskey. Bill Straub from ModernThirst.com, together with Bob D’Antoni, have come together to create the Four Gate Whiskey Company. Straub, the Chief Blending Officer, has a great palate and, based on his whiskey reviews, can sometimes be tough to please. I say that with respect. That trait serves him well in his role at Four Gate.
Every batch of Four Gate is to be barrel finished, barrel proof, and unique. The first batch, “The Kelvin Collaboration,” is a 5- to 11-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in ex-sherry rum casks bottled at 61.7% ABV. The bourbon came from a mash bill of 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley. “The Kelvin Collaboration” yielded 1,732 bottles released in Kentucky and Tennessee at a suggested price of $199.99.
The nose features deep notes of red fruit, dark caramel, honey roasted nuts, and a sprinkling of spice. Taste-wise, bold dried fruit notes explode on the palate alongside hints of brown sugar and banana pudding. There’s a base of bourbon (caramel, vanilla, and rye grain) underneath it all. Red wine and tannins pave the way for a long, fruity, and slightly dry finish.
This first batch of Four Gate whiskey is quite tasty. It might indicate a mantra for the brand: bold barrel-finishing. The use of sherry rum casks for the finishing of the first batch dominates the base bourbon, but complements it nonetheless. I wouldn’t call what Four Gate is doing traditional, but it’s interesting and more importantly, it’s delicious. Really, that’s all that counts. 8.5/10
Thanks to Four Gate Whiskey Company for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.